AARP jobs expert Kerry Hannon, the author of What’s Next, says don’t be rash and make sure to allot sufficient time to properly plan a mid-life career change. Also, know what you’re getting into before taking the plunge in a new career direction.

  • No rash moves…don’t act impulsively
  • Set a flexible time horizon as it often takes three to five years to move into a new career
  • Add the essential skills and degrees to your repertoire before you make the change
  • Make sure to do the job first…moonlight…you may think you want to be a chocolatier, but when you’re making chocolate everyday it’s really not that much fun
  • Communicate with your networks to find out what it takes to do a particular job
  • Money is key so get on-top of your finances, downsize if need be…when you’re nimble financially you have more options as you may be making less money or no salary at all when you are first starting your own business