"Is 30 too late to change careers" ? Asked someone on LinkedIn. I said, NO - it's not. In fact, it's a fantastic age to change your career path. You have lots of skills, experience and the knowledge to make a change. Here's all you need to know if you're looking for a new career at 30.
Did you take up an engineering degree after school because you didn’t know what else to do? Or did you choose to get a qualification you had no idea about just because that was more in trend then? Do you wish you had done a little more in exploring the possible career paths to match your talent and interests? Well, it's not too late now!
A lot of people are changing careers in their 30s, but there are still many that feel paralysed even thinking about making a career switch. While most folks ignore the thought of career change at 30 for various practical reasons, given that money plays an important role in day-to-day life, very few are willing to take the bold step towards second careers after 30.
There are so many career myths that holding people back and making them believe that changing careers at 30 is a completely unrealistic idea.
Why does changing careers at 30 feel like an unrealistic idea for most people?
Career Change at 30. An Unrealistic Idea?
"Is 30 too late to change careers"?
Asked someone on LinkedIn.
I said, NO - it's not.
In fact, it's a fantastic age to change your career path. You have lots of skills, experience and the knowledge to make a change. Here's all you need to know if you're looking for a new career at 30.
30 is when you don't have many responsibilities yet. This is a time when you are still very receptive to new ideas and enthusiastic to acquire new skills that would help you in your career transition. This is the age where exploring a little can make the rest of your life more enjoyable and fulfilling.
But a lot of people admit that the first thing that grapples them is FEAR when they think of a career switch at that age. Fear of uncertainty, responsibilities especially financial and personal relationships. There are also a lot of career myths that stops people from making a start, from taking action.
If you've been struggling with taking action, let's bust some myths surrounding career change that might be holding you back from taking that leap!
CAREER MYTH 𝟭 : CHANGE IMPLIES FAILURE
Changing to something new doesn't make you a failure in what you were doing earlier. In fact, it only paves the chances of succeeding at something new.
CAREER MYTH 𝟮 : YOU'RE TOO OLD TO CHANGE
You might be told that you are past your prime, and you can't pivot to something new. Nothing could be further from the truth! Age is just a number. And the number should be the least of your concerns when thinking about a career change.
CAREER MYTH 𝟯 : YOU'LL START FROM SCRATCH
You might have to take a step back, take a pay cut, or even have a major lifestyle change. But you're the sum total of all your life experiences. You can and should build from where you are, and what you've already achieved.
CAREER MYTH 𝟰 : UPSKILLING IS COSTLY
There has never been a better time to learn new things for free, or very low cost, in a number of ways. The options are literally endless. You are only a google search away from finding a bunch of valuable resources to learn from.
CAREER MYTH 𝟱 : IT'S TIME TO SETTLE DOWN
Its so trite so say that once you find your dream job you can 'settle down'. Honestly, no job is ever like that! Some days you'll love your job and on other days you'll probably feel like quitting it. Nothing is permanent in life, how can a job be?
What You Need To Do To Change Career At Age 30
There are several reasons because of which you may want to change your career. Maybe you aren't happy with your current work-life balance. Perhaps you don't feel passionate about your job. Maybe you feel like your learning curve has reached a dead-end or you feel stuck and bored. The possible reasons are innumerable. You may simply be looking for new challenges that your current role doesn't provide.
It's okay to be in any of these situations. But what's not okay is staying where you are once you know something needs to change. Change requires action. So, if you resonate with any of these dilemmas, it's time you stop fearing and take some action.
Chase Your Career Dreams And Take The Leap!
Before you make any decision, it's important to identify why you are making that decision. So, here are some ways to help you find your "WHY" before you proceed to understand the “HOW”
Ask yourself thought provoking questions to find your WHY and do this -
List out the things that you do not like in your current job
Come up with a list of expectations from your new job
Evaluate the above lists together to see if the new career will make your life any happier. If it does, that’s a green signal for you to attempt to go for it!
