Today I am featuring my colleague Jessica Sweet, LICSW and Life & Career Coach as my guest blogger. Jess provides coaching services, specializing in helping women over 40 make career changes.

woman looking to futureAre you thinking about a career change at 40?

Whether you're 40, 45, 50 or even 55... a career change is still possible for you.

If you're like many women, your 40's and beyond are liberated years. Years when you're free from the worries of caring for very young children, freer from worries about what other people think. But all of a sudden you might face a new limitation.

You might hit that magic birthday and suddenly you're "too old" to make a career change, even if you know that what you're doing now in your career just isn't right for you.

Why should it be that just when you felt you'd finally paid all your dues, you're suddenly trapped into doing a job that you don't like - hate even, when your heart sings to do something else?

Actually, it doesn't have to be that way.

Being stuck is an illusion.

"Right!" You laugh. "Tell that to my mortgage payments."

Well, while it's true that you probably need an income, it's not true that you need to make your income the way you've been making it.

That's the part that's just a tweak of the mindset.

Career Change At 40

Your career change at 40 or beyond can happen. The limitations that you're worried about can be addressed, one at a time and slayed like the dragons they are. Here's how:

First off, write down what you're worried about.

(I'm going to tackle some of the most common worries in just a moment).

Second, get a handle on what you really want to be doing next in your career.

Third, make a plan to move forward - and don't forget to include lots of support!

The Most Common Worries About Career Change At 40 and Beyond

  1. No one will hire me over younger candidates. There are two reasons that this might be true. First, you're more expensive to hire because your salary costs more and so does your health insurance. Second, they think you won't be in the position very long either because you'll retire or because you're so overqualified you'll quit soon. All of these reasons come down to money for the employer. Once you understand this, you have an advantage. If it's a job you really want, you can do your homework and go the extra mile to convince the employer that you won't cost as much as they think and/or will be worth every penny due to your passion for the job. After all, you get what you pay for.
  2. I don't have the energy to start something new.If you're feeling that way, then it's not the right thing for you. What I want for you is that you find a career move that has you bouncing out of bed at 5 a.m. (ok 6!) excited - yes excited!! to work on it. If you have to muster the energy it's not right. If you're 44 and you're wondering if something huge, like medical school is the right move, the only way to decide is to dig deep and think about how it feels. Do you want it? Do you want it bad? Because that's what it's going to take. The right next move gives you a thrill. It's out there.
  3. I have no idea what I want to do next, I just know it's not this! This, my friends, is what I live for.I love helping people figure this out. It is possible to figure out what you want next in your career. Sure you can do all sorts of psychometric tests and mumbo-jumbo (not that I don't believe in those, I do). But I think that they reduce a person to less than the whole. And when you deal with the whole person and understand who they are and what they want and need in order to thrive, be excited, be fulfilled, and happy you really can make huge breakthroughs. You are meant to do something you love, and you can find it.

These are three really common worries, but of course there are more. What worries do you have?

Career change at 40 and older can feel hard, but you can do it! You can break through to a new career or even a dream business. The limitations that hold you back need to be broken down step-by-step so you can move past working at a job that's probably not challenging you and transitioning on to something that fulfills more of your potential.

Jessica SweetJessica Sweet, LICSW is a career and life coach who helps people over 40 make a career change to work they love. She also helps creative entrepreneurs take their solo businesses and business ideas from seed to bloom.  Learn more about her services and working with her at Wishingwell Life Coaching, and get her free e-book The Ultimate Guide to Career Change at 40 and Beyond.