3 Questions to Ask when Making Bold Changes Mid-Career

3 Questions to Ask when Making Bold Changes Mid-Career

Mid-career is an exciting time to consider bold changes. It’s not without risks, but if you’re aware of the rewards the change can be less stressful & more fun.

Is the grass truly greener on the other side?

You may not be so sure, yet for some reason, you’ve been feeling compelled to make the leap. To make a bold change mid-career.

With women around the world become more aware of the past 2 years of what they want (and need) when it comes to their work, it’s not surprising that many women are making bold career moves at the mid-career point.

Being mid-career, you’ve gained 15+ years of valuable knowledge, skillsets and awareness you’ve worked hard for. Combined, its actually the perfect trifecta to springboard into something new and bold, making mid-career the perfect time for a change.

On the flip side, I’m generalizing, but over 15+ years, you’ve probably also gained a modest salary, benefits and pension that you like, and really don’t want to give up. These can sometimes be an anchor that holds women back from making those bold moves as it can be a lot to give up, when the perception, and opinions of others, might be that there’s more to lose so it’s safer to just stay.

In my experience, the ease, flow, and success of bold changes mid-career is dependent on one thing; mindset. My first bold transition out of corporate, weeks after turning 40, was full of bumpy roads, uphill climbs, what sometimes seemed like a never-ending tunnel with no light at the end. Looking back, 6+ years wiser, it’s a total cliché, but I wished I’d known then, what I know now.

When I stepped out of the corporate world for the second time in 2021, it was with a completely different mindset. There was clarity mixed with passion. And it’s made a world of difference. Not just in how I feel, but in the growth achieved in little time, and the success gained faster and easier. The bumps are there, just smaller and impact less. The climb exists but it’s one I’m excited to pursue. And the tunnel, it’s there, but with a bright light at the end that’s visible.

3 Questions to Ask when Making Bold Changes Mid-Career

If you’re considering a bold change mid-career, being it a leap into a new role, industry or business opportunity, or you’ve got your eyes on a transition into the entrepreneurial or corporate world, below are three questions to ask yourself, to gain clarity, and eventual ease and flow when you make that change happen.

What do you want?

It’s such a simple question yet can be so challenging to answer. If you haven’t spent time sitting quietly, asking that question of yourself, and being truly honest, this can be a hard question to answer. So often, especially for women, we put the needs and wants of others before our own. It can cause you to lose sight of yourself, your own goals and needs. This question is designed to get you to connect with what it is you truly desire – not what your partner wants, what your kids or parents want, or what your current boss or customers want. It's all about you. Carve out time to ask yourself that question, write down your thoughts, and reflect on them.

Being clear on what you want can help when making decisions or choices as to what steps or path to take next in your career or business.

3 Questions to Ask when Making Bold Changes Mid-Career

What are you giving up, or what are the risks?

This comes back to the idea that nothing is free, or that to gain something, it means you must give something up. Careful not to look at this too logically. Your mind may go immediately to having to give up free time for that promotion or having to trade in your comfortable 9-5 office hours to become an entrepreneur. What you’re giving up may be something internal; giving up the belief that you aren’t enough. Giving up a habit of sleeping in for a new one of getting up early. Having to give something up isn’t always as obtuse, or sacrificial, as you may think.

Having an understand of what you’re giving up, or the risks, helps you to become more aware of elements in your life where you have, or need to feel, a strong sense of security, and what your risk tolerance is for different elements in your life.

What are you gaining, or what are the rewards?

On the flip side to the question above, with the bold change you’re looking to make mid-career, what will you be gaining? Again, it may not be as obvious as increase income or the change to be your own boss. You may be gaining things like confidence, leadership, expanded growth, new relationships and on, and on.

Once you know what you want, what will you be gaining from pursuing it? Gaining = growth in some form or fashion, so what are you wanting to grow with the bold change you want to make? Income? Time freedom? Formal leadership?

These may not always be tangible ones, or visible to others, but they can be visible by you, or more importantly, felt by you. Rewards are the things that you currently don’t have and are really wanting or needing. They can include things like time freedom, greater self-expression, I work with women who’ve made drastic changes in what they do to express a different side of themselves; a more creative side if they’re in very routine, structured or technical roles. Or a more technical side if they’ve been in a creative roll with little technical elements to it.

Knowing what you’re gaining can become a form of intrinsic motivation. When obstacles and challenges appear in front of you, or that fear of change kicks in, knowing what you’ll be gaining can keep the faith and belief strong against worry, doubt, and fear.

3 Questions to Ask when Making Bold Changes Mid-Career

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Mid-career is an exciting time to consider bold changes.

It’s certainly not without its risks, but the rewards, if you’re aware of them, it can make the change less intimidating and overwhelming, and more fun and exciting. With women I work with in this realm, mid-career is a time when they’re proud of their accomplishments. For those making bold moves, the ones who are clear on what they want, and have asked themselves the hard questions (and answered them), are the ones that are soaring more easily through challenges put in front of them, or obstacles their own minds are creating.

At the end of the day, there are risks associated with bold moves. There’s also risks associated with not making them.

Be Brave. Be BOLD. Be You.