Money or Happiness – Mid-Career Changers Find Both

Mid-life career changes are likely to make you happier if you change careers for the right reasons. Depending on how fulfilling your new career is will influence your happiness, but it may not necessarily mean that you will make more money. Nevertheless, sometimes making more money and happiness go hand in hand in a mid-life career change, but new careers do not always require more money to make you happy. Here are some tips that may help you decide when it is time to take that leap into a new mid-life career that may give you a satisfactory income and make you happier.

Are you feeling excessive stress from your job?

Perhaps, you are feeling anxiety just from the thought of going to work. Consider your work environment and the nature of your job carefully before deciding whether to make a change. You spend a lot of time at work so if your work is not fulfilling, your boss is constantly unsatisfied, your department is not supportive, and you do not like the nature of the work, it is probably time to examine other opportunities.

Can you afford to make a change?

Sometimes people can afford to make a more desirable career change in mid-life because their circumstances change. You may have managed to save some money, you may be finished paying for college, a spouse may be bringing in a second income, or you may have inherited money. In essence, if you’re unsatisfied with your current job and you can afford to take a job where you might initially make less money, it will be easier to make a career change.

Is there another career that interests you?

Financial responsibilities often require people to take jobs they may not otherwise choose, but many people go into a field realizing that there is another career choice that interests them more. If you can identify a career that interests you or have taken classes pertaining to that career, it may be time to put your knowledge to work. You may even have a hobby that has perfected skills related to a career change that you desire.

Will your family situation support your career move?

If you are living alone with few financial responsibilities, it may be easy to make a mid-life career move. If not, will you have a network of support? If your family encourages you to make the change, you are more likely to be able to give yourself reasonable amount of time to work in your new career until it becomes lucrative.
Why do you believe you will be happier in the new career?

Sometimes jobs get stale and you need a change to challenge yourself and get more responsibility. Other times you need a change to take your career in a completely different direction. Think hard about what you want in a change and what you are seeking in a new job that would be different. Jobs that permit you to be more creative, have more decision-making power, or utilize a particular skill you have may contribute to giving you greater job fulfillment.

Making a mid-life career change after assessing the shortfalls of your current career and your future expectations, may lead to greater happiness and contentment. Some people who change careers mid-life get greater satisfaction from making money from a job they enjoy even if their overall income is less. Others find that when they enter a field they enjoy, they naturally work longer hours, but eventually make more money because their work becomes play. Their happiness with their career change eventually results in more money. Ultimately, the measure of happiness and fulfillment with a new career in mid-life is different for each individual.