One of the most common facets of a midlife crisis is the idea that you haven’t done enough to help others or to make a lasting impact on the world around you. Switching gears to work in a people-oriented industry such as health care is the perfect solution. Becoming a doctor is possible but difficult in middle age. You can become a nurse in far less time and start working in hospitals, clinics or retirement homes helping people lead healthier, happier lives within a few years. You don’t even have to quit your current job while you prepare for a nursing career because you can earn a degree online in your free time.
Another job that’s people-oriented is teaching. School districts are always in need of qualified, educated instructors, and after spending a few decades working, you can bring real-world experience to the classroom that someone who’s fresh from college can’t. If you adore spending time with young children and want to teach multiple subjects, work at an elementary school. If you work well with adolescents and have a passion for one particular subject, try a middle or high school. If you’d prefer to be surrounded by adults, look into becoming a teaching assistant or adjunct professor at a college.
If you’re tired of being cooped up in an office all day or being responsible for the same boring task week after week, real estate might be the career for you. Real estate agents balance office time with driving around their communities meeting clients and showing prospective buyers new addresses. Because it’s mostly commission-based, how much or how little you make each year depends largely on you. Motivated salespeople eager to see results directly from their actions are ideal for real estate.
If numbers, organization and planning are things at which you excel, consider a career as a financial advisor. After working for many years, you’ll know firsthand the impact of saving or not saving enough of your income for retirement, and you’ll have more than a few ideas of how people can stretch tight budgets to not only pay their bills but also save toward their futures. Financial advisors counsel young people fresh to the job market with goals like home ownership and middle aged and older people closer to retirement.
Who better to counsel others on career choices than those who have spent decades working? If you’ve spent periods of your life at multiple careers, you may be even better suited to counsel others than those who’ve worked only one. You’re not only familiar with specific industries, but you have a better idea of what works and doesn’t work at a job and what type of people do well under what kinds of management. Channel your expertise into helping others find that career that takes advantage of their skills while offering financial stability.
The National Career Development Association claims the average worker will have between three and seven careers throughout her life and that 57 percent of workers over the age of 45 delay retirement in order to pursue a new career path. With hopefully a number of years of savings behind you, with possibly a more stable financial environment as your children grow older, there’s no better time than midlife to go back to school and pursue your passions. There are a number of stable, good-paying jobs at which middle aged people new to the field can excel, so find your calling, and leave the stress of your old job behind.