Hitting the age of 40 is often a time when people experience a midlife crisis of sorts. Even if it is not a true crisis, midlife can cause people to do some self-reflection. Sometimes, that leads to a desire to make a career shift. If you find yourself wanting to make a career change as you seek for better life balance, starting a new career at 40 is possible. Here are some considerations to make as you contemplate starting on a new career path.
Positives of Making a Career Change
Switching careers around the age of 40 is not uncommon. In fact, switching careers can bring several benefits.
Adding More Fulfillment. If you find your current career path unfulfilling, switching careers could add to your emotional well-being. You have had many years to figure out what you love, and now you can pursue a career in line with your passions. In fact, if you have a hobby you love, this might give you the chance to turn that hobby into an actual career.
Using Your Experience. Over the years you have gained life experience. You can put that experience to work in a new career while also learning new skills to add to your experience.
Growing as a Professional. Finally, you may find that your current job is at a dead end. Pursuing a new career path gives you the chance to achieve professional goals that your current job does not accommodate.
Starting a New Career at 40 Is Possible – Here Is How
If you think these benefits are worth embracing, then starting a new career could be a good option. But exactly how can you switch careers at age 40? Here are some steps to help you do this successfully.
1. Ask Why. Before you invest in a new career, ask yourself why you want to make a change. For some looking to switch careers, money may not be the motivating factor. Personal satisfaction, health, and their impact on society can also be motivating factors. Outline your reasons to determine if this is, in fact, what you want to do.
2. Put a Stop to Fear. If you have good reasons, you may be hesitating because you feel afraid. Do not let fear rule you. Put it aside because a rewarding career could be just around the corner. Focus on the benefits you hope to gain by making a change and watch as your mindset shifts to a positive place.
3. Remember Age Does Not Define You. If you find yourself feeling stuck because you are in your 40s, remember that passion is more important than age. Figure out where your passion lies, and you will be able to find work that is meaningful. Age is just a number, and it should not define you or limit you. Even at 40, you have plenty of years of work ahead of you, and this is a great time of life to consider a career transition.
4. Start Learning. To make your career change effective, you need to start learning a bit more about your new career field. You may need to add some additional skills or look at a certification program to launch your new career. Keep in mind that you should focus on adding transferable skills because you likely already have a significant amount of professional experience. For instance, it may be time to brush up on your technology skills, learn to use Excel, or add a certificate in your field. Continuing education courses and certificates are a perfect way to help you upskill. Thankfully, you can often get these skills through short certificate programs rather than a full degree.Before you start learning, see if there is any degree or certificate required for the field you want to enter. Then, consider an educational path to get to that point. You might be able to find an online program that provides flexibility for working adults, or you may need to earn a graduate degree to shift career paths mid-stream. By doing a little research, you will be able to choose an educational path that will facilitate a career change at 40.
5. Build a Network. If you have not already done so, start building a professional network in the field you wish to enter. Often a network connection is the source of new job leads, so focus on building a network.If you do not have network connections in the field you are interested in, then consider making connections online through LinkedIn and similar sites. You can also visit local events or job fairs in that field to start building connections. Get your name out there and get to know people, so you can see what job options come your way as a result.
6. Brush Up Your Resume. Once you have the new experience and certifications you need for your career change, it is time to take a stab at your resume. Over the past years of work experience, you have changed, and your resume should reflect those changes. Make sure it includes the transferable soft skills you have added and learned over the years and add your relevant work experience. Take the time to remove information that is 10 years old or older, unless it is pertinent to your resume and your new job choice. Create an updated resume that will appeal to a hiring manager, and this will make changing careers at 40 much easier.
7. Keep Growing. Being in your 40s does not mean your work life is over. You need to keep developing and growing in your career and your new career field. Showing that you are someone who can grow and evolve will make potential new employers feel drawn to you.
If you are ready to make a career change at 40, Post University has a number of programs that can help. View our long list of degree options or explore our professional development programs and certifications. With online learning options that work well for working adults, Post University can make your career shift happen. Contact us today to learn more about enrolling in one of these programs.
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