Reimagining the second half of one’s career

Reimagining the second half of one’s career

An individual needs to consider various factors and prepare themselves on various fronts, as they reimagine the second half of their career

Representative image. Credit: Getty.

It seems the era of retiring from the same job or career you started out in is fast disappearing. People are changing jobs and careers due to various reasons: the compulsion of downsizing, the bad economy or even exploring their passions.

Many people are also taking up careers that align with their interests and passions. Whatever the reason, an individual needs to consider various factors and prepare themselves on various fronts, as they reimagine the second half of their career.

1. Have a sense of deep inner desire: A sense of deep inner desire to change one’s career might be one reason that prompts people to change their careers.

Many people start feeling this way at some point. A lack of enthusiasm and engagement in your current role are some indicators that you need to change your profession. Flashes of these indicators may lay the foundation for the next phase of one’s career.

2. Empower mental models: A person’s mental model usually represents a person’s thought process about how things work in the real world. A mental model, when combined with emotion, motivation and intelligence often influence your actions. You might want to reevaluate your mental model and change it to a more empowering one, so that you can perform actions that lead you onto a new career.

3. Acquire required skills: New roles often require new knowledge and a different skill set. In case you learned about a particular concept long back, having a refresher course may give you confidence and inspiration, which would expedite the overall process of making a shift to a desired career.

4. Talk to people in a new field: In case you are starting a new career, it is highly recommended that you talk to people already working in the field, so you can better understand the new job you want to take up. Networking this way may also lead to new opportunities.

You can also take part in peer coaching and mentoring groups, as members in these groups support and encourage each other to achieve their goals. These groups are important for sustaining change and maintaining enthusiasm. During some challenging times, these groups may also help you vent out emotions and feel calm and stable.

5. Hire a coach: Hiring a qualified and trained coach may help in transitioning from one career to another. International Coaching Federation defines coaching as a thought-provoking and creative partnership that inspires clients to maximise their personal and professional potential.

Having conversations with a qualified coach may help you know your potential, strengths and aspirations. These conversations can also inspire you to be accountable for your career and design actions for achieving your goals. Through these conversations, you can become aware of important issues and also acquire resources to help accomplishing your goals.

6. Develop psychological capital: Psychological capital is defined as “an individual’s positive psychological state of development” which is characterised by having high levels of ‘Hope, Self-Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism’.

Developing these positive psychological states may increase chances of achieving one’s new career goals faster. According to psychologist Albert Bandura, self-efficacy may be enhanced by achieving small successes, imaging success or observing role models.

Hope may be enhanced by mental rehearsal of challenging goals and contingency planning for achieving one’s goals.

Peer coaching and mentoring groups can also be good sources for raising resilience levels during tough times. Engaging in authentic, positive self-talk may raise optimism levels. Research has supported the positive association between psychological capital and outcomes relating to performance, behaviour and overall well-being.

Developing psychological capital becomes crucial when individuals are planning the second phase of their careers.