Career Change Using New World and Old World Career Paradigms

All human beings are entrepreneurs from the moment we are born and this is the approach you will need for your career change at 40.  By this I mean that we are naturally creative and always seeking a solution to any problem we encounter. 

Entrepreneurs across the world share a similar approach to the setting up of a new business: resourcefulness, self-reliance, ambition, adapting to new situations and networking with others. It is this approach that career seekers should adopt today if they are to have successful and lifelong careers. We all need to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs of our own careers when we seek a career change.

Old World

In the recent past, in the old world paradigm, jobs were for life.  Your company was expected to provide you with job-related training, a good income, job security and opportunities for promotion, followed by a comfortable pension when you retired, usually at the age of 65.  This is no longer true for most of us.  The lifelong pact between the employer and the employee where there was guaranteed perpetual employment in return for lifelong loyalty has been replaced by short term contracts based on performance. The rules of the game have definitely changed permanently.

New World

In the new world of today, you are responsible for your own career and for investing in your own training.  Loyalty is less vertical towards the employer than horizontal, towards others in your network.  For example, LinkedIn, the professional network provides opportunities to network as individuals, rather than as employees. Today, even highly educated young people are finding it impossible to get work and graduates are lucky if they can secure jobs at the bottom of the ladder.

For those in midlife, it is harder to get the promotions they expect and to provide adequately for their pensions.  Many of those about to retire are finding that their pensions are not worth much and are therefore staying in their jobs. The mobility of the employment market is blocked at every stage leading to huge frustrations and pressures.

Your New Career

Hoffman and Casnocha (2012) in their book “The Start-Up of You” argue that technology and globalization have had the greatest impact on the employment market causing the changes described above. Many jobs are now automated, even white collar ones such as paralegals and radiologists. People from all over the world may now compete for your job.

New companies operate in a

n environment that is time-limited, information-poor and constrained by resources, and it is these same factors that affect people developing their new careers. You need to adapt constantly to change by doing a stock-take of your assets, your goals and the realities of the market you are operating in and develop your own competitive advantage for your successfule career change.

This requires that you take smart risks, actively manage these risks with the support of your networks and position yourself towards opportunities as they arise.

Many people think that after graduation, they do not need to continue learning or studying. However, none of us is a finished product – we are all ‘works in progress’ and need to commit to our own lifelong personal development to stand out above the crowd. Many of us will have several careers throughout our lives and this can be an enriching experience.


The influence of your mindset on your career cannot be overstated.  A positive mindset full of enthusiasm and optimism ensures that you can improve yourself and thus have the power to improve the world surrounding you in the process.

Through career coaching, you can become a ‘globally competitive professional’ who not only succeeds but adapts constantly and effectively to change during your career change.

As Steve Jobs said: “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love…….. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Would you like assistance to start a new career?  Go to my Services page at


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