Dreaming of retiring or switching careers

Sleeping woman

Living the dream of a new career or retirement

It’s been said that during our lifetimes we will change careers five to seven times.1 And according to recent statistics, the average worker stays at a job less than four and a half years.2 Add in the fact that roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire every day for the next 19 years and our job market becomes a very hectic place.3

So what steps should you take when you’re thinking about switching careers? When should you actually retire? These are tough questions. But here are some answers that can help make your dream a reality.

Shifting career gears.

Changing careers is scary. You’re going to feel afraid, confused and you’re going to second guess yourself. After all, this is one of the biggest challenges you might ever undertake.

So here are five steps to take before considering your next career change:

  1. Decide what you want to do. It may seem simple, but ask yourself, “What do I truly love doing?” Why does it energize you and what skills, abilities, and experiences do you have to make this a successful career switch?
  2. What’s it going to take? Do you need to go back to college and finish up some classes? Do you need to start building relationships and networking? Do you need to set aside some money for your career change? Chances are your new career change will come with a smaller paycheck. Are you and your family ready to take the economic hit?
  3. Take your time, but don’t procrastinate. As the saying goes, “procrastination is the thief of time.” Do your homework and take action. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Once you have a plan in place, stick to it.
  4. Talk to a career counselor and your friends. With a quick Google search, you can find a career counselor near you who can tell you the education, training, certification, and skills you will need for your new career. They might even recommend job shadowing. Also, don’t forget to ask your friends and family. They’ve known you forever and could prove to be your best barometer. It also helps to have their support.
  5. Set goals for yourself, but be prepared for setbacks. Remain flexible. Setbacks are going to happen. Realize it’s going to take time. But make sure whenever you get derailed, you get back on track.

Not only can switching careers be rewarding, but it can also go a long way in building confidence in yourself. So don’t forget along the way to celebrate every little achievement in your personal growth. You can do anything you put your mind to, so stay positive.

Getting ready for retirement

According to The Gallup Poll, (link opens in new window)  the average age of retirement in America is 62. While this has risen steadily over the past few decades, so has our life expectancy—we are living longer, healthier lives. This means it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a plan in place for your retirement.

So where do you start? Here are five steps:

  1. Do you want to retire? Is it just your current job that has you considering retirement? Would switching jobs make you happier? What about switching to a part-time position at your current company? Be sure to ask yourself these questions.
  2. Can you afford it? Knowing when to retire is a difficult decision because there are so many factors. The biggest of all is the economic impact. So take some time and meet with a financial planner. You can also get a quick snapshot of what your retirement will look like financially with a retirement calculator. Click here to find one. (link opens in new window) 
  3. Get health insurance. As you know, taking care of your health is important. So make sure you talk to human resources about any post-job health benefits you may be eligible for. Otherwise, start searching for a plan that fits your new life. We happen to know a great place to start looking. Click here.
  4. So what are you going to do now? Without work a lot of stress is going to disappear and life is going to seem a lot easier. But don’t get too comfortable. A lot of people who retire worry about having nothing to do. So join a gym, enjoy spending time with friends and family, take up a new hobby, maybe even consider volunteering or consulting. And, of course, get plenty of sleep. Not only can it help you lower your blood pressure, but it also helps boost your immune system.4
  5. Enjoy it. You’ve worked hard your entire life.


1 http://www.careers-advice-online.com/career-change-statistics.html
2 http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials-three-ways-to-prevent-a-human-resource-nightmare/
3 http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/baby-boomers-retire/
4 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2015/06/01/6-steps-to-a-long-and-healthy-life?int=a94e09

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