If you have been feeling burnt out or exhausted or unrewarded in your existing career, then you might have the question—can I change careers at 30? It might seem like a long and difficult process to carry out, but it can also be the right choice for you if you can no longer move forward in your current career.
Before you make the change, however, it is important for you to have everything in order. Having a good amount of clarity and organization about your requirements for your new career can take you a long way when it comes to making a successful transition.
So, can I change careers at 30? Yes, you can and many do! You will, however, need to consider a few factors beforehand.
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Can I Change My Career at 30? 7 Factors to Consider
According to the National Longitudinal Surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people aged 18 to 54 years tend to hold around 12 jobs throughout this period, with the number being over 8 by the time people are 30 years old.
To successfully change your career at the age of 30, you should first consider the following seven factors before you make the shift.
Make sure you keep your priorities in mind when it comes to changing your career at 30. Before you simply quit your current career and start looking for a new one, you should ask yourself why you want to change your career in the first place.
What is it about your current career that you are not satisfied with? Have you reached a complete dead end with no more growth in sight? Is it difficult for you to manage your expenses while also dealing with a work-life imbalance?
Once you figure out what it is about this career that is not working out, you can move on to figuring out what it is that you want from your new career and how it can manage to give you all the things that you have been missing so far.
Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The next thing to do would be to figure out all the strengths and weaknesses that you have accumulated over the years so that you can make a note of them. Make it a point to list them down in separate columns so that you can look for a new career accordingly.
This new career should have requirements that can match your strengths well. At the same time, however, you should give yourself enough time to improve your weaknesses as well.
Once you manage to list your strengths and weaknesses down, you should also ask yourself whether you are capable enough of embarking on a new career. If not, what is it that you can do in the meantime to make yourself more capable?
Having this awareness can give you more realistic expectations about a potential new career.
When it comes to figuring out how to change a career at 30, you will need to create some kind of transition plan in terms of your finances. You should start thinking about this well in advance so that you can create a solid plan when it comes to how you will manage financially while transitioning to your new career.
Depending on how much longer you plan on staying in your current career, you can calculate how much more money you are likely to make as well as the expenses that you will have to account for during the transition.
This not only includes bills and other household expenses but also the money involved in keeping your family and dependents afloat. Make sure that you have enough savings aside so that you can get by comfortably during this time.
You can also consider working part-time during this period to have something more to fall back on. This can also help you gain some useful skills as a bonus for your new career.
Changing careers at any age, including 30, requires plenty of prior research so that you know what you are getting into. Do not leave the entire research process after you leave your current career as this could end up taking more time than expected.
Sticking to your current career during the initial research phase is quite important so that you can still have something to fall back on in case things do not work out as planned.
During this period, you can start looking up different kinds of careers that can suit you and your skills well along with the kind of requirements that they have. Speaking to a career counselor can also give you some more clarity in this regard.
Once you have a specific career in mind along with realistic goals about this career, you can proceed by chalking out a plan and then pursuing it.
Networking and Support
Another important factor that you should consider before making the shift to a new career is how far along you are in the networking process. Talking to people in your current field as well as your new career can give you a lot of insight into what you should expect and what you should do to make this process simpler for yourself.
It can also be quite useful for you to talk to other people like you who have already made a successful change in terms of their career so that you can get some valuable tips, resources and contacts from them.
Apart from a professional network, it is equally important for you to have a close personal network and support so that you can rely on them during this time. They can not only help you out financially but can also be there for you emotionally.
Depending on the kind of career that you want to go for, you might need to advance your education level or get some additional courses and certificates before you can be taken seriously enough in your new career.
This is something that you should be aware of well in advance so that you can make the necessary preparations in time. If you need to enroll in a college or university, then make sure you look up some courses beforehand, apply to them on time and start taking them as soon as possible.
Not all careers will have this kind of requirement, of course. Yet, if you think that there is some additional knowledge that you can gain, then you can also consider online courses for yourself.
In many cases, you might not need this at all, but it can be a good idea to consider it or else it might be too late.
How much professional experience do you have when it comes to your skills and jobs? Is there any way in which you can use this experience for starting a new career?
Make a note of your experience so far and update your CV or resume as required. Make sure you do this according to the requirements of your new career so that you can tailor your skills and experiences accordingly.
Take good advantage of your transferable skills in this case so that you have a solid starting point in your career.
In case there are some additional skills that your new career requires, then you can take some time to learn those. You can also look into part-time work or internships to get some working knowledge of the new career that you decide on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 30 Too Old to Start a Career?
30 is not too old at all to start a career. A lot of people tend to start or change their careers even later. While there might be difficulties when it comes to changing your career and starting a new one, these are not specific to being 30 years old.
Can I Change My Career Without Any Experience?
While it might be more difficult for you to make a smooth transition into a new career without any experience, you can still change your career into an entirely new one if you make the effort to learn new skills, attend courses and gain experience.
What Age Is Too Late to Change a Career?
Essentially, no age is considered too late to change a career. However, there might be more and more difficulties that you might face as you age such as employers’ or customers’ biases, skills, pay and more. You should also ask yourself if it is worth changing careers if you only have a few more years of professional life left.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Changing Careers at 30?
The disadvantages of changing careers at any age (not just 30) include a period of financial instability, confusion, anxiety and stress, among others. It might also take you longer than expected to start your new career.
Through this guide, I hope I have helped you answer the question—can I change my career at 30? To sum up, as long as you take all the aforementioned factors into account, you can certainly change your career successfully at 30.