Career Change Myth: I’m too old to make a career change.
Reality: Without changing your perception of what you are capable of, you’ll never make a successful career change. Unfortunately, while younger employees are often expected to explore different career paths, older employees are not encouraged to do so. And if you’ve progressed up the corporate ladder to an enviable position, friends and family may be shocked you would consider leaving success for uncharted waters. With this much pressure to stay put, it can be easy to allow your dream job to remain only a dream. Some serious soul-searching is needed to understand how and why you want your career to change, so you’ll have the conviction to stand up to others’ disapproval.
Remember, age is just a number!
Myth: If I make a career change, I’ll be starting over at the bottom.
Reality: Not necessarily. You’re not the newbie you were when you entered the workforce. You’ve gained an impressive array of skills, plus you have professional wisdom and perspective acquired through experience. The key to bypassing entry-level status is to market these assets in your next job/career. The skills that made you successful may be transferable to your dream job/career. Believing and convincing yourself, and your stakeholders, puts you leagues — and salary grades — ahead of younger competition.
Myth: This old dog can’t learn new tricks.
Reality: Says who? Of course there will be a learning curve to any new career you try. But isn’t having a new professional challenge part of why you seek this change? The goal is to find a career that taps into your innate strengths and interests. As for the aspects of the job that may intimidate you (such as becoming tech savvy), accept that getting proficient in these skills may be frustrating and difficult, making mastery of these challenges more gratifying.