You may be afraid to recognize and accept that your present job is under-rewarding you or even shortchanging your development, as the fear of losing a stable job might be greater than your desire for change. Why is it time to press the reset button in your career? What are some things you should bear in mind when so doing? Mike Kennedy of Huffpost has some personal experience regarding mid-career switch to share with you:

1. Change Your Frame of Reference

It was only after I realized that my financial circumstances might necessitate working beyond 65 that I even contemplated the concept of personal reinvention. My mindset prior to that was all about landing a new job that would hopefully offer the opportunity to bridge the gap to retirement. Contemplating work beyond 65 changed my time horizon from 5 to 10 years to 20-plus years. This for me was a game changer for the better. With the increased time frames it gave me both the time to reimagine my future and the motivation to find something that I was truly passionate about.

2. It’s Time to Take Your Health Seriously

Reinvention for your Second Chapter is predicated on good health. For those already there I am preaching to the choir. For those yet to make it a priority my only words of wisdom are that far too few people fully realize the importance of good health until they no longer have it. The number of energized and engaged seniors is exploding. You owe it to yourself to do everything possible to be in that number.

3. What are the Risks in Maintaining Your Present Course

Yes, making significant changes in your life can be frightening. After all it can be difficult to walk away from a career course that you invested twenty or more years in. But sometimes the risk of maintaining the status quo is even larger. Think about the cost to your finances, health, happiness, self-esteem. There are many people who, although extremely unhappy with their present lot, don’t believe that reinvention for them is possible due to financial obligations. I would counter that although there may be obstacles to overcome, your future happiness is worth any time invested in considering alternatives. Speaking of investments, you may well ask that if my finances had taken a major hit, where did the funding come to support my change of course. Let me start by saying I am not a financial adviser. When I made the decision to work beyond 65 it meant I was less concerned with the size of my retirement next egg. So I used some of my money allotted for retirement to fund my reinvention. I recognized that this entailed risk, but I was willing to bet on myself. This was also done with the realization that doing nothing was no longer an option I was willing to consider.

4. Don’t Go it Alone

Change of this magnitude is seldom easy and there are bound to be times when you question your new direction. Your path will be made much easier with the support of friends and family. You may also want to consider retaining the services of a Life/Career Transition Coach to be an unbiased sounding board as you explore possible routes to an encore that you can be truly passionate about.

5. Keep the End Goal in Mind

Change of this magnitude will not happen overnight. You may need to go back to school or scale and monetize a new business. Regardless it could well entail an investment in both time and money. Perhaps this will be your opportunity to find your true calling, create your legacy or to give back. The key is to develop a well thought out and researched plan that includes realistic timelines. Given good health there is no reason why the years between 50 and 80 can’t be some of the most productive and happiest of your life. With the benefit of the maturity and wisdom that 50+ years of this life provides it is time to make your next chapter your best chapter. If your present and future view is not of your liking it is time to reimagine it. Be fearless … it is worth it.

This post was originally published here on Huffpost in May 2016. takes no credit for the work of the author.

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