New resolutions followed by new beginnings are made in right earnest at the dawn of a new year. These resolutions could be related to careers, lifestyles, relationships, vices or dreams. Let’s discuss one of the most important or critical changes of all, i.e. the mid-career change or mid-life career change.

Usually, any change after working for at least 10 years is considered a mid-career change. A person might contemplate such a shift for multiple reasons: frustration with their existing job, wage stagnation, lack of growth opportunities, industry crisis, peer pressure, personal ambitions, etc. It is very important to remember that the desire for change is quite reasonable; in fact, it can be a good thing!

Transitioning to a new job or a career doesn’t necessarily mean one needs to begin from scratch. Experience gained over the years always gives the person an edge and also ensures the entry-level jobs are straightaway avoided.

The journey to mid-career change can lead you to a new job in the same industry, or a new career in a new industry. It may involve using your existing skills, or be a complete deviation—e.g., opting out of a corporate career to embark on a farming career. 

To be successful in the transition, start with a self-evaluation of what makes one really happy and keeps the passion alive. A successful transition roadmap will arise from this analysis. Your analysis will help you pinpoint the reason for unhappiness, and frame your expectations going forward. A frank chat with colleagues, family and friends may also help you a lot. Make sure to take into account the things you’re good at, along with the following:

  • Your personality type,
  • career interests,
  • career values,
  • learning styles,
  • existing skills and abilities, and
  • core strengths.

Once the desired change is identifies, create a plan by calculating living costs and other necessary expenses for self as well as family. Additional professional and academic qualifications too will help, so identify existing as well as required new skills, and quickly acquire those skills. Update your curriculum vitae, explore and grow your existing network, and prepare for interviews and competitive tests, if needed. 

Once you’ve taken the leap, tread carefully at every stage of your career transition. Capitalise on the experience gained, and get to know your colleagues’ work as well. And remember: keep looking ahead, never back at the past.

One can take comfort from the fact that today, with global and technological development, career opportunities are abundant. There are around 16 career clusters, 92 career paths and over 3,000 career designations to choose from. The trick is to find a perfect or well-matched career that can ensure total satisfaction, and at the same time, ensure no need for further mid-career changes.

Change may seem scary at first, but it is always good and welcome in our lives. Focus on and count on your passion, rather than worrying about age. Whatever one’s age, one is always young when making a new beginning.  Passion, self-belief, self-confidence, commitment and the drive are most essential in ensuring a successful shift.  “Tread where you fear the most and success is guaranteed”!

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  • Venkat Balantrapu

    Transformational Coach, Insurance Consultant & Trainer, International Career Counsellor & Career Coach, NLP Practitioner & Master Practitioner, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Singer, and Founder-CEO

    Weave Career (India & Kenya).

    Venkat Balantrapu has held senior management positions in the general insurance industry for over 33 years (14 years in India and almost 20 years in Africa including Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda). He is an ex-banker and has worked in the private sector as well for 5 years. He is currently the Founder & CEO, WEAVE, (India & Kenya) and a Member – Advisory Board, Paavana Insurance Brokers Limited, India and also represents Service Quality Institute, USA, conducting their customer service excellence certification programs globally. He is a member, Madras Management Association, delivering corporate programs on their behalf. He is an empanelled trainer for Kenyan Institute of Bankers, Nairobi, Kenya. Has prepared training modules for TATA AIG, India and HDFC ERGO General Insurance in India and delivers training programs for them. He is an MBA., B.Com, FLMI, AIII, ARA, and ACS.