Are you in a dead-end job? How about working in a good job that you no longer enjoy?
Being employed is good, but what’s holding you back from changing jobs or even careers?
According to AARP, moving on to something new is the “new normal,” with two-thirds of American workers ages 50 and older changing jobs or moving into entirely different occupations.
It may sound stressful, AARP reports, until you actually do it and find that you have an exciting new career underway.
If fear is holding you back, a career coach may be the answer. Jennifer Anderson, herself a “high tech refuge,” helps others find satisfying careers. She offers tips to beat the top seven challenges every re-careerist faces.
1. If you’re tired of the stress that goes with your job, you’re not alone.
“I see many people, the majority of whom are women, who have great jobs and strong careers but they are not enjoying themselves,” Anderson says. “They are working two to two-and-a-half jobs since the recession of 2008. Since then, they are being asked to do more than they used to and working really long hours. They feel they have so much to give but don’t want the same pressure.”
2. Concerns about being “too old” to change jobs or careers keep many employees from making a change.
“Ageism is a real fear and starts as young as 35,” she says. “People are worried about retirement fund risks. They don’t have a clear vision of how to make a change so that stops them cold. I help them figure out what they want to do.”
She helps her clients explore their talents, interests, values, lifestyles, financial pictures and work environment.
3. Not being up-to-date on technology beyond common internet use is a big challenge.
It can keep us intimidated to move on. We also fear we will need advanced education.
Anderson assures us that what most need is more training, and which can be accessed through very low cost or no cost sources. She recommends LYND.com offered through local libraries, and numerous online training resources through the employment department. One such source is Rocksource.org.
4. Another factor holding us back is lack of confidence.
“They don’t know how to network, making connections with people,” Anderson says. “I advise starting with people you know and asking for help from people who have careers you are interested in. People love to help others and give advice.”
5. Not knowing how to start your own business can be a challenge.
The advantage for those starting their own ventures is flexible schedules they can design around their new careers. Anderson says using the internet makes it much easier in one way, but harder in narrowing down a niche.
“People are their own worst critic and isolation is the real dream killer,” she says. “I advise reaching out and being open-minded. Don’t worry about disappointing someone, such as a spouse (who’s) nervous your plan won’t work out. Resistance to change is strong.”
6. Confronting the what-ifs — from making enough money to sacrificing too much.
But it can be more satisfying working for yourself, she says. Get help from organizations such as Women with Moxie, Women’s Network and Women Who Lunch.
7. Not knowing what to do next.
Anderson helps her clients find answers by seeking clear direction, capturing a vision and developing a strategy.
“You can overcome anything once you learn what you want,” she says.
Jennifer Anderson has been a trainer/coach for the past 21 years, teaches in PCC’s Career Series, Work-Life Balance of Community Education, gives talks and is the founder of Full Bloom Career Academy. She wrote “Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom” in 2013.