Career Change in Your 40’s: Why It’s Never Too Late To Make a Change
Changing your career path is a different experience for all ages, but whether you’re in your 20’s or 40’s, it’s never too late to change. There is no perfect age to move to a new profession, you just need to put in the hard work to get to your dream job.
According to the ABS, more than 1 million Australians changed employers or the businesses they ran in the year prior February 2018, with more than half of those people working in a different industry or occupation.
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Table of Contents
How Old is Too Old to Change Careers?
The truth is, you’re really never too old to change careers. Many older people believe it’s too late to move to a new field of work, but with the average person moving through the corporate world and with 12-17 jobs in their lifetime, career changers are becoming more common in the 21st century. It is hard work for any age to do so as it is never a quick journey to success, but if you want to pursue a midlife career change to follow your passion, there is no perfect age to do so. With the average retirement age in Australia rising to almost 70, more time is being spent in the workforce than ever.
Australians over 40 study every year for a career change
If you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, it can certainly feel like a life sentence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Almost half of all students in Australia are over 25, with over 134,000 ever year in their 40’s. It may not seem it, but the majority of career change happens in this age bracket in Australia, followed by people in their 30’s, then 50’s. The benefit of technology nowdays has made changing careers all the more accessible. Online courses account for the majority of mature age student’s study, allowing them to develop their training while continuing with work.
So, What’s the Best Way to Successfully Change Careers?
While there’s no right or wrong age to changing careers, there is a right and wrong way to facilitate one.
Change Your Career, Not just Your Job
First you must know that you really want to change careers, and not just your job. If you are a plumber, and you get an offer to transfer to a new plumbing service which has more opportunities, you have simply just switched jobs. A career change is when you jump from one job group to a totally separate one. If a Police Officer decided that he wanted to educate young people and went to university to become a high school teacher, then this would be a career change.
Find the Right Career
Do you enjoy your current job? Do you take pride in completing your set tasks and feel comfortable in your work environment? If the answer to these questions is no, it might be time for a career change into a new field. Think about your interests and passions, and then seek career advice on how to turn those into a new job. Doing something you enjoy and you’re motivated about is always better than a high paying job that stresses out every aspect of your life.
Have Confidence in Yourself
If you’re considering a career change, you should build a LinkedIn profile if you don’t have one yet, allowing you to detail previous work experiences, personal achievements and help in your job search. Have confidence in yourself and show potential employers that you have the transferable skills needed to jump into a different career, even if it means starting at an entry-level job. LinkedIn and other forms of social media are great ways of connecting with like-minded people that could potentially offer you a job, and its useful regardless of your age.
When mapping out a potential career change, it is important to consider whether or not it is realistic in terms of finances. If you’re unhappy with your current career path, then it is definitely worthwhile researching into a career change, but you must be able to support it. A fresh start on your career may need specific training required to learn the new tricks, and most likely come with a pay cut or regardless of life experience or the different jobs available at the entry level. So budgeting and setting aside a certain amount of money each month would most likely be the best decision in this scenario, so that if things go south and don’t run as smoothly as you predicted, you have a safety net to fall back on, and you haven’t invested your life savings into a new profession.
Plan Realistic Career Goals
Setting career goals is a must if you’re planning on self employment or quitting your current profession to start another. Whether you’re an old dog or not, knowing where you want to be months or years down the line will help keep you focused and motivated if there are any obstacles that show up during your major career change.
Know Where To Look
If you’ve decided to change careers, but still don’t know where to start, it’s best to know what’s important to you. Do you seek better pay? Job security? Or maybe you feel you need to be doing rewarding work. Whatever your motivation, it’s best to do your research.
On the other hand, it’s important to know where the demand for jobs are. Three top industries at the moment are teaching, agriculture and nursing. With the need for better infrastructure, huge population growth in the future and an ageing population; these industries are virtually fool proof.
Why You Should Make a Career Change
There are three main reasons as to why you should build a new career; firstly the feeling of boredom and exhaustion every day at work is a major sign that it’s time for a job-hunt. Consider breaking down your position into job duties and other components, to help determine what you want differently out of your midlife career change. Another reason as to why you should make this move is the feeling of being on autopilot at work and apathy taking over all job duties, it’s a sure sign that this current job is mundane not stimulating enough any more. Other reasons can include being jealous over younger workers professions, finding that hobbies can turn into something more, networking opportunities or the need to always be educating you.
The biggest hurdle to changing your profession is you, not younger people or older workers or anyone else that tells you otherwise. You have the power to put in the hard work and emotionally invest yourself in this goal whilst understanding that skills can be taught and learnt over time.
Changing a career path is not an easy choice, but the passion and motivation behind turning your dream job into a reality all comes from you.