Is It Time For You To Find A New Career At 40?
Many people often in midlife come to a point in their careers when it is time for a change, getting ready a new career at 40. Sometimes, the realization or necessity to change comes from a lack of motivation to go to work. Others look back at their life and realize that this not what they wanted or where they wanted to be in life. Another catalyst for change could be a burnout, a marriage failure or simply a lack of meaning and purpose in their lives.
My clients are professionals with over 10 years of working experience. Their current job does not give meaning and fulfillment. They want to be successful but don’t know where to start or which job or career to pursue or how to make the transition.
This article serves 2 purposes for those considering a new career at 40. I will address most questions, concerns, and mistakes people make but also provide solutions to go through the transition.
1. Let go of attachment
It’s important when you are in transition that you need to let go of the attachment of work. When you have been working for 10, 15 or 20 years at first it is difficult to let go of daily emails, routines, meetings, calls. The mistake people make is to consider the next job opportunity too fast.
What you can do in this case is to set a date that you start searching for the next opportunity. For example, if your last day was 1st of June, you can target 1st of September to start engaging with headhunters, and job portals and interviews. Your mind will be clear during this time frame free to recharge and time to nurture your spirit and do the things you always wanted to do.
2. Take time off to recharge
One of my coaching clients Katie has been working for 15 years in an automotive company. She was considered successful but she lacked meaning and purpose at work. She decided to take time off to consider her next career path. When you are in a job it is very difficult to get a ‘’helicopter’’ view of your life and career and difficult to decide which path to take next. Therefore taking time off is helpful to create that space to reflect for example by joining a retreat or traveling.
3. Focus on purpose first
The biggest mistake is to think about your next career move, instead focus on your purpose first, your gift, your talent, and your life. What I see very common for people in transition is to look at their background, industry experience, education, and past achievements. The problem is that those may for some not be in line with your true passion. To take time off as described above can be used to do soul searching.
4. Find your true path
Finding the right career links to finding the right path in your life. If you find a job that gives meaning you will be much more engaged and passionate. To find your path or purpose, you need to look at your talent and passion. The next step is to build a career out of your passion or talent. Headhunters are important, they often provide job opportunities but they won’t help to find the right path in life.
5. Enhance Self-Awareness
In school you never learned about your true talents and gifts, instead, you’ve been educated on the mind, knowledge. Often in business, they teach you skills, management skills, coaching skills, communication skills and so on. Some have an MBA or PhD. However many people creating a new career at 40 come to a point where they start asking questions beyond knowledge. Often there is a little voice in the head saying ‘’is this it’’, ‘’what am I supposed to do with my life’’, ‘’how do I found my true path in life’’ ‘’what’s next’’ not knowing where to get support. A headhunter can give you job opportunities but a headhunter does not help you dig deep about your path and purpose in life. By taking time off as described above you will create space to develop self-awareness. Awareness of your true passion and purpose in life.
6. What are your career regrets?
I had a participant in my workshop once named Donald who was 72 years old. He used to work for an international company for his entire life but he always wanted to be an entrepreneur. He regretted that he never gave himself the opportunity to start his own business. Two weeks after the workshop he wrote to me saying that he started a consulting business together with his wife selling his know-how and expertise to companies. It’s never too late to pursue your passion or start something new. Take some time to reflect on what you always wanted to do in your career.
7. Develop Your Intuition.
Max was considering to take on a role in an international company. However, when he applied for the job, he felt deep down within that the culture of the company would not suit him. However, he used his mind to make a decision because the company benefits and package were very good. Very soon after joining conflict arose with people in the company. The behavior, different values and culture of the company started working against him. He felt more and more disconnected, After 3 months he decided that the company was not a good fit for him and he quit. When talking to the CEO of a company or the HR manager, it is not only important to talk about roles and responsibilities. It is important to get in touch with your intuition to see if there is a fit from a cultural point of view.
