Updated: Mar 28
Career choices can be confusing.
While some feel stuck in a career rut and are unable to shake themselves out of it, some don’t even realize that they could be doing so much better in another job. If you are feeling confused about your midlife career change, it’s probably a good thing.
Guess what I tell my coaching clients when they tell me they’ve wasted so much time thinking about a job change and didn’t do a thing about it. I tell them - “That’s fantastic! You're a star! You’ve got a great opportunity now!”
So, why is getting lost is a good thing?
Because it’s a new feeling and experience. You haven’t wasted time at all thinking about a career change.
First, you figured out that you’re lost. That takes skill and not everyone uses that skill effectively!
Second, you are ready to take action. You’re ready to understand why you’re feeling lost. What a great opportunity to create a whole new possibility!
A lot of mid-career professionals are realizing that a midlife change in a career is not at all impossible.
I did it too!
Why are people changing careers in their 30s or 40s?
Drexel University polled 320 people between the ages of 30 and 54+ who recently made a career change. The poll revealed the top 5 reasons for quitting their job and making a career transition.
1. Workload/Hours = 27.19%
2. Compensation = 17.19%
3. Potential for Advancement = 15.94%
4. Location = 10.63%
5. Lack of Passion = 9.38%
Among those polled, a majority of 55% decided to make a career change and chose to do something different, especially in the service and education industries.
Do you see yourself falling in this category?
Are you passionate about something and want to make a career switch, regardless of your age?
Is it too late to change career at 30?
NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Making a midlife career change at 30, 40, or even 50+ is not just possible, but maybe even advisable..
Chances are that you’ve thought about different careers at different stages of your life.
My aspiration in my 20's was VERY different from my aspiration in school! And later, it changed again and again.
When I was at school, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for the next 50 years of my life. I don’t think anybody can.
In school – I had no idea what I wanted In college – I wanted to go abroad In my 20's – I wanted to see the world In my 30's – I wanted to make money and in my 40's – I became an entrepreneur.
Our interests are constantly changing, and our abilities keep growing with experience.
Change is going to be a constant in our working lives. Especially a change in our interests, desires, and ambitions.
I’ve read fascinating stories of how people changed their careers later in life, some even in their 60s!
Here are some that have been inspirational to people around the world -
Jeff Bezos, now the richest person in history, didn't build Amazon until he was 31 years old.
Julia Child worked in advertising, media, and secret intelligence before writing her first cookbook when she was 50.
Vera Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40. Today she's one of the world's premier women's designers.
Harland Sanders, founder of KFC held several jobs including country lawyer and railroad worker before he became a successful entrepreneur.
Do you know anyone who has had a change in career at 30?
Look around, maybe there are people near you with great career moves..
This is what I have learned about a midcareer switch ..
YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT AT THE START AND ..
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO GET STARTED!
Do you know anyone who's changed careers in life?
Share some career transition stories with me here.
How to know you need a career change at 30 or 40 – Signs to look out for
How do people know they need a midlife career change? What signs do they look for?
This is what I have learned from coaching my clients who wanted a career change -
They felt that they stopped learning anything new.
They missed new challenges at work.
Everyday work became ‘muscle memory'. They weren’t getting an opportunity to try something new at work.
They felt broken down, physically.
They felt heavy, tired, and drained of energy.
If one is experiencing these signs, they can either
Take the plunge and change careers or
Get their head down and wait for the storm to pass
What do you think?
Are these feelings just normal ups and downs, or are they warning signs you need to pay attention to?
Have you felt different about your career lately?
How I Made a Major Career Change at Age 42
Are you thinking about making a career switch? I made a major switch. At 42.
Unlike today, I did not have clarity on what and how I am going to make a career transition. I felt -
a bit stuck,
a bit confused,
exhausted by going through the motions at work and
unsure what the future held in store.
And if you're going through what I was at the time, you are probably unsure about how to proceed.
So this is what I did.
I inclined myself -
to be curious,
to experience new contexts,
to meet new people and
To face new challenges.
I pursued my curiosity, by trying new things and keeping at it. And it has worked for me.
When I did something long enough, I got better at it, and I felt like doing it again.
Steps to find a new career at 30,40 or even 50
You’re thinking about taking the FIRST STEP. But something is stopping you.
You know you want to change careers, but are you stuck in analysis paralysis?
Let’s not go too far down the rabbit hole of concern and worry. Instead, let’s take a step back and get some perspective.
The first thing I realized during my transition is that I was having a perfectly normal reaction to the idea of making a change!
I was anxious and overanalyzing the situation and frankly getting nowhere!
I worried too much about things like -
Am I too old for a change?
Is this career switch really plausible?
What if nobody gives me a job?
But, after looking at so many people (some even older than me) making successful transitions, I knew I had to come up with strategies to work through these fears.
These were my exact steps to find a new career at 42
I was dying for a career change. It was niggling at me for years. I wanted to make it happen. But how?
I woke up every morning with a feeling. A feeling that this career isn't really for me.
I somehow fell into it one day, and it is not for me anymore.
So, this is what I did to find a new career at 42.
Started Asking Myself Hard Questions
I realized I couldn't avoid these questions anymore! I asked myself – What do I really want? How much time will it take me? Can I manage the pressure of change? Are my finances in order? What's a good first step I can take? Who can help me?
Did the research
I started reading, watching, asking .. I did whatever it took to find information that’ll help me get ahead. I researched my next career path. I drank it all up. Absorbed it.
Made a Plan
I wrote down every single idea I had. I composed a plan. Nothing fancy, something simple. Where to go, how to apply, who to talk to, when to get it done. I wrote it all down.
There comes a time when you simply have to go for it. Planning time was up. I had enough ideas. I decided to discard my fears. I reminded myself that thinking time's up. It's time to start doing !
Did It Again
I knew my first attempt will most likely fail. I got up. Shrugged it off. Learned from it. And tried again.
Jack Canfield said, "Everything you want is on the other side of fear."
Couldn’t agree more with the statement.
Want to know more about my midcareer transition journey?