Career change guidance at 45+

Strategies for build and find fullfilling work when you are over 45 caption



As we hit our mid lives people do want to explore changing careers. Doing a job for 20-30 years is usually enough and people are motivated by curiosity to learn new things.

Increasingly, with longer working lives being a reality, people often think with 20 more year of work to do, now is the time to do something different.

The problem so many have is having no idea what to do next. In our survey of more than 6000 people over 50, this was the biggest issue followed by ‘ageism’ – which let’s be honest is a huge problem putting the ‘no idea’ issue into significant context.

So how can you make a change when you have no idea of what to do next?

  1. The first step is unlocking your mind to the possibilities that are out there. Too often people are still focused on ‘jobs that exist’. Not only do jobs evolve but the future of work is already here with increasing people working portfolio careers and ‘crafting’ their futures.
  2. The second step is introspection. Our values change over time and often this is through the experience of understanding what we will and won’t accept. Acknowledging what’s important, exploring skills, interests and values is all part of the insight others need to generate ideas of possible future career options.
  3. Yes. We mentioned others. It’s hard to step outside of what you already know. At Brave Starts we put people into cohorts to work alongside others – not only because it’s validating to meet others who think and feel as you do, but it’s hugely helpful to have people from completely different roles and backgrounds to listen to what gets you excited and to help you consider roles or jobs you may not have any idea existed.
  4. When you brainstorm ideas, the next thing you have to do is talk to people who do the jobs brainstormed for you. At Brave Starts we will facilitate at least one or two introductions to people who are experts in the roles being considered.
  5. Action. We want people as much as possible to meet, do work experience, volunteer – in short do what is needed to engage with and build up skills, networks and experience in a new sector. It is only through the action that people really get if something is going to work (have you ever married someone you read about online – or does meeting them give you more useful ‘data’?! We think so…)

What are the things to steer away from?

Trying to find a role when you aren’t clear on what to do next: What most people do is try to find ‘inspiration’ through jobs boards, which is partly why we’re partnering with workingwise to share this article. We know jobs boards can open eyes to companies who are recruiting, the sorts of jobs which are in demand, but if you haven’t got the experience or network, very often people find they apply for jobs but get nowhere.

Having expectations which are too high: It’s important not to get hung up on the idea of a perfect job or doing something you are ‘passionate’ about or trying to ‘find your purpose’. These are good aspirations for how you should feel within a few years of doing something new, but as a starting point, this bar is too high.

Paying too much for a career coach: Often people want support and they go to a career coach to get it. The evidence around what does or doesn’t work with career coaching is still not entirely clear. We’d suggest those who are able to afford a career coach and who are proactive enough to find one are factors more likely to predict someone ‘getting a job’ than the coaching itself. We’re not wanting to disparage – we are afterall career coaches ourselves, but it’s because of this we know the issues with the sector. There is a huge range of what people will charge (we’ve seen it range from £50 – 500 a session) but without the clarity of ‘this coaching leads to this job outcome’ we would suggest people don’t pay more than £250 for a session.

What’s the alternative?

At Brave Starts, we support people through a programme designed to get people clearer on what to do next. Once people have clarity, actions are purposeful and directed. If you know you want to become a counsellor (for example) then it makes sense to commit to the training. If you know you no longer want to run a pod cast, that distraction is removed allowing people to focus on the remaining ideas they have.

We charge £600 (including VAT) which includes:

  • 5 facilitated workshops of up to 8 people (2 cohorts of 4 in each one)
  • These workshops are punctuated with around 20 hours of elearning material
    giving people insight into how to build the skills, knowledge and insights to
    develop their career capital.
  • Access to the wider community of nearly 600 members with largely professional
  • Getting networked to 1-2 experts doing jobs in different fields
  • Support with finding work experience and job shadowing opportunities
  • Access to 4-5 other events every month (employers, member meetings,
    networking opportunities and more)

If you’d like to learn more and attend an information session at no cost to meet one of the facilitators and to learn more about the steps, please register here

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