Changing your career at any age can be daunting but it’s particularly challenging in your 40s. You’ve spent years building up your existing career and your reputation. Now you may have to start from scratch all over again.
Whether it’s because you have a toxic employer, your industry isn’t as strong as it used to be, or you’re finally chasing that dream you had twenty years ago, it’s not going to be easy. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it. Here are some tips on how to get started.
Do Your Research
If you don’t know what type of career you want to change to, now is the best time to explore. Doing an interest inventory test can help you narrow down the type of career you’re suited to. If you are clear on the industry you want to go into, it’s worth researching the different roles and what is required from them.
It’s also important to find out how much each role pays and how long it will take you to reach the level of salary you want. What qualifications do you need? Is experience necessary? Perhaps you can offer some of your time voluntarily to experience the industry before you make any decisions.
What Changes Do You Want?
It’s important to really consider why you want a change in career. If you’re trying to run away from an awkward situation or you don’t want to work with someone anymore, you may just need a change in company rather than a change in career. Take a moment to pause and ask what changes you expect to get from a new career.
If you’re looking for more job satisfaction, flexibility, or bigger earning potential, you’ll need to make sure you choose a career path that delivers those things. Write down your goals for the next five years and find a career that can help you achieve personal success.
If you know someone who already works in your chosen industry, ask if you can shadow them while they work. This will give you a taste of what the industry is really like and you’ll have more realistic expectations of what the job entails. It’s easy to get a fairytale idea of what a job is and then be disappointed when you start.
It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions to someone with inside knowledge. The more knowledge of the industry you can display when you get an interview, the more likely you are to be hired.
One of the best things about changing careers in your 40s is that you’ll have tons of transferable skills. There are tons of skills you can apply to all kinds of positions in all kinds of industries. For example, communication or leadership skills are two of the most sought-after skills in any industry.
You may also have years of collaboration skills after working in teams or perhaps you’ve built extensive emotional intelligence after working with people. Are you creative or analytical? All of these attributes should be listed on your resume.
Benefits of Changing Career
There can be many benefits to changing your career in your 40s. Here’s why now is the perfect time.
For many people in their 40s, confidence is no longer an issue. You know who you are and what you’re capable of. You have at least two decades of experience in employment and you can bring a lot to the table.
You Still Have Time
Although you have experience, you also have time. You still have time to start from scratch if necessary and you still have time to study and learn. If you’re lucky, you have another three decades in a career that could bring you true job satisfaction.
Better Mental Health
Being in a job you actually enjoy can dramatically improve your mental health. It isn’t easy to get up in the morning and go to a job you hate without feeling low. You may also feel burnt out, fatigued, and anxious. Changing your career could be what you need to feel happier every day.
Success means something different for everyone but for many people, success is measured by achievement. Changing your career to one that you see value in will help you achieve things you feel proud of. In addition, success can mean higher qualifications and more money.
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