Most of the humanity would like to see themselves in a position that is better off in five years than where they are today. We always look to the future to have our dreams take form. Many of our clients, however, are telling us a different tale. Every day we hear story after story of clients who have reached a certain age and have become “too expensive” for their companies. They are laid off, pushed out, or asked to take salary decreases. Certainly, they are not better off.
For the lucky few that this doesn’t happen to, they still seem to have a longing for something better, something of their own, something which they can rely upon for retirement.
A recent article by Elaine Pofeldt ( Prior senior editor for Fortune Small Business magazine ) reported a study by the AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, an independent research firm in Great Barrington, Mass., had some good news for would-be career changers in mid-career and beyond.
- 1 million to 2 million workers ages 45 to 65 made a CAREER CHANGE between 2011 and 2012.
- 82% of workers in this age range who wanted to switch careers pulled it off
- 90% of those who switched careers said their transition was successful. Seventy-two percent agreed that “emotionally, I feel like a new person” since changing careers, 65% said their stress levels dipped, 68% said it didn’t take unreasonably long to find a new job and 59% reported they are now “following their passions.”
So how do you join them? The study offered an interesting glimpse into what the successful career changers had in common.
They pushed past the fear. Among the successful career changers, 49% said they were “very nervous” about it. Despite their anxiety, they pressed on.
They didn’t wait for the “perfect” moment. Among the successful career changers, few had extra financial resources to help them make a change, and 30% had to take a PAY CUT. Half of successful career changers reported an increase in income over time.
They made the change in less than a year. It took the successful career changers 11 months to change their work situation, while career changers who viewed their change as unsuccessful took 22 months. Each month that goes by one must figure how much of their nest egg do they want to spend contemplating their next adventure.
They made the most of the skills they already had. The survey found that successful career changers used seven skills from their prior job; those who were disappointed with their career change only used two.
So what skills did the successful career changers tend to tap? The top five were: Problem-solving, interpersonal communication, public COMMUNICATION, reading comprehension and basic computer skills.
They ignored the conventional wisdom. You’ve probably read advice for career changers to network at career fairs or on LinkedIn, or volunteer to become a paid employee. The vast majority of successful career changers did not do these things.
That’s a little surprising but when I think of very experienced colleagues who’ve re-invented themselves in high-paying careers or business ownership.
Assuming you are not financially able to retire, everyone who falls victim to such circumstances is left will the same four choices. (The good news there isn’t a hundred to choose from).
- Find a job in the industry you came from or a new industry
- Start your own business
- Buy an existing business
- Buy a franchise.
Rich LeBrun often asks his clients to envision their life five years from now as a franchise owner.
Want to know more about the franchise industry, call Rich at 224-678-9212 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.