Burning out occupies most of your time every day? Your career has turned into a heavy burden that’s drowning you in misery? If yes, then it’s high time you flipped the coin in your favor. Even if it means you are in your 40s or older!
In fact, you will be surprised to know that most people actually get a clear idea of what they want to do with their life only after 40. So, if you are 40 or older and want to bring a change to your life, you are not wrong.
Did you know that according to research conducted by USA Today, almost one-third of pre-retirees (1,006 people) from the ages of 40-56 have plans to completely change their careers because they are tired of their stressful routines and can’t take it any longer?
If that’s not convincing enough, let me tell you something that is perhaps hard to believe, but is a sure fact. A number of successful and daring figures over the centuries have achieved what they dreamt of after the age of what normal people would like to call the dead-end’.
Would you ever be able to order your next Amazon product if Jeff Bezos didn’t change his career at the age of 30? Or if Ray Kroc never left his salesman position from a paper cup company to start McDonald’s at the age of 52?
If they can, you can too.
Keep reading on and you will find out it’s not as stressful as you might think it is. Plus, there are actually a lot of advantages to switching to the right career regardless of when exactly you decide to take the leap.
Pros and Cons Of Changing Careers in Your Midlife
Despite how many articles and inspirational stories you read, there is always an inner fear that holds you back every time you think about reinventing your existing career. I get it, totally do. Allow me to make it easier for you.
Before taking this huge leap into the future, it’s wiser to weigh all the pros and cons that you might come across in this new adventure. In this section, we will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of changing your career at the age of 40.
So, let’s get started.
Let’s be practical here, if you are planning to retire by the age of 65 (for men) or 63 (for women), that gives you 23-25 years to shove off your boring, good-for-nothing job for something you are truly made for. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Plus, what’s the point of working in a company in which you have no interest whatsoever? As a result of that, staying mediocre your whole life when you can change it up and use your entire life-worth of experience into something you truly enjoy and be exceptional at it.
Luckily, as we grow older, we gain a high sense of confidence that can help us transit more easily. Other than that, a successful career change at 40 will positively benefit your health and relationships, so the choice yours, honey.
“I have responsibilities and bills to pay to support my family”. “What are some of the best careers to start after 40?”
These are some of the most common comments we get from people who are not satisfied with their careers even if they have already spent 20 years working for them.
There’s a reason why taking such a leap requires guts. Surely, they are things that you may have to give up or risk certain things in life.
Like, you might have to cut down expenses and live without any source of income for a while, or perhaps you have mortgages and other loans to repay. On top of that, you might even need to invest more time and money for career change at 40.
So, let’s have a look at some of the tips you can use to change your career at 40 without disrupting the normality of your life.
11 Tips for a Career Change At 40
Keeping all those struggles aside, the real challenge of changing your career in midlife is not knowing where to start. The sense of change and the fear of doubt is what stops most people from going ahead.
And that, my friends, is exactly what I have the remedy for! Here are the top 11 tips to help you make this shift easier.
1. Believe In Its Possibility
When people want to try something different, one of the biggest mistakes they make is never talk to people who live the life they want. Or worse, they ask the wrong, depressed people about it.
It is no use asking people from other fields what their advice is when you want to change that field. You shouldn’t let people who are stuck in their mediocre life affect your views on how to live the life you love.
To help you make this change, interact, and connect with people who have been successful in such a risk. That would certainly appease your fear to a great extent.
2. Carry Out Self-Assessment, Research, and Planning
Once you are confident in your decision, start taking the right step towards execution. There is no need to consult other people, after all, you are already your own boss when you hit the 40s.
Start off by learning about your interests, strengths, and work values. Your self-assessment may help you indicate what direction you should proceed in.
When carrying out a self-assessment, keep in mind everything that would or would not be in your favor. For instance, your financial commitments might not allow you to devote a lot of money to training and schooling.
When it comes to research and planning, spend some time looking at job openings in areas that you are interested. What qualities are recruiting managers looking for in that field? This information will help you use your spectacular transferable skills in your new career to turn the odds in your favor.
Once all that is set, start planning every step you are going to take. Check out some of the career-changing ideas you can use at 40.