8. Uncertainty is normal
The point of uncertainty comes from the fact that your true path in life does not link to any knowledge. There is no answer in the mind, for the right career path. The answer is in the heart, and the way to access that is self-awareness. The uncertainty goes away through implementation. For example, if you are not sure if you want to study and go back to school is right for you, go and talk to schools. If you don’t know if entrepreneurship is for you, go and talk to entrepreneurs. It is only through action and realization that uncertainty fades. The closer you get to your path in life, the more the uncertainty fades, so take action!
9. Career Possibilities/Building Skills/Resume/Network
These are the typical career solutions and they are important but they are not primary. Yes, your skills, updating your resume are important but what’s more important is meaning and happiness first and your career second. If your company gave you an outplacement package the outplacement company typically focuses on your background and experience and successes but rarely focus on your values, what’s important to you and how to find the right path for you.
The Gap At 40
Most of the time there is a gap between the person you are today and what you really want for yourself. This Gap causes you to suffer and doubts about which decision is the right one in your career.
The key for you in your life and career is to close the GAP. You can do this in 3 ways:
- Following your purpose and path in life to grow your inner self.
- Release negative emotions and regrets from your life
- Build a good career ‘’Suit’’ around your purpose
When you take time to go through the process of closing the Gap you will be happy internally and successful externally whatever success means to you.
Secondly, when considering a new career at 40, different situations require different solutions.
For example, if you have the financial means to take time off.
Managing the expectation of the family and the commitments to your family.
The time duration you are giving yourself for this transition.
When considering a new career at 40 I find common treats such as:
- I thought I was alone: not alone in the career transition but alone on the journey of asking questions ‘’is this it’’, ‘’what should I do with my life now’’ and ‘’how come I am successful but not happy’’
- What is my purpose in life? What gives meaning to my life? And how do I find a career that links to my passion?
- If I follow my passion I need to give up on financial gains.
- How come I am suffering even though I’ve built a good career from myself, I am well educated and I have a lot of experience.
When you are making or considering a new career at 40 it can be profoundly rewarding but you may also experience some fears and uncertainty in the process. Create a smooth transition and find your true path in life. You don’t have to do this on your own. Asking a mentor and coach can help you in the process of making the right decisions in a shorter period of time.
I let my clients discover their current happiness level and the gap between their external and internal self. This awareness is the first step in thinking about what gives meaning and purpose to your life. This will help you to find the right path. You can access it here www.suitedmonk.com/assessment
The journey of life is the journey towards self-realization, in order to close that gap you need to close the gap between your external world, your SUIT and your internal world your MONK.
What exactly is a suited monk?
Every day, you go out in the world wearing your suit — whether it’s a custom-designed 3-piece Armani, a workshirt and jeans, or your comfiest workout gear. Your suit isn’t so much about the clothes themselves, but the image you present to the outside world. Your suit is the version of you that everyone sees, your external self.
Your monk has nothing to do with your religion. Rather, “monk” is the term that represents the inner you. Your passions, your values, your gift. The things that light you up and bring joy into your life. Your monk is often the version of you that no one sees — sometimes, not even you. The Monk is your internal self.
A suited monk is a person who has managed to brings these two discrete personalities into one whole person and is able to enjoy his life and career.
If you want to be happy in your life and career, your purpose should come first and your career second.
About the Author
Raf Adams – The Suited Monk, is a mentor helping people find their true path in life. He has been living in China for 12 years, and now resides in Barcelona doing workshops and seminars. He is the author of The Suited Monk and Suited Monk Leadership.
How happy are you?
This 2-minute quiz will help you become more aware of the GAP between your external (Suit) and internal selves (Monk). Understanding the gap is everything when it comes to experiencing true fulfillment and happiness in life. In order to start to close that gap, first you must realize just how wide it is. That’s why this assessment is so important.
You will receive a report describing the size of your GAP and provide solutions you can use to begin to close it. Closing the GAP will help you to release stress and anxiety and provide clarity about the next steps to a fulfilling and happy life.
Keyword: career change at 40, career transition