8 pros and cons of changing your career in your 40s with tips

Success is defined in many different ways by different people, but one of the key factors that people use as a yardstick is having a fruitful career. Someone will frequently describe you as successful if you have a lengthy, stable job with a history of growth and potential in the future.

By the standards of many people, add in a sizable pay check every other week, and you’ve “made it.” ”.

This kind of thinking makes changing one’s career later in life seem terrifying. However, it happens more frequently than you might imagine if you’re wondering how to change careers.

While it’s difficult to define what constitutes a career change, there aren’t any concrete statistics on how to do it, the average man has 12 years of experience. 5 jobs throughout his career, compared to 12 for the average woman. 1 in hers, according to U. S. Labor Bureau statistics. An EdX survey found that 29 percent of people had changed careers at least once since graduating from college, with the average length of employment being four years. With these statistics combined with the constantly shifting job market, it is safe to assume that many workers are considering changing careers for a variety of reasons.

The decision to change careers later in life may be motivated by a variety of factors, but it need not be frightening and is most definitely not impossible. You can achieve your greatest success in the second half of your professional career with just a few career change guides and life lessons.

How to know if it’s time to change careers | The Way We Work, a TED series

How to transition careers

You might need to update your skills depending on the career you choose. This could entail enrolling in formal classes to earn a new credential, taking a vocational course online, or simply doing research on the new industry you want to break into.

The basic steps for changing careers at 40 are:

There are many resources available to help you succeed in your new career, whether you intend to use your existing skills or need to learn new ones.

From bus cleaner to tech

Jason Klundt took a chance in 2016 when he decided to leave behind his bus cleaning job at New Jersey Transit and begin his career switch to the tech world.

Jason decided to reskill after having trouble finding a tech job. He enrolled in a UXDI Immersive at General Assembly and graduated in April 2020. “The course opened many new doors for me,” explained Jason.

Jason now has a thriving career in tech. He joined the PeduL team as a UX Design Consultant after graduating. His big break, however, came in March 2021 when Jason joined the Bank of America Product Design team and most recently was promoted to VP of Software Engineering.

To find out more about Jason’s transition into technology, read our alumni success stories.

3 common challenges for career changers at 40 and how to overcome them

Although financially easier, switching careers later in life may be more mentally challenging. As we age, we grow accustomed to our daily routines. This includes routines in our professional and personal lives. We’ve identified three common career change challenges and their solutions.

1. Networking scares

We cannot overstate the value of networking for a career change. “There is such significant value in the networking aspect. Don’t just apply for jobs; put yourself out there and network with as many people as you can, advised Leang Chung, founder and CEO of Pelora Stack.

But if you’re new to technology, networking sometimes seems like a difficult task to approach.

To become a networking pro, utilize LinkedIn to your advantage. Look at the employee profiles on the websites of the companies you want to work for. Start interacting with their posts on LinkedIn to introduce yourself warmly, whether they are recruiters or someone in the department you want to join. Sometimes messaging someone directly can be intimidating.

“Three of my students have in the past connected with recruiters and gotten interviews as a result of comments they made on other people’s posts,” Briar Dougherty, CEO & Founder of Career Organic, continued, “So if you start to comment, then you’re building organic confidence and conversation.”

2. Explaining your story

Consider your career change a benefit that will enhance your personal brand in the eyes of prospective employers. Tell your story about why you’re changing careers and why you’re passionate about technology to stand out from the crowd.

Many people are switching from completely unrelated fields of technology. Therefore, be careful how you tell your story to prevent it from sounding jumbled. Pull along your transferrable skills and adapt them to your story when making the 180-degree career switch, advised Briar Dougherty, CEO & Founder of Career Organic.

3. Pick one lane

Psychologist Barry Schwartz once coined the phrase “Paradox of Choice” to describe his findings that while increased his choice, it also led him to greater anxiety, indecision and ultimately “analysis paralysis.”

There are at least 1 results for “analysis paralysis” on Google. 3 million results. So what does any of this have to do with changing careers?

It’s difficult enough to even consider changing careers. You don’t want to have too many options because that will make you more stressed. Pick one lane, i. e. , focus on one particular area of tech.

Focus on one specific area of technology, especially during interviews, said Leang Chung, Founder & CEO at Pelora Stack, “this is particularly important when applying for a job.” The interview begins to falter if you don’t devote enough time to examining a particular topic in depth. Become an expert in your field. ”.

Switching jobs or switching careers: Nail down the difference

The truth is that these two words are very different and have different meanings for your continued professional success, despite the fact that switching the words “job” and “career” may seem like an innocent use of synonyms.

Your occupation is what we refer to as a “job,” whereas your career is a more comprehensive term for your profession. You might work as an elementary school teacher, for instance. However, your profession is in education.

When you’re wondering how to change careers, it may be for a number of reasons. Actually, statistics tell us that people leave their jobs for one or more of these top seven reasons:

  • Lack of Opportunity: Workers feel they have learned everything they can at their job and there is no room for growth.
  • Lousy Management: Poor leadership is an easy way to lose great employees; many people who feel mistreated, unrecognized, and underappreciated will switch jobs.
  • Toxic Work Environment: A toxic workplace goes beyond a bad manager; when the company culture is generally negative, it can be a nearly impossible place to work.
  • Career Advancement: Sometimes, no matter how hard you work or how long you have worked at a company, there is simply nowhere for you to advance professionally; this often happens in smaller companies that have limited leadership roles.
  • Too Much/Too Little Work: Someone who has become overqualified for a position can quickly become bored, while someone who is well-trusted may end up with too many responsibilities thrown upon them for no extra compensation.
  • Finances: As much as you might not want money to play a role in your dream job , in the end, it always does; you might need to find a new job only because the paycheck isn’t supporting your lifestyle.
  • Lack of Benefits/Rewards: Many companies will offer incentives for excellent work along with various bonuses, holiday compensation, and benefits packages. If your job isn’t offering you any of that but still expects top-notch work, you may consider switching jobs.
  • If one of these considerations applies to you, you might be more interested in changing jobs or employers than in changing careers. Have you given quitting your job a lot of thought? As with any major choice, be sure to consider all the options before making a final decision.

    Let’s look at our teaching example from earlier. Even though you enjoy teaching elementary school, it’s possible that your employer can’t afford to pay you what you’re worth. It might be time to start looking at different school districts as your own family grows and the cost of living rises.

    In this case, you would be changing jobs rather than careers. However, you would be talking about changing careers if you decided it was time to leave teaching and pursue something else.


    Is it worth changing careers at 40?

    You can begin a new career at any age, including 40, 50, and 60. It might require some extra work, but it’s never too late to set new, meaningful personal and professional goals. BetterUp can help you find the best way forward.

    What is the best career to start at 40?

    For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below:
    1. Medical administrative assistant. National average salary: $34,735 per year. …
    2. Event planner. …
    3. Patient care technician. …
    4. Translator. …
    5. SEO specialist. …
    6. Dental assistant. …
    7. Human resources manager. …
    8. Web developer.

    What is a good career change at 45?

    Best Career Options at 45 Career OutlookAverage SalarySales Manager 5% $127,490 Personal Financial Advisor 15% $94,170 Web Developer 30% $78,300 Writer 4% $69,510

    Is 45 too late to change careers?

    It is never too late to switch careers. Indeed, many people change careers, often later in life. However, in order to decide whether it’s worthwhile, you must consider your life’s top priorities. Yes, for many people, a career relaunch is well worth the effort.

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