More study at mid-life
More people are finding satisfaction in taking the plunge and changing their careers mid-life, reports Sheradyn Holderhead.
THE number of mature age students is increasing as more people change careers mid-life, experts say.
University of South Australia pathways and access programs marketing co-ordinator Judy Sykes says today people want more than ‘‘just a job’’.
‘‘Returning to study can open up whole new career pathways that are much more meaningful,’’ she says.
Career Directions Australia careers adviser Monica Magann says changing careers could be a rewarding decision if considered carefully.
SWITCHING careers after years in one profession is a frightening prospect for many but it can lead to a more fulfilling work life, industry experts say.
Career Directions Australia careers adviser Monica Magann says people change career paths for a number of reasons but, if the journey is taken wisely, the outcome can outweigh the risks.
‘‘You watch MasterChef (and) you see all these lawyers going ‘I don’t want to be a lawyer any more’,’’ she says.
‘‘Often that happens when people were pushed into career paths.
‘‘Sometimes it’s not that they don’t like it but life happens and they need to change . . . maybe they’ve been a painter and decorator but hurt their back, so had to change.’’
Ms Magann says that before employees jump ship, they should weigh up the pros and cons.
‘‘For most people, once they’ve done high school and tertiary education and have a mortgage, it becomes very hard for them to change careers,’’ she says.
‘‘But work is so much a part of what we do, if you’re not happy you need to look at changing the situation.’’
University of South Australia pathways and access programs marketing co-ordinator Judy Sykes says the number of matureage students embarking on new areas of study is increasing.
‘‘The feedback we get is that people want more than just a job, and returning to study can open up whole new career pathways that are much more meaningful to the individual,’’ she says. ‘‘There are a number of pathways matureage students can take, including programs that prepare them for university study if it’s something they haven’t experienced before.’’
The process of changing careers can become a less stressful time if you arm yourself with realistic goals about where you see yourself, Ms Magann says. She shares the following tips:
EXPLORE the options available by researching possible careers and doing career testing online.
CAREER profiling helps you identify what your talents, gifts and interests are and how you best learn.
NIGHT study might be an option for some to bridge from their present career to a new path.
TALK to employers and ask would they hire someone like you.
After working as a dentist for about 10 years, Samuel Jeyaseelan, 36, took the plunge and changed career paths.
He has been studying architecture – a childhood dream – for three years at UniSA and says he does not regret his decision.
‘‘I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and became frustrated with day-to-day work life,’’ he says.
‘‘I realised, 30 years ahead of the end of my work life, I was not enjoying what I was doing and should make a change.
‘‘It was very much a frightening thing, especially going from a fulltime dentist’s salary to being a full-time student.
‘‘But I’m a lot happier even just studying.’’
Architecture student Samuel Jayaseelan at UniSA City West Campus.