By Tony Lewis, Senior Recruiting Specialist, Insperity
Are you a professional over the age of 50 who is trapped in a job that doesn't meet financial needs or is out of sync with your personality, character or mind? It's not that you are unappreciated or taken for granted. You still have dreams, and your current employment situation is just no longer fulfilling. You are a clever person with substantial skills, and nothing has stopped you from exploring new paths in the past. So don't let anything stop you from refocusing yourself now.
I am an example of someone who, five years ago, found himself wanting to change careers. I entered the workforce as a teacher and spent the next nine years learning and growing in this profession. But after my wife and I began our family, I decided that I needed to be in a profession that allowed me to earn more money. So I took the leap and went into sales. I found that many of my skills as a successful teacher were easily adaptable to a sales career, thus making my transition easier than I imagined.
It's the core question for most workers: What career should I pick?
If you're looking for quick-and-dirty, try the Department of Labor's Skills Profiler. It inventories your skills and suggests matching careers.
I know a few people in their 40s and 50s who reinvented themselves the old-fashioned way: They went back to school. One became a high school teacher. Another became a psychologist. And a third went through an extensive wine certification program and became the marketing director for a wine retailer.
School is like the Play-Doh factory of career reinvention; you go in one way, and come out as something completely different. There's no guarantee that you'll succeed in your new form, but at least you've got the credentials.