Whether motivated by a pink slip or experiencing deep job dissatisfaction, rebooting your career is an option. I went from a personally dissatisfying job as an administrative assistant to having a successful career in sales. I'm living proof that a midlife career change can be rewarding and I'm not the only one who's opted for a mid-career change. In Chris Gardner's breakout autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, Gardner chronicles his journey from living in a public bathroom to reinventing himself as a successful executive--after 50. He tells Entrepreneur, "Your skills, talents and expertise are transferable to other industries." If you have reached a dead end at work, it is not too late to hit the "reset" button.
Start by honestly appraising your skills. Grab a notebook and jot down all the things you can do. List every skill, no matter how mundane. You'll need this later when you finesse your resume. On the flip side of that, don't overestimate yourself either. List your weak areas too but do keep age off that list.
Look at the local job market. The success of a second career depends largely on the needs of consumers. If your area is saturated with book stores, it doesn't need another one--unless you can meet a specific need, like selling antique books or a first edition finder service. Do your homework online and on the ground before handing in your two-week notice.
Seek new mentors. If you're serious about rebooting your career, seek a new mentor. You're never too old or too experienced to learn something valuable. Read books, attend conferences, network in the new arena. You can't rely on old contacts for a new business.
Take an honest look at your finances. A certain amount of faith is required in making a career change but it's just smart to know how much money you can afford to invest or possibly lose. Have an "all-in" attitude but make those investment dollars squeak. Don't spend too much upfront costs. Keep your cash capital as long as you can.
Coax your life into a new direction by rebooting your career. A fresh start could be just what the doctor ordered.