The career demographic for women has changed greatly over the past century. Women have always worked, whether it was in the home or in paid employment, but there are far more women in the workplace now than ever before.
In 1868, nine women were admitted to the University of London: the first time women gained access to university education. Now, according to the latest findings from UCAS, women in Britain are 35% more likely to go to university than men. Times have changed for women and that includes women entering middle age.
Women as Primary Carers
Many women have had to take part-time roles to accommodate their children – they are still the primary carers with 64% of women compared to just 36% of men. However, once a woman reaches middle age, often, their children have flown the nest, or at least, don’t have to be picked up from school or taxied around to various clubs and activities. With pensionable age increasing, and thought to carry on doing so, more and more women will be working for longer. That means many want to have a career change and why wouldn’t they?
If you’re thinking about changing your career, read on to find out some of the top tips for making a change to your career in middle age. This blog assumes that we are talking about middle aged women who have had children, but we appreciate that not everyone has had, or chose to have, children.
Life skills in the Workplace
If you can keep your patience, while running a home, a job and a family, you can deal effectively with situations in the workplace.
People with strong life skills bring maturity and professionalism to their role. With strong life skills you are less likely to be reactive, and you have an awareness of your surroundings and yourself and others. Strong life skills are critical to leadership and management positions.
Some of the most important life skills are:
- Communication skills
- Handling criticism
- Social skills
- Emotional intelligence
Life skills are something a middle-aged woman in the workplace has in bucket loads.
So, if you’re thinking of changing your career as a middle-aged woman, here are some tips for a midlife career change:
- Reassess Your Current Role
Changing your current role is a big decision and evaluating the parts you like and those you’d leave behind will help you make the right choice. Consider the parts that may be more trivial in contrast to those which are game changers: annoying colleagues or lack of parking are insignificant compared to a role that makes you feel unfulfilled or unmotivated. Consider a different role within your organisation, as a sideways role may offer more opportunities than you realise.
- Assess your interests, talents and skills
Don’t necessarily think about just your professional experience: there may be a hobby or skill you have that you can transfer into the workplace. There is a saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Taking that into account, you’ll be more likely to end up in a job that’s enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding.
- Research the Job Roles and Industries you are Interested in
When you’re considering a midlife career change, it’s essential that you research the industry that you’re interested in moving into.
- Read dedicated industry news sites and blogs to learn about the latest trends and direction of the industry.
- Follow industry leaders and businesses on social media to stay up to date with trends and factors shaping that industry.
- Research available Indianapolis entry level jobs and specific roles so that you are aware of what’s available
- Investigate what might be involved in retraining, attaining professional qualifications and working your way up from an entry level position.
- Research job adverts for proficiencies and qualifications required for jobs of interest and identify any gaps in your current skill set which need to be developed before you start applying for roles.
- The best way of researching a role is to have a go at doing it. Job shadow to assess whether you’re a good fit for that type of work.
- Grow Your Support Network
The Internet has business networking platforms, such as LinkedIn, where you can connect with key-industry professionals and engage in industry discussions. If you have time, attend networking events to get advice on your job search, information about their industry, or suggestions about how to translate your skills into their sector.
- Expand Your Skills
Learning new skills with online courses means you can learn from home at your leisure.
If you’re worried about fitting study around work and other life commitments, distance learning is a flexible option. It allows you to study at the times that suit you best to gain a well-respected, industry-recognised qualification. For example, Google Digital Workshop provides free of charge, in-person and online training courses that have an accredited certification at the end.
Menopause in the Workplace
Some women may be concerned about changing career in middle age while going through menopause. However, there has recently been a spotlight on menopause in the workplace focused on shattering the taboo to make sure female staff get the support they need.
Managing the effects of the menopause at work is important for both employers and their staff. If an employee is disadvantaged or treated less favourably because of their menopause symptoms in the workplace, this could be considered discriminatory. It’s important to remember that the menopause is normal: support should be available to help you at work.
Career Change in Midlife
There are many ways to successfully change careers in midlife, whilst causing minimal disruptions to your life. So, if you’re ready to switch your current role and look for a new professional challenge, follow these tips and good luck with your new adventure.