In a continuation of last week’s blog, today we begin to look at how to maximize your value and the steps to take
Step One: Get in the Right Mindset
Some people see 50 as the “beginning of the end,” as they start to wind down their careers as they approach retirement. Others see the milestone as a reset button and start making new plans about how to make their remaining working years the best time possible.
Take some time to reflect on your life and career. What did you want to be when you grew up? What were you passionate about? Did life get in the way of you achieving some of your dreams?
Next, decide what you want. Set specific goals. If you believe that you can achieve it, you can. Don’t talk yourself out of what you are capable of achieving. Just because you haven’t achieved it yet doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Be aware of negative thoughts and self-sabotaging behavior.
You also need to adopt a growth mindset. You have to believe that you are capable of change and that any failures you encounter are not “who you are.” A growth mindset means you believe in your ability to become better.
Acknowledge the fear of stepping outside your comfort zone. Make a list of the challenges and roadblocks you will likely encounter and develop a plan for tackling them.
If you are a long-time teacher who is considering a career change to the corporate world as a learning and development coordinator, one of the biggest challenges might be learning new technology (in particular, a specific L&D software/platform). Your plan might be to research the most common L&D platforms and identify courses or online trainings to learn the technology.
Step Two: Decide on a Destination
Review your reflections and goals from step one and decide what you want to do next. Do you want to move up within your current industry or profession, or make a complete change? What will reignite your passion?
For inspiration, look at people you know and the changes they’ve made. Is there a defined path you can follow? For example, it’s not uncommon for lawyers to move into a judge role in their 50s. Some advertising executives start their own agencies in their 50s or move from an agency into a corporate role.
Sometimes money becomes less of a motivator later in your career, and you might decide to leave a stressful corporate role for a smaller business, startup, or even a nonprofit. (Although making this kind of move doesn’t necessarily need to lead to a pay cut, it can sometimes result in lower pay in exchange for a better work/life balance.)
You may also be seeking a change because you’re no longer able to physically do some of the things you’ve always done in your career. Are there ways you can use your skills, knowledge, and experience in a less physically demanding job in the same profession? Or would a complete career change be a better fit?
If you’re a furniture warehouse manager who works in the field alongside employees, but your body is feeling the aches and pains from hauling heavy items up and down stairs, you might consider using your staffing, logistics, and operations knowledge in a less “hands on” role.