How do you manage a career change at 40?
Why, the same way you manage a career change at any age. Carefully, but with gusto! Something to remember about a career change at 40 is that you’re not quite starting over.
You may be starting anew, but the previous skills you’ve mastered will carry over and ensure your success in your new goals. For example, Rodney Curtis spent years photographing and editing for newspapers. Then, he transitioned into writing, and finally into teaching.
The three might seen like they don’t have much to do with each other, but in reality, they are intimately connected.
Photography is just one way to tell a story and relay information. Not to mention, all those lengthy captions Rodney submitted were just books waiting to blossom, even if some of them didn’t quite make it to the front page.
When Rodney began teaching, he turned his photos into lectures. Once again, he was communicating, but in a slightly different way. Sure, it took some time to adjust, and once in a while you might have to fly by the seat of your pants, but that’s all part of the learning process in a new career.
“I still don’t have the promised class syllabus they said they’d share with me so I made it up as I went along,” Rodney writes.
And then what?
And then you keep going, you keep transitioning. First you give lectures you derived from your experiences in the journalism business, then those lectures might bloom into blog posts or short stories. Those stories remind you of new things you can teach or put in a book and before you know it, you’ve changed careers and it doesn’t matter if you’re experiencing a career change at 40, 30, or 80.
Rodney did try to pick up his old career during his unemployment. A second newspaper job he got failed to pan out, as the paper closed after only 5 chaotic days of publication.
Turns out it was for the best.