Smart Career Moves for Middle-Aged Workers

Source: Yahoo

Smart mid-career moves

Burnt out at your current job or ready to reenter the workforce? Your past experience could serve you well in one of these careers.

Have you fallen out of love with your current job? The first step is realizing it. The next step is moving on.
Does that seem easier said than done? While it's true that making a career transition will take some effort, but the potential reward - a new career that you enjoy - is high. Plus, there are many jobs in which your prior experience might be an advantage, not a hindrance. If you've taken a little hiatus from working to raise a family, there are smart career moves you can make as well.
Keep reading to learn more about how to make the transition to six hot careers.

Career #1: Personal Financial Advisor

Find Degree Programs Perhaps you're the king or queen of your household's budgeting and super savvy when it comes to saving. Then you may want to use your head for numbers in a new arena as a personal financial advisor.
If you choose to pursue this role, you might find yourself offering clients advice on investments as well as insurance and tax decisions, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's Well-Suited for Mid-life: Your mature perspective could win over clients in this career, says Tim Dugger, a career coach at Career Café, a company that offers career coaching in Indianapolis, Ind.
"Bringing more wisdom and life experience, mid-career individuals can relate better and more easily gain the trust of a wider segment of the population," he explains.
A background in sales and knowledge of complex regulations and financial analysis in an area such as real estate is ideal, says Joe Weinlick, vice president of marketing at Beyond.com, a career network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally. Experience as an accounting and finance manager who enjoys working closely with people can also be a great background, he adds.
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In terms of credentials, a bachelor's degree is commonly needed to pursue a career as a personal financial advisor, says the Department of Labor. While employers usually don't require a specific area of study, degrees in finance, accounting, economics, business, mathematics or law are all suitable.

Career #2: Social Worker

Find Degree Programs If you've done some mid-life soul searching, you may have realized that you don't want to spend another day toiling away in a meaningless job. In that case, you may want to consider a career in social work, where you can put that big heart of yours to good use.
If you make the switch, you might find yourself helping people cope and solve their problems, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You might also evaluate clients' needs and develop improvement plans.
Why It's Well-Suited for Mid-Life: This type of work offers people the chance to make a difference in the lives of others, says Dugger. "With a few years and maybe a child or two under their belt, people's perspective on life often changes," says Dugger. "As we mature, one of the single biggest things I've heard from my coaching clients is the desire for more meaning in their work."
Perhaps you have come from another line of work where you've developed strong interpersonal, listening, and problem-solving skills over the years. These are key qualities to have as a social worker, according to the Department of Labor.
Additionally, this would be a good switch for teachers who are ready to leave the education system but still want to make a difference, says Dugger. Clergy members may also find this type of work appealing.
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While previous relevant work experience is valuable, education is essential. For entry-level positions, the Department says a bachelor's degree in social work is the most common requirement. Do you have a psychology or sociology background? The Department says some employers may hire candidates who have a bachelor's degree in these fields or other related specialties.

Career #3: Medical and Health Services Manager

Find Degree Programs Do you feel like your career is flat lining? Well, it may be time to shock some life back into it by pursuing a booming career as a medical and health services manager.
If you're looking for variety, this may be the right job for you. In this role, you may have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals or doctor offices, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Your duties may also vary from keeping up to date with laws and regulations to representing your office on governing boards and investor meetings.
Why It's Well-Suited for Mid-life: "Since doctors and medical professionals don't tend to be good administrators, they rely on business professionals [such as medical and health services managers] to manage their practice, facility, or department," says Weinlick.
"While prior health care experience is ideal, HR and accounting managers, as well as others with management experience in a complex regulatory environment, could successfully transition into this role," he explains.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Medical and Health Care Administration Program.
As for education, prospective medical and health services managers should have a bachelor's in health administration, says the Department of Labor. Master's degrees are also common in areas such as health services, business administration, long-term care administration, public health, or public administration.

Career #3: Technical Writer

Find Degree Programs Sure, the last time you wrote something substantial may have been a decade or two ago in college. But you've probably written reports and presentations at work since then. Heck, even writing a perfectly worded email takes skill. So if you'd like to make writing your sole professional focus, a career as a technical writer may be right up your alley.
So what exactly would you write about? In this profession, you might help communicate complex technical information into more understandable lingo for instruction manuals, journal articles and more, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's Well-Suited for Mid-Life: This job requires breaking down complex concepts into simplified, easier to understand language, which is something most mid-career professionals have experience with, says Weinlick.
Plus, you could break into the field with some flexibility since some technical writers are freelancers or contractors, he says.
"It can be a great career for someone with experience in a technological field, such as programming or engineering, who is seeking an independent work environment," says Weinlick.
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But you'll need more than the work experience on your resume. Employers generally prefer a bachelor's degree in journalism, English, or communications, says the Department of Labor. Knowledge of a specialized field, such as medicine or engineering may also be required for many writing jobs. And because of the growing use of online technical documentation, web design experience is also helpful, notes the Department.

Career #5: Survey Researcher

Find Degree Programs Not shy about digging for answers? Or perhaps you've proven that you're a results-driven worker in your current career. You might want to apply your curiosity and work ethic in a new career as a survey researcher.
In this profession, you would be responsible for creating surveys and interpreting data, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Survey researchers ask questions in order to collect data for various companies or organizations who want to understand people's attitudes, opinions, or desires.
Why It's Well-Suited for Mid-Life: This is a suitable switch for a number of careers, including political scientists, sociologists, market research analysts, or others who are used to analyzing data or behavior and want to play a role in creating the research itself, says Weinlick.
"Good survey researchers know how to crunch numbers and how to identify meaningful data and trends. So if this is your strong suit, this might be the field for you," he adds.
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Education is also essential in this field. While a bachelor's degree is sufficient for some entry level positions, most technical positions require a master's degree or Ph.D., says the Department of Labor. Undergraduate students may also benefit from taking business courses and social science courses. These professionals can have a master's degree in a variety of fields, including marketing or survey research, statistics, and the social sciences.

Career #6: Preschool Teacher

Find Degree Programs Are you looking to return to the workforce after taking a break to raise a family? Or are you just ready for a change of pace? If the idea of working with children seems fulfilling, you might want to consider pursuing a career as a preschool teacher.
In this profession, you would care for children who have not entered kindergarten, usually between ages three and five, and teach them standard subjects such as reading and writing, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's Well-Suited for Mid-Life: This is a great choice for mid-career professionals who are looking for increased flexibility, especially while raising a family of their own, says Dugger. Or if you'd simply like to explore your passion for making a difference in children's lives, this is a great area to start, he adds.
Additionally, "Former teachers who either can't find a position or don't want to be in the traditional teaching system can easily turn to the role of preschool teacher," Dugger says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Child Education Program.

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