3. Revamp Your Formal Education and Other Requirements if Necessary
While doing your research, you should be able to stumble upon jobs that perfectly suit your interests and demands. However, your lack of qualification may become an obstacle in the way.
On the flip side, many individuals hurry to graduate school in their 40s only to find out that they just need a little more improvement like a certificate to reach their dream career. So be diligent with your research before you invest in education.
It’s never too late to learn new skills and discover talent hidden deep inside. Plus, the rapidly changing technological environment requires one to learn new things every day.
Related Article: How to Learn Skills Faster – 10 Tricks to Improve Quickly
4. Salary Range of the Field
This is a relatively easy thing to research. Get a general idea of what the people in this career field earn. Keep in mind the salary range should be enough for you to afford a living, save, (perhaps invest) and still have room for your and your family’s recreational needs.
Since the world has become a global village, it is also fine to find out what people in other parts of the world are earning in the field you choose. You can also look at freelance earnings and see if learning more skills can improve your income.
5. Starting Up a Business? Well, That’s A Whole Nother Story
If you are changing your career at 40 to be your own boss, there will be slightly different things that can help you transit better. Like, coming up with an idea? Got one? Then find an investor and an execution plan for it.
Most people leave their day job when they decide to start a business. And if it’s a great idea, why not?
6. Build a Network In Your New Career
No one would ever be able to find you if they don’t know who you are. You will never know the needs of the people you will be going to associate with. If you have a role model in that field, then that’s great!
You must be able to get an idea about what can be expected from you.
This is slightly linked to the previous point, but I thought it needed more emphasis.
Stating a general fact, your comfort zone is focused on the things you have had/done so far. Hence, if you haven’t made a social leap in the same direction, it’s no surprise you are still in your comfort zone. If you want to boost the chances of starting your new career, you may need to attend events and socialize with the people in the industry.
Many of these gatherings provide a means of career learning where you can see what skill sets and qualifications the companies are searching for.
8. Be Prepared for Rejection and Negativity
Everyone wants to be famous. It’s inevitable. But what truly matters is what is something you are willing to struggle for? If your answer is career and success, then you’ve got to put up with everything that will come your way. I mean, c’mon we both know struggles are bound to happen, you just need to know how you can move past them.
You can do this by preparing yourself for success and identifying upcoming hurdles and how you can solve them before you have to-and this plan will help you resolve your concerns and get beyond them.
9. Update Your Resume and Sell Yourself in Your Cover Letters and Interviews
Once you are clear regarding your transferable skills, you can revamp your resume to bring attention to what motivated you for such a change. You will want to start using a hybrid or mixture resume, which at the top of the page helps you to list the more compelling skills.
Write a letter that describes why you are inclined towards this career and more on how you are ready for this new profession through your previous career experience. And remember to focus on what makes you a perfect fit, not what doesn’t.
10. Market Yourself
Once you are armed with a network, research, impressive resume, and a plan in mind, it’s time you dive into the market. Whenever possible try to test your new career on a part-time or volunteer basis, just to see how well you can do. If it felt exactly what you expected, then you seriously approach your dream companies and make the cut.
11. Earn Certifications
What if I say, you don’t have to break your bank to live up to the requirements of your new career? Yes, that’s right! In case you have been deprived of such a great source of knowledge, you can educate yourself AND earn certifications online for relatively cheaper prices or even FREE.
Fill your knowledge gaps with some of these certifications to help you get your dream job without having to spend a single cent. In fact, it is highly recommended that you take a look at these certifications and bring forth your hidden skills.
- 40 Years Old and No Career? Here’s Why It’s Not Too Late for a Professional Transformation
- 9 Best Career Change Books for a Successful Career Transition
All in all, it’s never too late to break the rules and do what makes you truly happy even if that means changing your career at 40. After all, rules are made to be broken, aren’t they?
You can always start afresh, reinvent, and stand against your convictions, all you need is courage and some research (or maybe a bit more) to get you through.
I hope the tips discussed in this article will help you get out of your comfort zone and take a leap. Even if you are still unsure, I hope a few of your queries must have been addressed. Who knows, it might be the best decision of your life to actually leave the job you hate and start a career of your choice.