8 Pros and Cons of Changing Your Career in Your 40s (With Tips)

Without a doubt, it’s never too late to make a career change – even if you’re making a career change at 40. It doesn’t matter how old you are — you can still change your industry, profession, and skillset. The Great Resignation is upon us, and millions of people are considering changing careers. COVID-19 upended our lives. And for many of us, it changed the way we perceive our future!

You might be in any of those categories, and that’s okay! Throughout history, there are various famous success stories from people who found success later in life, here are just a few examples.

Career Crossroads in my 40s | 5 Tips to Choosing a Career Path during a Midlife Crisis

Pros of changing careers in your 40s

There are various advantages to changing your careers in your 40s. Here are some of those advantages explained:

Learning and development

Making a mid-career transition to another field may allow you to take part in various learning and professional development opportunities. From here, you can hone new competencies that are more desirable in an ever-changing job market. In addition, these opportunities can be a significant benefit for candidates who feel that their growth has stalled and want to update their skill set.

Confidence

Candidates in their 40s typically know themselves well, understand their needs and have clear-cut goals. Because of this, older candidates commonly have a higher level of confidence about their knowledge and abilities than their younger counterparts applying for openings. This high level of self-assurance can help candidates make valuable connections, market themselves and secure roles.

Renewed passion

Many individuals choose to make career transitions to work in fields theyre more passionate about. Those who leave roles in their 40s to pursue different lines of work may be able to achieve a renewed sense of purpose as professionals. With this, mid-career changes can help candidates feel higher rates of fulfillment overall.

Professional satisfaction

Making a career change in your 40s can help you feel more content and lead a happier life. When professionals have the ability to learn more, develop their skills, apply their competencies and work in roles they find rewarding, they often feel more satisfied with their careers. This sense of satisfaction can help you find value in your career that may otherwise have not been possible.

Why change careers in your 40s?

There are various reasons to consider a career change in your 40s. Here are some of the factors that may lead a professional to make a mid-career shift:

Cons of changing careers in your 40s

While there are plenty of advantages to changing your career in your 40s, there are some disadvantages to taking this path as well. Here are a few of the cons of making a professional shift mid-career, including solutions for overcoming them:

Financial management

Changing careers in your 40s commonly requires skillful financial management. After leaving your current role, you may need to take time off from working to pursue additional training or find a role that fits your needs. In addition, its helpful to keep in mind that making a career shift may impact your retirement eligibility and ability to contribute money to your retirement fund. Therefore, to make a mid-career change successfully, its important that youre able to budget properly and ensure you have enough savings to afford your transition.

Entry-level opportunities

Many candidates who make mid-career shifts to different fields must first pursue entry-level opportunities and build experience before they can regain a more advanced professional status. Starting out in junior positions is sometimes unappealing for individuals in their 40s who may currently work in management or leadership roles. This can be especially true if professionals have to work under the supervision of somebody younger than them. With this, when making your career transition, consider whether you feel comfortable working in an entry-level capacity or if you might just be able to pursue a new role in the same field.

Need for additional training

Changing careers and entering a new field or different type of position may require candidates in their 40s to earn new credentials through additional education and training opportunities. Pursuing these credentials can take time and result in significant costs, depending on the type of training candidates need. Therefore, its important for candidates to conduct research into the eligibility requirements for careers they might want to pursue and decide whether a transition is worth the investment of their time and money.

Competitive market

The job market for candidates in their 40s can be highly competitive, as many professionals in this age group are already working in established careers. In addition, its important to recognize that younger candidates can sometimes offer organizations updated skill sets and longevity that older candidates may not. With this, its key that youre deliberate in your job search and market yourself successfully to ensure that youre able to find a role that suits your professional needs.

Tips for changing careers in your 40s

Since changing your career in your 40s can be challenging, its important that you approach this task strategically. Here are a few tips to consider that can help you succeed when making a mid-career shift:

FAQ

Is it worth changing careers at 40?

Yes, it is possible to start a new career at 40 — or 50, or 60, for that matter. It might take some extra effort, but it’s never too late to set new personal and professional goals and live a life that feels meaningful. BetterUp can help you find the best way forward.

What is a good career for someone in their 40s?

  • How to Successfully Make a Career Change at 40.
  • Real Estate Agent.
  • Patient Care Technician.
  • Marketing Manager.
  • Financial Consultant or Certified Financial Planner.
  • Software Developer.
  • Project and Program Managers.
  • Quality Assurance Analyst.

What is the best career to start at 45?

20 Best Jobs if You’re Over 40
  • Teacher.
  • Personal trainer.
  • Dental assistant.
  • Translator/Interpreter.
  • Hair stylist.
  • Dietitian.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Massage therapist.

Is it too late to start a new career at 45?

If you’re worried you’re too old to start a new career, don’t be. It’s never too late to pursue professional fulfillment and a healthy work/life balance.

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