Are you the type of person that dreads the thought of transitioning from a fast-paced work environment to the slow and golden years of retirement?
You’re not alone. Nearly half of adults over 50 still wish they could find their dream job, and public service retirees are jumping back into the workforce to do just that.
While many executive-level employees are returning to the workforce as consultants for organizations such as DND (an organization that spends billions on consulting services), others are jumping entirely out of their bailiwick, gravitating towards new challenges that may be a little outside their comfort zone.
And, of course, that can be nerve-wracking. Many people heading into second careers in their 50s and 60s spend a lot of time worrying about whether future employers will hire them because of their age. And while ageism is certainly something to be concerned about, the bigger challenge is actually having the foresight and the patience to choose a second career with the greatest chance of success, keeping age in mind.
In doing this, you need to cast off the rose-coloured glasses of optimism and choose a pair that allows you to see the potential obstacles in your way. For example, if you’re 65 and want to become a doctor, you’ll need to consider years of schooling, the financial commitment, market conditions, and how many years you’ll expect to remain in the workforce until you actually do feel like retiring. Chances are, when you’re finally ready to begin seeing patients, you’ll be close to 75.
While that may be an obvious example, it can be a lot tougher to see what challenges you’ll face for other career options. It also may not be fair to ask your friends or family for advice, because often their opinions are tempered with respect for your feelings.
If you think that your emotions may get in the way of making an objective decision about your new career path, it might be wise to consult a life coach.
By their name, it’s easy to assume that you should only call on a life coach as a worst-case scenario, like breaking the glass to activate a fire alarm when you see flames. But that’s simply not the case.
People that use life coaches are generally successful and capable of making difficult decisions on their own; what a life-coach does is provide a discovery-based framework and an objective set of eyes to help them get there.
Picture yourself climbing up a hill alone, and reaching a particularly steep pitch along your journey. Rather than spending all day trying to figure out how you’re going to keep moving, wouldn’t it be quicker to have a climbing expert right there with you? That’s what life coaches do: they keep people moving forward, and adjust your course if you’re wandering away from your initial destination.
The hardest part about your next career is not your age, but choosing the right one while keeping that in mind. Making an informed decision in the beginning will ultimately help you succeed over the course of your career transition.
Take time, plan accordingly and realistically… and if you need help, look for a coach.