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A midlife career change can be exciting, but must be done sensibly

Very few people can look back on their teens and not, in some way, ask “What was I thinking?” Photographs of our younger selves reveal any number of faux pas, whether it’s a bejewelled eyebrow ring, camouflage combat trousers or even a purple Mohawk and most of us are grateful we aren’t being held to decisions made when we were 20.

There are lots of cases where a decision made in youth does have far-reaching effects, and the most common is a career. Most people start their first ‘proper job’ at university leaving age. Some take roles directly related to their degree, others go into a field that seems interesting and some choose careers based on salary. In all these cases, after 15 or 20 years in the same field – or even the same role – the desire to break out to something new can be overwhelming.

Before you begin to make the change

Drastically changing career can be tricky, but with a little planning and foresight, it can be very rewarding. Firstly, consider why you want to change; is it to improve your chances of moving into management or would you like to set up your own company and be the boss? Is there a new and unrelated field you want to try?

Understanding why you want to change helps you assess the extent to which you actually do want to. Getting itchy feet isn’t uncommon, but with big life changes such as resetting your career path, you need passion to take you through. A strong desire is necessary to give you the solid work ethic you’ll need to succeed; when you’re effectively starting your career over, dedication and lots of energy will be needed.

You’ll also need to consider finances. Taking a pay cut is one thing, but you may need a career break, pay to retrain or even fork out for professional accreditations, which can soon add up. Finally, you should objectively assess how successful your new career could be – are your current training courses applicable or do you need new qualifications? There’s little point in leaving one career to find your new dream role hampered due to inapplicable credentials.

A different way to progress

We at the University of York fully understand the implications of taking a leap into a new career, and we have a range of MSc Leadership and Management degrees, delivered 100% online, that allow you to study and prepare for your new career anywhere and anytime it suits you. Thanks to a flexible timetable, you can learn in your spare time and gain a top-class Masters degree from a Russell Group University without having to take extended time of work to study. Our pay-per-module structure removes the need for large, up-front expenses and we run six start dates each year, so you don’t have to wait for a new school year to begin!

By taking advantage of our resources and world class academics at the University of York, you can study online to get a highly regarded MSc and give your leap into a new career the greatest chance of success!

Find out more and begin your application