Midlife Career Change Myth #5: I’ve Invested Too Much to Change Careers
This myth is probably one of the most common. And it’s roots are in the fact that by age 40 you HAVE invested a tremendous amount into your career. But does that mean that a career change is out of the question? Of course not…and let’s examine why.
Remember, what is invested is gone, the only thing that matters now is what you get out of your career. Thinking too much on the investment is like the gambler who can walk away from a losing table because she had too much invested. Looking at the investment is focusing on the past. It is far better to consider what you want from your career in the years ahead.
What you have invested is paid back in knowledge, skills and professional contacts; all of which can pay dividends in your new career. Your career investment from the past 20-30 years is not lost. You simply transfer the benefits of the time invested into something more fulfilling. Take the time to consider how you can use your current contacts to find a new career opportunity and how your talents can be put to use in that new career.
This myth is often heard when someone fears losing the stability of their current employment. Making a career change does mean giving up some stability and comfort. This comes with any change in employment. But a career change often includes moving into a field with which you are much less familiar. If you real concern is giving up your stable employment, then call it what it is. But don’t blame your hesitation on what you have invested. Once you’ve correctly labeled your worries, you can do something about them.
As I’ve said, we all have a lot invested into our careers by the time we reach midlife. And leaving that familiar career will bring new challenges and some discomfort. So carefully consider why you are making the change and how committed you are. But don’t fall victim to the myth that you can’t change careers because of what you have invested. Look forward, and choose your path. Don’t look backward.
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