Start by looking at the supply and demand. Some only focus on what they want to do, and not what is available in the local market. A couple of times a year I will get someone telling me they want to be an animator. I hate to break it to them, but the fact is there are not many opportunities to work as an animator in Tampa. I would advise starting with the job market first, see what is available in large numbers, and then deciding what you want to do from those choices. Get to know the jobs that are in high demand that match your experience and skill set, and the ones in high demand for entry-level if you have to make a change. For experienced managers, project management is a good choice. For entry-level, there is always good demand for computer networking or cybersecurity.
One of the first things you need to determine is whether you will be a career advancer or career changer. When people lose their job, often they want to go right back to doing the exact same thing they were doing. Great, but maybe that is the reason they were laid off, because that exact job does not exist anymore, or not for what they were being paid. If the exact job you want does not exist in the numbers needed to have a high expectation of employability, then you have to adapt. What are your transferrable skills? What jobs are out there in high numbers where you can still leverage your experience to show you are an ideal candidate? Often all you need is a certification or two to validate you have the skills needed.
Whenever possible, it is preferable to be able to use what you have rather than start all over. However, understand that as an entry-level candidate, you will make less money. Sometimes I get a candidate who tells me, “I have always wanted to be an X,” only to add they can’t take less than what they were making as an experienced Y. It doesn’t work that way.
Sometimes you do not have a choice and have to change careers. This can be especially challenging when you are a mature worker (over 50) because employers typically prefer younger workers for entry-level. In this case, it becomes especially important to identify the jobs that are in high enough demand compare to the supply of workers available who are qualified.