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On this page: Understanding mid-life careers and finding advice and resources for the transition.

Mid-Life Careers

A "mid-life career" is the career you have after your first career or your first 2 or 3 careers. You may be in your 40's, 50's, or 60's.  You could be older than that. Who says your career must end at 65? Not Dr. Seuss, Betty White, Col. Sanders, and millions more!

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How do you know you're ready for your mid-life career? Here are 20 possibilities: 

1.  You don't have a choice. You're not a kid, and you've been laid off, so you need to find something else to do.

2.  You don't have a choice. You're not a kid, and your industry/profession is disappearing, so you need to find something else to do.

3.  You don't have a choice. You're not a kid, and your employer is disappearing, so you need to find something else to do.

4.  You hate your career, and you feel like it is time to do "something better" with your time and your life.

5.  You're really tired of your "old" career. You've been doing it for so long that it holds no challenge or interest for you. It's repetitive, just plain boring. You aren't learning anything new. 

6. You're tired of your job. You may even hate it. It's not fun, and you just don't want to do it any longer.

7. You're burned out. Been there; done that waaaayyy too many times to want to do it yet again.

8.  You've been out of the job market for a while (stay-at-home partner, stay-at-home parent, caring for a sick loved-one, etc.), and you're not a kid anymore.

9.  You're a "grown-up" now, and you have a different perspective on how you want to spend your time.

10.  You don't want to work as hard as you do in your current job - you want a less demanding job or a job which eats up fewer hours of your time.

11.  You've just gotten out of the military service, and it's time for your civilian career.

12.  You've focused your whole career on making money, supporting your family, and now it's time to make a contribution to society instead.

13.   You've focused your whole career on making money, supporting your family, and now it's time to make a contribution to society instead or to do something you enjoy doing.

14.  You're just plain ready for a change. Something new and different. Maybe fewer hours a week, maybe less money. Or more hours a week and more money.

15.  You want a new challenge. You've conquered one world (career). You're ready to conquer the next one.

16. You want a job where you won't have to work so hard. Or for so many hours a week. 

17.  The stock market implosion has made it impossible for you to live on your savings and investments. "Retirement" is out of the question for you right now.

18.  You don't have a choice. You've been laid off or your industry/profession or your employer is disappearing, and you need to find something else to do.

19.  There is something that you have always wanted to do, but never had the time or the courage or the luxury to try.

20.  It just feels like the right time for a change - to something less demanding or more interesting or more fun or better paying or...

A large number of ways, mostly related to your feeling that it is time for a change:You are ready for something new and different, maybe even FUN to do.

Bottom Line

You are probably over 40 and you need to - or want to - change the direction of your career. Mid-life career job seekers have wonderful opportunities and some challenges.


About this author...

Dr. Jan Cannon, Job-Hunt's Mid-Life Career Expert, is author of Now What Do I Do? The Woman's Guide to a New Career, Find a Job: 7 Steps to Success, Finding a Job in a Slow Economy, co-author of Exceptional Accomplishment, and a career professional for 20 years. Visit her website, CannonCareerCenter.com, and circle Jan on Google+ for more career advice and help.