Getting to a certain point in your life, you can begin to feel like you aren’t where you want to be. But a mid-life course correction can change all that. Barring serious illness, you are probably reasonably healthy in your 40s, and it isn’t too late to begin to focus on yourself after a life of service and responsibility to others. Yet making major changes in your life, such as switching careers, must be discussed with family, and it helps to remember that your life isn’t a crisis.
This Can be a Great Time for a New Career
Right out of college or coming from school, you can find yourself plunged into a career. Often, we go into a career that wasn’t our first choice. And you can get bored of the work you are doing if it isn’t something you are passionate about. A mid-life career change into something you love isn’t uncommon. Of course, you may have to take courses to reach your desired career, but this is easier than ever these days. From general esthetics to cybersecurity, you can enroll online.
Unless you want to do something that generally requires a four-year degree, you can take your life and career in the direction you always wanted pretty quickly. Online courses are available for many subjects, and some even offer generous payment plans. Then again, even a degree course can be completed remotely these days. However, you may also want to highlight your current skill set and identify areas where you can use them for walking straight into another job.
Explain the Mid-Life Course Correction to Family
Making such sweeping changes like switching jobs, wanting to study, or relocating are major changes in not just yours but your family’s life. If you are single, this is, of course, much easier. But even then, you have extended family who need to be informed of your decisions. For instance, you may not be able to care for an elderly mother or father as much as you usually do. But if you are married, in a relationship, or have children, then discussing this is absolutely vital.
While you need to focus on what’s best for you when it comes to matters of physical and mental health, it would be somewhat selfish to make major decisions without talking it through with your family. Explain the reasons behind your decision to make some of these major changes, and ask them what they think you should do. It also helps to see how your immediate family feels about what this means for them, and always take their feelings into consideration to work on it.
Think About What You Want to Achieve
There has to be a reason for reassessing your life and correcting where you are headed. Perhaps you aren’t happy, you have become bored, or you simply want to provide more for your family. Yet one of the main reasons people make life-changing decisions later on is because they don’t feel they have achieved what they initially wanted in life. Maybe you ended up in a job you hated but couldn’t leave because you had family to support. That is the right thing to do.
Supporting your family is always the right thing to do. But the time eventually comes when they no longer need that support. The kids are off to college, and your partner is doing what they want to do. So then, it’s time to think about what you want to achieve. Did you dream of designing cars, writing fiction, or programming for a major video game developer? Now is the time to consider your needs and secure a future with a career you are passionate about.
Consider Your Future Financial Plans
Making changes mid-life means the very future of your life takes a new direction. Whether you want a new job, are moving to another country, or are looking for love, these can impact your financial future as well. If you have enough savings, you might be OK. Changing things cost money, and you may even have to start over again. So, consider some of these beforehand:
- Consider if your desired new career is even possible in your current predicament.
- Taking a pay cut might be OK, but what about paying enough for your lifestyle.
- Think about how any changes might affect retirement plans, pensions, and benefits.
- Do you have enough savings to make changes like moving or getting remarried?
- You may still need to contribute funds for the children, such as for college.
It’s pretty much never too late to make the changes you think will benefit you. But you do need to think carefully about how any changes can affect the health of your bank balance. You will need to support yourself during a transition, and you may still need money for responsibilities.
Address Any Health Concerns
At your life’s mid-point, it is more than likely you will have some health issues. These can be purely age-related or chronic issues you need to manage. Even in your thirties, you can begin to experience vision and hearing loss. And chronic illnesses like diabetes and epilepsy can become unstable, needing treatment readjustments. And there’s the mental health side of things. The average age of diagnosed mental conditions is 25. But some manifest more mid-life.
There is no common mental health crisis for most diagnosed people during the mid-life point. However, there are certain conditions associated with acute mental health disorders that manifest strongly. These include anxiety and depression and can be worse for women going through menopause, which begins between the ages of 40 and 55 for most women. Any health issues will get in the way of your plans, but expert healthcare guidance is always available.
It’s Mid-Life Course Correction, Not a Crisis
There is a dangerous precedent that has been set over the generations by seeing a mid-life adjustment as a so-called “mid-life crisis.” This brings an unnecessary connotation of shame and silliness to the issue. But it is nothing to be embarrassed about. There is no crisis, and you are not in the wrong for wanting to change your life for the better. Some of the most harmful stigmas are that it’s the beginning of the end, it’s all negative, and it happens after death.
None of these are true, and it doesn’t even happen to everybody. You can simply reach the point in your life where you weigh up where you are and what you have achieved against what you actually want. Maybe you have achieved most of the things you set out to do, and you can consider yourself a great success if you have kind, polite, and moralistic children. You may not even want to make big changes, and some take this time to reconnect, commit, and settle in.
Don’t Try to Do Everything At Once
There might be quite a few changes you want to make at your life’s mid-point. Some can be easier than others, such as proposing marriage to a long-term partner. But others can take some time, planning, and money. It helps to plan what you want to do against what is immediately achievable. This way, you can tick off some things pretty quickly and work towards larger goals that take longer to achieve. The trick is not to try to do everything all at once.
If you try to get everything checked off your list, you risk becoming overwhelmed and feeling the pressure of time. Remember, although you are mid-way through your life, there is still plenty of time. Look at what you achieved in the first half, and then consider that you are wiser and more skilled than you were for the 20 years previously. This means you understand what it takes to reach goals, and you even have a massive jumpstart on what you can realistically get done.
Changing careers is one of the most common things for people to do during a mid-life course correction. But you must also take your finances into consideration, as savings and pensions can be affected by certain changes. Remember, you still have plenty of time to get things done.