Are you approaching your 40s and feel you are in a bit of a rut? Or perhaps you are already in your 40s and feel that it is too late too change careers.
The concept of a ‘job/career for life” is very outdated.Whether you decide to switch to a different field or try to create a portfolio career, changing direction in your 40s has become increasingly popular. This is especially relevant post pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs and are looking at how they can pivot and start a new career.
Of course , making a career change at 40 is not an easy decision to make. There are so many things to think about that will affect your decision making –
I Have Responsibilities
It is highly likely that you have alot of things on your plate. You may have chldren or you are caring for a relative. You might be a single mum with young children. Of course you may have other financial responsibilities to think about like a mortgage and other bills. Risking a career change at this time in your life may not seem like a good idea on the surface.
There is also the risk that you face judgement from people in your life who think this is some kind of mid life crisis. That you are “taking on too much”.Don’t listen to them.
The truth is that you can explore a new career path safely, without leaving your job and using all your savings. It’s not all or nothing.
What Do I Do?
Of course the first question to ask yourself is “what do I do?” You might be clear about what you don’t want to do but less clear about the road ahead.
Getting to the nub of that question takes alot of self reflection and introspection. It doesn’t happen overnight.There isn’t a magical formula you need to use. It just takes planning, research and thought.
How To Make A Career Change At 40
Give Yourself A Self Assessment
Take some time to learn a little more about yourself. It might sound odd but you need to take time to discover what makes you tick. Think about your interests, personality, turn offs and values.This will help you narrow down a list of possible career options that fit your personality.
The key to finding the right career at this stage is learning about yourself. Take a notepad and write down your interests, personality type, ambitions, and work-related values. This will help you narrow down a list of occupations that fit with your various traits.
Once you have pinpointed some options,do as much research as you can. What is the average starting salary? What kind of skills are required? Can you fit retraining round your other committments?
Informational interviews are also a great way of finding out more about the career path or particular firm.
Update Your CV
Your CV needs to make an immediate impact on recruiters. Recuiters are often sifting through multiple CVs for each role. It is vital, as a career changer, that you stand out as much as possible. To do that you need to make sure your CV matches their requirements.
Look for similarities between your experience and the skills required for your new caeer and make sure they are included in your CV.
Identifying your transferable skills is a key part of this excercise. No matter which field you have worked in , you will have picked up skills that can be used elsewhere.
It may have been a while since your last interview so you need to brush up on your interview skills.
Work On Your Interview Skills
- Make sure you research the company and your interviewer
- Research the most commonly asked interview questions
- Make sure you know your CV inside and out. Don’t be caught out by any tricky questions.
- Plan questions to ask the interviewer in advance.
- Send a follow up email after the interview.
You know the saying, “it’s not what you know but who you know”. This is true to an extent. Many people learn about new opportunities through friends or friends of friends.Indeed a recent survey found that 85% of open positions are filled via networking. Get out there. Join Meetup and Facebook groups of interest. Go to as many virual or in person events as you can. Connect to people via LinkedIn and other social media.
Career change at 40 is not impossible. It can be achieved with careful planning and research. You are never to old to start a new journey. We would love to hear your stories. Drop us a comment below!