Over 40 and Considering a Change in Career?
Whatever your reasons, it is never too late for a change in career. If you are not happy in your current area of employment, or if your previous job no longer suits your circumstances, then it is not too late to try something new. On average, people are retiring later and later, so you may have a lot longer left in your working life. A long time which will seem even longer if you are stuck in a job that you do not enjoy.
It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem at first. There are lots of opportunities out there if you know where to look. There may be many things putting you off, financial security or the possibility of age discrimination.
The prospect of leaving a paid job with no guarantee of a regular income for a while can be terrifying, especially if you have a family to support or a mortgage to pay off. How drastic your actions need to be will depend on how unhappy you are in your current position. But, if the reason for leaving your current position is because you are unhappy, then money shouldn’t be your major motivation.
One thing is certain, if you really wish to change your career at 40+ you need to have absolute conviction and a passion for what you want to go into. There are many things which the more mature person can offer to a job that a graduate fresh out of university simply cannot.
Your general life experience means that even if you don’t realise it you are accustomed to fighting challenges and solving problems, you have built up a certain resilience. Making the decision to change your job will work in your favour too as it demonstrates a proactive mentality and a fair amount of courage.
But if you are worried, then it is simply a matter of minimising the risks you take. Here are a few ideas on how to maximise your opportunities without risking everything
Don’t quit too soon
For starters, don’t leave your current job until you are absolutely certain that you have something else lined up, or if you are so unhappy that you can’t stay there any longer.
Make sure that your expectations are realistic. There is no way that you will be hired to practice as a doctor without a medical degree. Make sure that the field you want to go into is accessible to you.
Are you qualified?
Make sure that you have all the qualifications necessary to enter your desired profession, if you don’t, work out how to get them.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
Consider all of your options, think of jobs in related fields to the one you especially want. Apply for lots of jobs, you don’t know what something will be like until you’ve tried it, and it’s unlikely to be as bad as your current job.
In summer and autumn you will be competing with hundreds of people for one position, as all of the graduates fresh out of university will be applying at the same time. Wait until winter or spring and you will find it much easier to get an interview as the next round of students won’t have graduated yet.
So don’t be deterred. If you really want something new then bite the bullet and go for it. The only person with the power to change your situation is yourself. If what you stand to gain is higher than what you stand to lose then you have no excuses, no matter how old you are.