A new trend for mid-life career changes
Cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggin is taking a degree in social work as a first step in re-defining himself and retraining in a less high-profile, more altruistic field.
In his case, there are physical limitations to spending your entire working life as a professional athlete, so a requirement to make a change was forced upon him. However, at a certain point, we all feel the urge to avoid becoming stale in our career and try something new.
The desire to inject new energy & thinking into what might come next is, I’m sure, familiar to you. And with the retirement age rising this trend will only increase.
“Often motivation and desire for change cause you to find a greater purpose in your life. This generally comes with a pragmatic approach and openness to different roles where they will be rewarded in terms of the impact they make every day, rather than financial rewards”.
Mid-Life Career Changes – Tony’s Story
One experienced professional who made such a leap was Tony, a single father. Believing this was the best way to control his time, Tony combined a career in freelance journalism with parenting.
For 25 years, Tony’s work was published across the UK national media, but he had been aware for some time that he had plateaued. After his youngest child went to university, he recognised he needed a new direction, but the prospect of change was also frightening.
A chance encounter led him to Kedge and working together through coaching sessions they clarified the stumbling blocks that were holding him back
- Lack of confidence that came from working largely solo for two decades
- Anxiety about abandoning the safety of what he knew for something risky and different
Tony reached an acceptance that if he was going to create a new life, only he could make that happen.
Leaving a comfort zone is difficult. Paralysis and prevarication need courage to overcome. Ultimately Tony knew he had to make that leap.
Five months after embarking upon coaching with Kedge, Tony turned the page on a whole new chapter.
As Tony noted:
“Kedge correctly identified that I had to ‘let go’ of my old career in order to make space for fresh opportunities. Whereas before, I felt burdened by work, I now have a mindset of optimism. It took just a few conversations among my network to kick-start new projects and I am now enjoying deploying my skills for clients in the corporate and charity sector”.
An urge to bring fresh energy to working days drives many people well into their careers to make a switch.
Kedge has some top tips to escape the career rut and make this happen:
“The most important thing is to simply take some time to reflect on what you enjoy doing. We spend more time planning a summer holiday or buying a car than we do planning our life steps.
Recognise what you enjoy, appreciate and consider what you’d like to do more of, also what you’d like to stop doing and ultimately this will lead you to start thinking about what you’d like to start doing.”