John Mayfield had never pictured himself as a truck driver. But several months into a fruitless job search, the former assistant therapist for mentally and emotionally challenged youth was open to exploring something new.
That’s step one for anyone who is looking for work mid-career. Because while industries change with time, technological advancements and — as in Mayfield’s case — new regulations, it’s rare in American history for there to be no jobs to be had at all.
That first step can be a tough one, though, in no small part because it requires people to recognize that a career they’ve spent years investing into isn’t going to be the career that carries them into retirement. Sometimes it requires a shift in ideas about what a comfortable paycheck looks like – at least for a time. Sometimes it requires a change in location.
And that’s why stories like Mayfield’s are so important. Today the Kentucky father of three is happy and prosperous in his new career. Though the job keeps him away from home a few nights a week, he’s come to enjoy to the travel and is now earning more than he was in his previous job as an assistant therapist — and in an in-demand field that seems likely to provide for his family for a long time to come.
How do we get more people to take advantage of the kinds of services Mayfield accessed through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act-sponsored Kentucky Career Center?
Share more stories like Mayfield’s. Because when others see the success that can come from being open to exploring something new, they’ll be more likely to also take that first, frightening step toward a better future.