Turning 60 – time for a career change (Part 1)

by | Career, Self-Understanding, Turning 60

Should I make a career change?

I love the flexibility of working for myself. I love supporting my clients to make a career change. I love to research and write. I enjoy leading Pre-retirement seminars, and it’s interesting to go to London for my consultancy assignments.

It looks like my consultancy work is going to end so I’ve got space to take on something new. I could easily contact other consultancy firms, and work on assessment centres, but is that what I really want to do. It will feel like a backwards step to what I was doing 20 years ago.

So, I’m doing some of the exercises I use with my clients considering a career change. I’m not looking to make a radical change, I’m not closing my business, but I wanted to make sure that I add in something new rather than more of the same.

This exercise is to think about what you would love to do, and to see how this would be possible. It’s not based on a random wish list but carefully focused on strengths.

I might break this activity over several posts so you can play along with me.

The first step is to be very clear on your strengths. But then to focus down onto the strengths you want to continue to use, the ones that excite you and make you feel alive, not the strengths and skills that drain you.

For considering a Career Change, my key strengths are:

  • Coming up with ideas, I just can’t help myself. At every opportunity, I think of ways that things could be different, suggestions for tackling a problem, suggestions for business ideas.
  • Being Organised – I’ve done it all my live. I love to create order – the words on a page, setting up filing systems, organising kitchen, and bedroom cupboards. But also organising travel itineraries and parties.
  • Research – for the books I write and the trips I plan. I love to search and find information online.
  • Ability to write. I’ve had 8 books published, and love to write. I get great feedback that my style is easy to read
  • Customer service – I want to create a good experience for people. I’m polite and helpful. I listen carefully and do what I say. I provide people with the information they need and will be ready to follow up. I don’t leave people in the lurch, if I pass them on to someone else Ill check to make sure they are now ok.
  • Continuous Improvement – since being introduced to this over 30 years ago it’s a natural fit for who I am, and I continually seek to improve things. I also have high standards, of myself and others.
  • Understanding and interest in new trends. I read widely, particularly around technological changes in the workplace such as the impact of technology on jobs. I’m also up to date on social media.
  • Knowledge of job search, personal branding, and careers coaching. I’ve put this last as I’m looking beyond more of what I already do.

I have various exercises I share with clients seeking a career change to help them to make a change, but for me I’m doing it based on what is in my head. This is a good list of 8 strengths, and I will probably add to it later, but I often feel that what we immediately think of is the most important.

When considering a career change, we should also focus on our interests

Some of these will clearly be hobbies such as music and dancing, but I have other interests that could lead on to career ideas. My interests are

  • Dancing – Lindy Hop, Balboa, Soul and Motown (freestyle)
  • Music – listening and bopping around to live music
  • Reading dystopian fiction
  • Being the best, we can be – we only have one life.
  • Life at 50+ and planning for a happy and contented older life
  • Travel and experiencing different cultures

I can expand to include (with thanks to Richard for the suggestions)

  • Finding out about and then taking up a new activity/hobby/pastime
  • Finding a compatible charitable organisation and making time for volunteer work

Are you playing along with me? Do add your comments below and let’s see where we get to.

60 – moving forward on my terms. This is my 5th entry since turning 60 and these posts are my thoughts on moving on in my life, making reflections and using this on my self-discovery. If this resonates with you, or you want to ask a question feel free to comment, I’d love to hear from you and will respond on here on my Facebook page.

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Denise Taylor

Chief Inspiration Officer, The 50 Plus Coach.