Is it ever too late to completely change your Career?

We took a look on line and found some very interesting cases where people did just that.  Vagabond Tours of Ireland, the award winning multi-activity and cultural adventure tour company have some very courageous employees that drastically changed their career paths. Take Denise for example, a tour guide at the company, her bio on Vagabonds website explains how she quite literally emerged from a career as a sound engineer. After many years spent working in sound-proofed, windowless recording studios, Denise felt it was time for “a more active lifestyle with like-minded people.”  So, she quit her job and joined Vagabonds where she now gets to go on outdoor adventures with plenty of fresh air and meet people from all over the world.

Vagabonds General Manager, Larry is another great example of people completely changing career direction having joined the organization after a long career in public service which included working in Namibia and Bosnia Herzegovina.  His bio explains how his last position was in public order “but since joining Vagabond” they “have completely re-trained Larry and his use of the taser with customers has reduced significantly”.  This crew sound like such fun and Vagabond are recruiting right now, check out how you can become a Driver Guide in 2018;

It took a couple of confused tourists in France to inspire another woman Lisa Laplante, when she was 44 years of age.  Lisa said she was bored with her job and “never felt appreciated”.  Working as an engineer she just wasn’t happy.  On her return home she decided to put her language skills to better use and enrolled on a six-week course to become a certified translator.  She now owns a booming business translating patents from French to English.   She said that she’s happier than ever and making more money doing something that she really loves.

Another 57 year old lady from California Susan Isaacs quit her highly paid job as a HR Director, took a two month course and apprenticed for several months until finally graduating as a dog trainer.  She said that she now works in a part time office job with less salary while she runs her own dog training company and while she is not earning as much as she used to, she has less anxiety and has far better job satisfaction.  I guess she may also have much nicer clients too – woof, woof.

Some people realise that they graduated with the wrong degree very soon after they take up employment in their chosen sector  or indeed at any point during their career.  If this happens for young people early on this can be a very harrowing realization, particularly when they have a big student loan or feel they are letting their parents down after being supported through 4 years of college – or both!   But don’t lose hope no matter what age you are, because a lot of skills and knowledge are transferrable to other positions.  The fact that you have achieved a 2.1 degree in anything is proof enough for most employers that you can be trained in some other field.  Writing a great CV and creative cover letter could help you win an employer over if you decide to try out a different profession.  If you show how you can think analytically, have an ability to communicate effectively and how your extracurricular activities in college or hobbies have developed competencies required for the position on offer, you’re still in with a good chance.

You could also enroll on a short course in a different area to show your interest and determination to work in this field.  You will not be the first or last person to choose the wrong degree and employers will understand this.  They are only human after all.

If you want to get a better feel for something different, maybe volunteer in your spare time doing what you like first.  You’ll soon figure out if it’s right for you or not.

Anyone embarking on a major change in their lives needs to take positive action to dispel fears and sometimes you just have to tell that little voice in your head to “shut the …. Up”.  Most people have experienced the feeling when one minute you’re totally motivated, positive and pumped up to make big changes, only to let that little voice inside your head tell you otherwise.   OK, so we might have failed in the past and our minds are cautiously reminding us of every failure and disappointment, but the only way to overcome these feelings is to research, educate yourself and put lots of plans in place for every eventuality.  Like having some savings if you’re giving up a big job, just in case it takes longer than you think to get on your feet and to support yourself during the transition.

Taking the taster course relating to the field you want to move into may really help to seal the deal or may help you decide against the idea and then again you could discover that you are more gifted than you realised.  I attended an Art Class once and met a wonderful fellow student there who was producing the most amazing paintings of Skerries Harbour, North County Dublin.  It turned out that he had just lost his wife and his children were young, so he took leave of absence from his job and decided to take up the Art Class to fill the hours while the kids were at school.  Only to discover that he had this amazing talent.  His paintings went on to sell in a local gallery and he got accepted into Art College as a mature student – he was truly gifted.

If you need more encouragement speak to someone who already works in the area that you are interested in.  Pick their brains about what it’s really like to do what they are doing every day.  If you can, try and stick to your day job until you have fully researched your idea. It can be terrifying to leave a “well paid”, “stable” job to venture into the unknown.  But the fact of the matter is that we only have one life and there’s no point spending the best years of it feeling unhappy and miserable, dreaming about what you could have been or done.

At the end of the day, if you have an opportunity to do something different and you can keep the roof over your head – go for it.  Surround yourself with positive friends and family members who will encourage you.  Back away and ignore negative people.  Yes it’s normal for people to advise and check that you haven’t lost your mind, but it’s unfair of people to make you doubt yourself or question your ability.  At the end of the day if you are able to make the break and you are able to remain self-sufficient, it’s not really anyone else business what you do with your life.

Career paths are rarely linear anyway, none of us really know whether or not our job is for life.  We could be made redundant tomorrow, in business we are just a number anyway.  So why not take some chances yourself, to fulfill your dreams – while you can.  That way you are taking complete control of your own self and your own happiness.

JobAlert wish you the best in 2018 – make this your year!