After you have evaluated your interests and listed down your expectations, it's time to put in efforts that will help you land the new career. It's okay if you don't know how to proceed. Here are a few things you can do to make your transition easy and your efforts fruitful.
Good networking effort
An organized calendar that sets aside some time every day for this purpose
And lots of focus.
Ready to go a few extra miles? Let's GO!
1. Socialise - Push The Start Button
Once you have figured out what you want to do, the next step is getting started!
And there is no better way to kickstart your career change journey than networking with people. Networking won't just help you find relevant people from the industry you are looking to get into, but also update you with the latest trends in the respective field. Make sure you -
Get yourself active on professional networking sites. These will give you a sneak peek into relevant conversations, the latest trends in the respective field, and a glimpse of what you are likely to get yourself in.
Make connections. Especially with people who are in your industry and related fields.
Try and take part in conversations. Asking relevant questions and voicing opinions the right way could land you your next gig!
Once you have figured what you want to do, Get, Set, and Start!
2. Company Profiling - Make The Shift Worthwhile
Job profiling is a given thing. Company profiling is a modern nicety and the newest necessity to sustain the shift. After all, a big decision like a career change at 30 deserves making every penny worth it.
Ways to reach your second-mile mark:
A one-step process - Detailed research on company-specific job responsibilities through job portals and employee resumes on professional networks.
This process will help you choose the kind of company and work culture that best suits you. Be sure to explore both big corporates and start-ups to weigh your pros and cons on job profiles and work culture.
3. Self-Evaluate – Leverage Your Experience
The learning and take-aways from the roles you have previously played, whether relevant or not, will in some way contribute to your new career.
A self-evaluation will help you leverage your decade-long experience and carry forward the transferable skills to the new role. Confused about how to self-evaluate? Do this -
Make a list of take-aways/milestones/accomplishments from each of your previous roles
Ask yourself how you did it and discover your strengths
Correlate your strengths with the new role and come up with a list of value adds/assets that you bring to the table
Make a list of pre-requisites to take over the new role
Invest in upskilling if need-be, to be well equipped to take up the new role
These will help you crack interviews, negotiate a good deal, and land you your desired opportunity.
4. Update Your Resume - Weave A Story
This is a vital step to get yourself to where you want to be. Most recruiters do not embrace career change resumes easily. In such situations, however relevant or irrelevant your experience may be, what matters is how well you narrate your experience.
Weave your story this way:
Narrate your experience in an easily relatable way, a story being the best one to keep the recruiter intrigued by your profile
Highlight your strengths and how it has helped you bring out the best in your role
Highlight your contribution towards the company’s growth
Connect the dots – explain your transferable skills, how you think you can make a difference, and any upskilling that you have done to justify your job application
Give a brief about why you are excited about your midlife career change
When you try to start afresh, you will never be able to escape the obvious question – What has led you to change your line of work? Be prepared to deliver a convincing story!
Have you created a new CV/Resume that is tailored to your new chosen industry?
5. Never Miss An Opportunity – Say YES!
If someone offers you a gig that matches your interests and career change idea, take it.
A career-changing gig in your area of interest, whether small or smallest, is by itself a huge thing. It comes with faith and trust that someone has in you to have made that offer.
If you have already run the 5-miles marathon, wear your confidence on your sleeve, pose with the best attitude, and be rest assured that you are going on the right path towards a successful career change at 30!
PS: "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!" Richard Branson
There's nothing wrong with looking for a career change at the age of 30. If you feel stuck or frustrated with your current situation, changing it with a solid plan and action is the best thing to do. So, start networking, update your resume, wear your confidence on your sleeve, pose with the best attitude, and grab the opportunities that come your way. And you'll be ready to shift from a career that no longer sparks the joy to a career that fills your soul and makes life more interesting.
And if you're looking for inspiration, these career quotes helped me get unstuck and change my career at 42.