Back in the day, it used to be the case that people sought out a “job for life.” In those days, it was common to go for a role in a certain sector or even organization and stay in that position until retirement. Whether it was teaching, nursing, business, or something else altogether, remaining in that one role – and perhaps enjoying some steady career progression and the modest accumulation of particular benefits – was just what people wanted.
But the way that the world and the labor market works has changed, and it’s now the case that very few people have such jobs for life. And that’s a good thing! Staying in the same sector forever can, on the surface, offer some security but, in reality, it poses a whole host of difficulties. It can stymie your career and hold you back, and it can also leave you feeling stagnant. Moving from role to role over the course of your life isn’t scary; on the contrary, it can offer you a level of freedom and financial advancement that is definitely in your interests. This blog post will explain why.
Increasing your financial potential
One of the main reasons that people undergo a career change later in life is so that they can build more earning potential into their lives. The decisions that people make about their careers early on in life are not necessarily the right ones; they are often clouded by advice from parents or teachers, for example. But as life goes on and you become more fully aware of your skills and what the different work options are, it’s not impossible to find a new career that will allow you to earn a little more.
There is, of course, an upfront financial investment in any career change that requires retraining. This is why it’s important to choose to retrain at an institution that is high quality in nature, such as Holy Family University. Its Bachelor of Science in Nursing, for example, is a well regarded course offering everything from above-average pass rates to experts on the staff team. Whatever sector you’re interested in, it’s important to do your research.
The joy of new skills
It’s not, of course, just about money. A perhaps equally common reason for career changes is so that a person can follow a passion. According to studies, it’s the case that the average American has more than 10 jobs over the course of their lives. If you ask any sample of them why they did it, it’s likely some of them will tell you it was due, at least in part, to a desire to do something a little more fulfilling with their days.
This doesn’t necessarily relate directly to earning potential. For some people, the potential alternative career they’re interested in is more lucrative than their current one – but for others, it’s less so. If you’re in a later stage of life, you may find that you no longer need high earning potential as much as you might have before, perhaps because you’ve paid off your mortgage or your dependents have left home. In that case, it may be time for you to put your own fulfillment needs before your financial circumstances. By pursuing a new career, you’d be learning new skills not necessarily because they’re economically valuable but because you find them meaningful and interesting. Too often, this sort of pursuit of meaning isn’t valued in modern society, but a career change is one way to make it work.
In the modern labor market, it’s no longer the case that the job you have now is necessarily going to be the job you have for the rest of your life. But it’s also not the case that you’ll have just one job at any one time; the rise of the “portfolio career” has meant that you can have both the higher earning potential and the discovery of the joy of new skills. But you can’t create a second career out of nowhere; for that, you must retrain. For that reason, then, many people who enjoy career changes later in life in fact enjoy what are more accurately described as partial career changes where they mix and match two types of work.
It’s only through a partial career change that you can often get the flexibility that you need to have two types of job in one life. Take the example of someone who currently has one full-time role in a sector which pays them well, such as finance, and which they find moderately interesting. They may have an interest in another career or sector with a vocational element, like counseling. However, they’re concerned at the prospect of having to reduce their income while they train or even in the long term if the new career does not pay quite the same. They may, in short, be wondering how it is possible for them to preserve roughly their current income while also experiencing the fulfilling career they really want. Considering a partial career change is a way to do this. By training in a new field alongside your current work, you can have the best of both worlds.
Overall, it’s vital for anyone who is active in the labor market to ensure they don’t write off the prospect of having a career change. Even if you feel you have a job for life or are settled in your sector, there are some hidden downsides to this – as you might just be able to find more fulfillment, more money, or even both somewhere else.