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Is a Career Change on Your Horizon?

Filed under: Retirement

Mature couple talking to financial planner at home

Once you’ve spent a few decades in your career, it’s easy to assume that you will hold this position until the day you retire. You probably can’t imagine that you would switch fields at this stage in the game.

That’s a common assumption for older workers. But unfortunately, the business world is changing so rapidly that the skills you have today may not be in high demand tomorrow. Our high unemployment rate speaks volumes. Unfortunately, even an advanced degree or years of experience don’t always guarantee you a job.

A recent study by the American Association of Retired Persons found that more than half of previously unemployed older workers eventually went to work in a completely new field. Of course, that’s great news for those who desperately needed to get back to work. But for those who weren’t ready to change careers, it probably came as quite a shock.

It’s always a good idea to regularly review your skills to be sure you’re still competitive in the workplace. Visit a vocational counselor, who can analyze your talents and interests, as well as assess your current skills as they relate to your field. Whether you hope to change fields or just  want to be ready for every possibility, a vocational counselor can help you make a plan for action.

If you’re considering a career change, whether from necessity or simply boredom with your current career track, try testing it out first. If volunteer work is available in that field, sign up for one afternoon per week. Or, you could take on a temporary or part-time job to test the waters.

If you do decide to change careers or spend some time experimenting, don’t forget about your retirement plan. Keep in mind that if you slow down or stop saving for retirement, you will probably have to adjust your expected retirement age.