A change of career at 30 may seem intimidating, but it is certainly possible. With the right research and planning, you can make a positive change and improve your life.

Why is 30 the perfect time for a career change?

Making a career change at any age is, without a doubt, a daunting prospect. However, it’s important to remember a shift away from a job you dislike into a satisfying career will impact your wellbeing in a positive way.

At the age of 30, you probably began your career no longer than 12 years ago, and if you attended university, then the chances are your career entry was even more recent. By the time we reach 30, it’s common to see that goals and aspirations we had as young 20-somethings have moved in a different direction.

If, like many people, you plan to retire at 65 or later, there are 35+ years of work ahead of you. It seems logical to find a career you are happy with for at least another three decades.

In reality, 47% of people are unfulfilled by their careers, showing that if you don’t make the switch now, your dissatisfaction is likely to only get worse. With so many years ahead of you, a career switch at 30 is getting ahead of the game, as a large proportion of the workforce are choosing to switch in their 40s and even 50s.

With many people now waiting until they are stable and satisfied with their career before deciding to start a family or buy a home, many 30-year olds are in a unique position that can make a career transition simpler. People with young children, mortgages, and other financial responsibilities may face more difficulty transferring to a different career due to restrictions based on location or childcare duties.

How to embark on your career change

Once you have decided that a career change is the right thing for you, your next task is to determine the type of career you are keen to pursue. Identifying the aspects of your current career, you are dissatisfied with will provide an excellent basis for looking for the right changes.

If you feel unhappy, dissatisfied, or bored of your current career but are unsure of the type of role that may suit you better, you can take steps to help decide what your future job should be.

An essential part of the career planning process is self-assessment. This involves consideration of your personality type, interests, and work-related values. It’s essential that you feel confident the change you are making is for the better, so be sure to spend time researching the types of occupations you are interested in, including the duties, outlook, earnings, and education or training requirements.

To get first-hand experience of the career you are keen on entering, consider undertaking an adult internship before making any commitments. Adult internships are a fun and flexible method to be introduced into a new industry.

It is important to remember that if your dream career requires extra education or training, you may need to sacrifice your income while studying. Moreover, you may have additional expenses if you are required to fund your tuition. If this is the case, ensure you are financially ready for such a change.

Alternatively, there are further education options available that will allow you to gain the education you need while continuing to work, such as the Open University, which provides online courses enabling students to combine their learning while earning. Another option is to study for a degree part-time while working part-time. To find out more about the range of part-time degrees available, check out our guide on part-time college and university.

If you require extra training or experience for your career change, but not at a university level, there are numerous adult apprenticeships available. It is a common misconception that apprenticeships are only open to young people. Undertaking an apprenticeship as an adult will help improve the quality and range of opportunities available to you.