Let’s imagine that you’ve met most of your life goals. You’ve got a family with a partner and maybe some children, you’re paying off your home mortgage thanks to your job and you’re already saving up for your future holiday plans. For many people, this is the ideal situation to be at in life. You’ve got the financial means to carry out your dreams and you have a stable job that pays the bills. As far as many people are concerned, that’s the ultimate end-game of life and you can now grow old and live happily ever after.
Sadly, life isn’t always like that. As humans, we’re curious creatures and we love to explore and discover new things. Even as we grow older, our curiosity never ends and we’re likely to see a change of career in the future or even expand our horizons to brace for an unpredictable future. Perhaps you discover that you have a passion for something that you never did before or maybe something that happened to a family member spurs you on to take action. Whatever the situation is, it’s never too late to study a new skill or even switch your career as long as you’re motivated.
Motivation is the Key
If you’re not motivated, then you’re not going to do anything. Motivation is the key to many things in life. It can make us do the wildest things that we would have never imagined, and the key to learning a new skill or studying something later in your life is to be motivated. Find out why you decided to embark on a new career choice or educational path if you want to stick with it. Perhaps it was a quote that you heard from someone, or maybe it was a promise you made years ago. Maybe it’s an old passion that you recently rediscovered, or perhaps you simply want to do something more exciting in your life.
Regardless of what new path you pick, it’s important that you find your source of motivation and use it to fuel your passion. Without motivation, you’re likely to give up early into the switch and you may even regret spending so much time, effort and possibly even money on trying to learn something new. Don’t let regret ruin your life and do plenty of research and study on a topic before you decide to change. Without sufficient motivation, it’s hard to achieve anything in life!
Understand the Path
Make sure that you’ve done a bit of research on how to reach your goals. For instance, if you want to become a psychologist that can help people with their mental instabilities, then it’s usually normal to study psychology before you start helping others. If you want to ensure that you have sufficient knowledge to help others with their problems, then you’ll need to do a lot of studying at college and even university to earn a degree to be suitable to work in the field. Simply researching on the internet and reading what other people say isn’t going to cut it—you’ll need professional knowledge in the field so that you don’t give misinformation to your patients.
It’s important not to underestimate the importance of proper study and the work it takes to switch your career. For instance, social work is a fantastic way to show respect to those in your local community that are currently being affected by things such as abuse and financial struggles. You might think that since you were once in a similar situation, you understand how to help them get out of that pit. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than just trying to pass on wisdom, and you’re going to need an MSW or doctorate of social work if you want to officially become a social worker so that you have access to the tools and services that can help them. Without the degree, you’re just a person offering advice and many people will have a hard time trusting you.
Before you decide to change your career, make sure you understand that road that leads up to it or else you’ll lose motivation, you’ll feel depressed and you may waste a lot of your time and money approaching something from the wrong angle.
Changes happen to our lives all the time, but if you’re the one trying to initiate the change, then take a moment to stop and think about how it can affect other aspects of your life.
For instance, if you have children to take care of, then will studying at a formal educational institute such as a college or university affect how much time you spend with them? Trying to juggle your working life, home life and study can be difficult unless you’re incredibly well-disciplined. Even if you’ve tried it in the past, the additional stress can become difficult to cope with unless you’re willing to make drastic changes to your lifestyle.
There are many people that rush head-first into a career change because they see an opportunity. Unfortunate as it may be, that decision could create a chain reaction of events that will ultimately make it more difficult for you to live your life. Perhaps you’ll spend less time with your children and that will make them feel more distant, maybe your work will suffer because there are more things on your mind, or you may overload yourself with so much work that you’ll throw in the towel.
If you’re going to embrace change in your career, then you’ll need to embrace the changes that will happen to your life as a result. Many people underestimate how a change in career can affect the other things in their life and their well-being (and sometimes health) will crumble as a result.
Accepting Risk and Failure
Two of the scariest terms that we use in our lives are risk and failure. Risks are often associated with gambling. If you try to change your career, then you risk wasting all of that time, effort and money to get a job that pays less and isn’t as enjoyable as your current job. Even worse, you could also fail completely. Perhaps you can’t cope with studying again, maybe you have no luck applying for jobs or perhaps you no longer have the passion you once did to learn something new.
These are all completely understandable. However, many people don’t realise that a fear of failure and a lack of risk can stagnate your life and cause you to feel depressed. Entrepreneurs know that risk is important in business. If you’re constantly chasing the tails of other companies and you never take action to innovate, then you’ll never be as successful as your competitors. It works similarly to how we should approach changes in our career. If you don’t take the plunge and try to learn something new or follow a passion you once had, then will you regret it in the future or will you be fine knowing that you gave up on a chance to follow a dream you always had?
Don’t be afraid of failure. Even if you discover that your passion for something wasn’t as strong as you thought, you’ll at least be able to close that chapter of your life so that it never lingers on your mind. If you do fail but still have passion, then keep trying and never give up. Failure is part of our lives and if we don’t understand what it’s like to fail, then we’ll never be able to work as hard as we can to achieve our goals.
If something is worth your time and effort, then you’ll aim for those goals over and over again no matter how many times it gets you down. Accept risk and failure as two necessary evils and embrace them—don’t shy away from them. After all, if you never fail, then how will you learn?
Some Final Words
True to the title of this post, it’s never too late to embrace a new career. Change is always welcome no matter how scary it might seem. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and practice different things to enrich your knowledge and ultimately empower you with a new sense of belonging in the world.
However, it can be incredibly scary. The risk may not be worth the reward, and the thought of failure can be so mentally damaging that it will bring us to our knees and prevent us from ever taking action again. It’s understandable that there may be many obstacles blocking your way, but as long as you’re willing to power through and pick yourself back up after each failure, then embracing a change in career is possible for anyone of any age.
Don’t regret not following through with your passions 10 or 20 years from now. As long as you have realistic expectations of what you can achieve, you should always aim for something better that will make you and those around you smile.