Choosing a New Career Based On Age and Stage of Life

Whether you're between careers by choice or were downsized as a result of fluctuations in the economy, you're presented with the opportunity to make a positive shift. Perhaps you've "outgrown" your old career anyway and are ready to enter a new chapter in your work life? Here are some ideas to consider when looking for the ideal career for your next phase of life:

Young Adult

If you're still in your twenties or early thirties, now is the time to make the most of your energy and earning potential. If there's a job that interests you that requires longer hours and/or a lot of physicality, this would be the best time of life to pursue it. Secure and in-demand career directions at this time include the medical field, auto mechanic, HVAC technician or other skilled trade. If you have a bachelor's degree, jobs in sales, technology and busy nonprofit organizations are other ways to spread your wings.

Late Thirties and Forties

Sales and marketing, management, healthcare administration, project management and starting your own business are all strong possibilities for this time of life. By now, you know who you are and what you love to do. You're aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You have experience in one or more industries and will have a lot to offer a company or client base.

Fifties and Beyond

By this phase of life, you've likely had your fill of jobs that require long hours and high effort. You might consider going back to school for a Master's degree, or parlay your life experience into something more enriching. Writing, teaching, the arts, and jobs in the social services can be very rewarding in this phase of life. You've endured the rat race; perhaps it's time to scale back and enjoy a more relaxed work life.

No matter what your age, there's a rewarding career opportunity that's a perfect fit for you. Follow your heart, put the word out to contacts and colleagues, and make the most of this next chapter of life.

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