Forbes Coaches Council
We all feel stuck in our jobs once in a while.
As a career transitions coach, I realize not everybody is at the point in their life where they’re ready to talk to a professional. So, if you are considering a new career and want something better in life, here’s some advice you might find helpful.
You are not alone.
Everyone can use career advice, and it isn’t a weakness to ask for it. No matter how intelligent, seasoned and experienced you are, as the old saying goes, it’s hard to see the picture when you’re inside the frame. We’re all better off when we bounce ideas off one another.
Try talking to some of your family members, like your spouse or your kids or your parents. Bring your friends into the fold and get their opinions on what you should do. You can even ask your attorney or pastor. You have many people in your life who could help you make a smart decision about your career.
And chances are, the people you talk to will understand how you feel. We all struggle with whether to stay in a position. A recent study of 4,900 professionals found that 33% of adults are bored with their job. And if you’re at all worried about losing your job, you aren’t alone there either: Twenty-one percent of adults fear being laid off from their job.
Many people change careers, including middle-aged and older Americans.
You may see yourself as someone who should soon start considering lounging on a beach in Florida. But remember that old cliché (which happens to be true): Age is just a number. You can do whatever you want with your career, no matter how old you think you are. And that’s exactly what people are doing. In the last several years, key media outlets like CBS and Entrepreneur Magazine have reported a trend in older Americans switching careers later in life.
In fact, in a recent report on retirement, The RAND Corporation found that many Americans retire then either go back into a new career or start up a new business. One of the authors called retirement “a fluid concept,” and said, “Significant numbers of older people move in and out of the workforce. Retirement isn’t necessarily permanent.”
So you shouldn’t feel as if you’re unable to leave a position late in life. In fact, many older Americans end up consulting in their industry, sometimes for the company that they were previously employed with.
Many senior citizens also buy franchises. There are numerous reasons franchises are attractive for older adults. You can be as busy as you want, hiring employees, scheduling, doing payroll and ordering inventory, or you can have your managers do it and go spend the afternoon gardening or seeing a movie. There’s plenty of work that can come with owning a franchise, but the more successful you are, the easier is to scale back and let your employees handle most or all of the labor you’d rather not do.
There’s nothing wrong with staying put — for now.
If you strongly believe that you need to leave your job but are resistant, there’s nothing wrong with deciding what to do later. After all, it’s easy to get anxious and create an urgency that isn’t really there yet.
If you are dissatisfied with work but feel that it’s too late to change jobs, maybe it’s actually just too early. Maybe you should wait a little longer until you’re truly comfortable making an exit and, in the meantime, use the extra time on the evenings and weekends to explore and consider what you might like to do someday for your second or third act.
Changing jobs or starting a business, at any age, is a big decision. You’re right not to want to rush. But you’re also right to not want to feel stuck, so if that’s how you feel about your career, talk over your options with someone. That’s a conversation and a gift to yourself that you’ll never regret.