My mother is always complaining that she hates her job, and she has been saying this for the last decade; yet she has stayed in her current job as a secretary in a corporate office for 25 years. Whenever I advice her to switch to something she enjoys doing, she says that she is too old. Is there an age limit to changing careers?
“You are as old as you feel” is an adage that is very true. You are never too old to change your career.
Most students pursue courses in university because that is what they were admitted to study, and not because it was their chosen profession.
Some are not even sure what profession they should pursue. Others are under intense pressure to pursue courses perceived to be lucrative, and give in only to realise later that they pursued their parents or guardians’ career interests.
After graduation comes the scramble for the few available opportunities due to unemployment and therefore, passion and interest don’t take centre stage.
It is no wonder that a few years into the profession, many find themselves wanting to switch careers.
For instance, out of the hundreds of students who pursue political science in university, how many end up becoming politicians?
Many politicians have pursued other professional courses, yet their passion lies in politics. Most doctors and teachers become better with experience, and so they have no defined period of retirement.
Even if they retire from formal employment, they have the option of self-employment where they can still follow their passion.
Media companies, whose main source of revenue was traditionally print sales, are confronted by a global shift from print journalism to digital journalism.
This is in response to changing consumer habits where most people consume news instantaneously. For this, journalists have had to familiarise themselves with digital journalism to remain relevant.
The same applies to the banking industry where employees have had to learn the intrigues of online banking.
Changing careers is thus a survival tactic to stay relevant in the new environment, and also for organisations to respond to their consumers’ needs.
It is important to discuss this with a career coach, and get options on what you need to do to change gears. It is never too late.
Perhaps you need to pursue a professional course, or maybe you require a mentor to assist you navigate the challenges of a new career.
However, you must be careful not to pursue a career with dwindling prospects. Always remain aware of emerging careers that are relevant in the changing times.
For more information on “Emerging Careers”, join the Nation Media Group PLC team at a Career Fair to be held on Friday - September 27, 2019 - in Nakuru Rift Valley Sports Club grounds from 8am.
Jane Muiruri - Senior HR Manager, Nation Media Group; [email protected]