According to recent reports, an increasing number of people are making significant career changes at mid-life, including resigning from jobs without another one secured.

Last month, I was interviewed for a story on how mid-life Canadians are starting over. It’s not a surprise that mid-life career changes are happening with increasing frequency during a period of dramatic change. As the Financial Post reported,“[L]ast summer, a survey released by staffing agency Robert Half found 47 per cent of Canadian employees were rethinking their positions during the pandemic, and 29 per cent of those people said they wanted to pursue a more meaningful or fulfilling position.”

People want something more than just a pay cheque. And they are making bold and conscious career choices as a result. Among my clients are professionals and executives who have gone back to school, started a new business, changed sectors and moved across the country for a career opportunity and different lifestyle.

One of my clients, Alexis Ashworth built a strong career at Habitat for Humanity, most recently as the CEO for the Ottawa branch. My impression when I met her, was that she was a high performer and success story. She had progressed into the executive role relatively early on in her career with an organization whose mandate aligned with her values. She was managing a large budget and staff, earning a decent living, and raising two kids. Despite these external measures of success, she was questioning whether this was the career path she really wanted.

After going through a Career Explorer Coaching Program, Alexis realized she had been neglecting a personal passion and took the courageous step to resign and launch a business. Root in Nature is a social enterprise that brings the healing power of nature and plants through horticultural therapy, nature-based programming and team building.

I asked Alexis what lessons she learned from making a significant career change at this stage in her life. This is what she shared:

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about making a career change?

That you can’t analyze your way to a decision. I literally had a ‘pro/con’ document before I started working with Lianne, and I was at a stalemate. Lianne encouraged me to ‘test’ different options, to reach out to people and have conversations, to ask questions and imagine the possibilities. She also encouraged me to explore a passion that I had relegated to a hobby – plants and gardening (after I sent her an in-depth email with plant suggestions for her office!). I hadn’t looked beyond the obvious, and when I did my social enterprise Root in Nature started to unfold.

Any advice you would share with someone who is contemplating making a change?

Think about what makes your heart beat faster and what you’re drawn to in your spare time. After all, your life is a number of years you have on this planet- why wait until retirement to do what you truly love? Dream beyond the safe and clear options, and don’t try to analyze your way to a decision. Instead reach out to people in industries you’re curious about, test and experiment. The book ‘Working Identity’ by Herminia Ibarra helped me foster bold and different thinking about what I truly wanted. And work with a coach who can help support and guide your decision, as Lianne did beautifully for me.

If you are contemplating such a change and unsure where to get started, contact us to find out about our 1:1 Career Coaching Programs or consider joining our first cohort of the Career Explorer Group starting in October. Registration now open.


Career Explorer Group

Priorities have shifted during the pandemic and mid-career professionals are leading the way. More people are making significant career changes during mid-life than ever before:  changing direction, going back to school, or starting a business. These changes are motivated by a quest for more than just a pay cheque.

If you are seeking more meaningful work, that’s aligned with your values, join our Career Explorer Group this fall. Next group starts on November 10th. Meetings will be held on Zoom every Wednesday from 10:30 – 12:00 EST for six weeks. Sign up by November 3rd to reserve a spot. Click here to get started.

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EverythingDiSC© is a user-friendly model that measures your preferences and tendencies at work. It is a simple yet powerful model that describes four basic styles: D, i, S, and C, and serves as the foundation for the Everything DiSC® Application Suite. Participants receive personalized insights that deepen their understanding of self and others, making workplace interactions more enjoyable and effective. The result is a more engaged and collaborative workforce that can spark meaningful culture improvement in your organization. Click here to read more (PDF File)

Contact us for more information about The Everything DiSC® Application Suite.

Enjoy the rest of summer!