If 2024 is a year of midlife career change and you’re a little apprehensive about it, I’ve got your back. In this post, I’ll reveal encouraging insights that should help you ring in the new year with optimism and excitement about your career, whether you’re reading this in January or July.
Let’s begin with this mix of reality and encouragement. The landscape of midlife career development and growth can be as challenging as it can be exciting. The current talent trends reflect a shift in our approach to career development that emphasizes openness to change and continuous learning.
I strongly encourage you to have a mindset of continuous learning. This is one way that you can discover new opportunities. On episode 142 I discussed with Mark Schaefer the potential boost in career opportunities when you embrace and learn about the power of AI. There is much we can all learn about AI’s potential. The new opportunities in front of us stem from the human connection and wisdom we can add to this astonishing technology.
One positive aspect of the 2024 career landscape is the growing emphasis on retention as a major HR objective. Recently, many companies have recognized the value of experienced staff, creating opportunities for midlife professionals to leverage their skills and experience. This shift is not just about staying in a job but about growing within it, with opportunities for skill enhancement as well as role evolution. If you’re in a corporate setting, look for this sentiment at your place of employment and if it doesn’t exist, consider moving to a company that values your experience.
The idea of a career change after age 40 is becoming more normalized and supported. Traditional careers are giving way to more diverse and fulfilling career paths for those seeking the fulfillment that has eluded them. If you’re contemplating a change, many career choices exist including but not limited to life coaching, content writing, consulting, teaching, and more. Many of these choices involve a mix of leveraging your experience and specialized training to apply your experience in a new role. These roles not only offer a fresh start but also align well with the experience and wisdom that midlife professionals offer.
In this evolving scenario, the key to excitement in your career lies in embracing change and seeking continuous growth. Whether it’s upskilling in your current role or pivoting to a new field, the midstage career landscape in 2024 is ripe with possibilities if you are willing to explore and adapt. This is a time to debunk myths about midlife career changes and view them as opportunities for growth and rejuvenation. But, you must be willing to embrace some amount of uncertainty as you pivot into your new career chapter.
You’ll also need a strong work ethic. Chances are you’ll need to invest time and money into training and/or accreditation to earn credentials for your new career chapter. During this time of investment, I encourage you to enjoy the journey. Embrace the uncertainty balanced by the excitement of possibilities on the other side of your training.
Network with other people who share your value of growth, development, learning, and excitement for what is possible. If you need to remind yourself that you have a ton of value to offer, listen to episode 144 where I’ll teach you to adopt the mindset of a product manager in your midlife career reboot following these five steps as documented in my career reboot workbook and career reboot one-page check list.
Step 1: Get the product right, because YOU are the product! Know what problem you solve and for whom, then show up on LinkedIn with a profile that shines a spotlight on your unique value proposition.
Step 2: Know THY target market! Who do you want to reach? Know their needs and pain points. Think beyond traditional job titles and embrace a broader approach to network with people who can influence your end goal.
Step 3: Engage relationally. Build the know, like, and trust factor through consistent engagement, especially on LinkedIn. Be sure you’re adding value, showcasing your expertise, and nurturing relationships.
Step 4: After building a relational foundation, it’s time to ask for something. Whether it’s a meeting, a call, or a referral, timing is important. Give before asking and be patient.
Step 5: Reflect and refine. As you navigate your career reboot journey, evaluate what’s working and what’s not. You may need to make adjustments based on your interactions and outcomes.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the common myth that a career change over 40 equals a midlife crisis. I want you to be encouraged by the opportunities available to you. Maybe you’ve heard me say on the podcast “if you believe you can, you’re right. And, if you believe you can’t, you’re right.” It’s an understatement to say that your mindset is at least half the path to victory in your career change. When you believe that you can, you look for and find the resources, the people, the events, and the magic to create opportunities. Don’t misunderstand my point. I’m not suggesting that you can will your way to a career change. I’m suggesting that you can will your way to put in the work, and the dedication to networking with the right people that can open the doors that will create a fulfilling new career chapter.
So, are you excited about your career in 2024? The answer should be a resounding yes, as this year offers a blend of stability and new beginnings, perfectly tailored for your midlife career change, whatever that looks like for you. My guidance to you is to be ready to embrace the future with enthusiasm and resilience. Because the future is here today.
Related to this, I’m teaming up with Erika Heald to present a one-hour live event on January 17, 2024, to help you plan your career reboot in the new year.
Register to attend 2024 Career Planning for a More Fulfilling Life
(register to get the recording if you listen to this after January 17, 2024)
Click or tap here to download the 5-Step Career Reboot Checklist.
Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@midlifefulfilled/