Adult retraining is more acceptable than ever and the prospect of feeling alive in the morning, with consequent benefits to your health, lifestyle and relationships, is an enticing one. You may want a total change of field, in which case career retraining is the best route.
Navigating the financial challenge is no longer the potential show-stopper it used to be, but plan carefully. Your costs and risks will be lower and your transition time shorter. Check out the skills required, the level of qualifications needed and the experience that employers expect to see from applicants before choosing from retraining opportunities. Making the right retraining choice is crucial so building a formal career plan helps. Why do I want to retrain?
Employers will be keen to understand your reasoning and motivation. Being sick of your current role or career may be perfectly understandable, but an employer will want to be sure you have a definite and positive interest.
Can I afford to do this? A three-year degree may be your preferred choice, but how do you afford to live? Even short courses can be expensive. Have I got the time?
If employers are obsessed with twenty-somethings, rightly or wrongly, look closely at what might give you the edge after your retraining. If your chosen industry is mature, in decline or moving elsewhere, jobs can be scarce. Do I have any added value?
Use your twenty plus years of work experience and track record of achievement to your advantage. Might my existing employer be useful?
They may have a significant interest in helping you to retrain. Can I try before I buy? Consider work-shadowing people doing the job you want to do. Am I prepared to take the risk? Consider the risks and how to mitigate them. Those may be financial, physical, logistical or even psychological.
Around the age of 40 you have a good quarter of a century of working life left in you. Mel Gregory from Sussex was 41 when she gave up her successful career in international sales management to retrain as an accountant.