Published January 4, 2019
How to Successfully Make a Career Change at 30+
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When you’re stuck at the same job for many years of your life, a career change is probably in order. But when you reach your 30s, you may feel that you’re too old to do it.
That is certainly not true! No matter how old you are, you can make the decision for your future endeavours. However, before you make those important career choices, there are a few things you need to consider.
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It’s going to be tough
While you’re in an age bracket that has it substantially easier than most (than say, people in their 50s), people, particularly in their late 30s, may find it more difficult to find a job than say, a twenty-year-old. Not to mention if you do find another job, especially in a new field, it takes time and effort to build up that career.
Are you ready for that kind of commitment? If so, then you better be prepared to distinguish yourself from others. It’s hard to not worry about making a career change with no experience, or maybe you still are unsure what career is best for you in the first place; but the best thing to think about, is that it is possible.
The world is constantly changing, and to achieve that dream job of yours, you have to keep up with its rapid pace. The best way to do that is to upskill, which is, put simply, to learn new skills on top of your previous ones.
The good news is, is that, with the internet, you can essentially learn anything. All you have to search it up, click on a video or scroll through an article to see what you need, and you have the foundation to start working on a skill. A good example here is journalism. Nowadays, most of it is from freelancers who are quite savvy in the social media department, often beginning with blogs on free websites.
If you want a way to upskill without the internet, then you could also try volunteering. There’s also the bonus that, if you volunteer at a place where you could work full-time, or is related to the field you want to explore, then it doubles as a networking opportunity as well.
But it’s not at all bad
The main advantage you have over a young full-time worker is that you have experience and skills that can only be achieved by years in a certain workplace. Not only that but being in your 30s, you can get the best of both worlds in a way. You most likely don’t have as many responsibilities as someone in their 50s, and you have several years of work under your belt. One specific advantage is your transferable skills.
Identify your transferable skills
If you want to get into a new industry, you may think that you have to build the skills relevant to this new career path from the ground up. But I’m almost certain that you have skills previously established in other careers.
Skills like communication, time management, organisation and leadership applies to any job. You just have to highlight your experience with those skills during the interview process, so make sure you familiarise yourself with the ones most relevant for your current situation.
Complete a self-assessment
For a lot of people, it can be tough trying to figure out what career path they want to take. If you’re one of those people, then you should probably do a self-assessment.
Basically, it’s a way for you to figure out what your values, personality type, aptitude and interests are, giving you a direction into a particular field. When working for so long at one job, those things are often shunted aside, simply due to routine. A formal self-assessment can bring those areas to light once again.
Make a Linkedin account
If you haven’t already, that is. Even if you have, there are a few things you need to do to get the most out of this website. Make sure that your profile clearly states what you’re there for, considering that it has many purposes, such as informing you of networking events, establishing peer relationships, etc.
There are some important considerations to make when setting up your social profiles to make sure it doesn’t hurt your employment. When writing up your summary, make sure you reference the skills relevant to the positions you’re interested in, and of course, a little about yourself won’t hurt. Make sure to keep personal details to a minimum though. It’s a lot more useful for your potential employers if you explain what field you’re in or what field you’d like to get into.
Those are just some of the ways you can move away from a dead-end job even when you may be a bit older. Keep in mind that this process is rarely ever instantaneous and that you need to put the hard work in to make the change happen.
Who knows? Maybe your commitment to this change will impress your future employers.
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