As a 40-year old, while you may feel stuck in the same old routine unable to escape your current occupation, it is never too late to make a career switch and change your life for the better.
At the age of 40, most people are almost two decades into their career. Suppose you have continued to work in the same occupation since you started your career as a school leaver or university graduate. In that case, you will undoubtedly have a great deal of experience by this point.
There are numerous reasons why you may want to change your career at 40. Perhaps you are dissatisfied with what you’re doing or have realised you cannot advance any further than your current role. Whatever the reason may be, it is never too late to make a career change.
Needless to say, a career change at 40, while completely possible, will not necessarily involve a simple transition. Change is always hard, but the best way to tackle it is to be fully prepared.
Is a career change at 40 right for me?
To help you decide whether a career change at 40 is right for you, start by weighing up the positives and negatives:
By the age of 40, you are likely to have increased confidence. This is particularly true if you have been working for 20+ years. The years you have spent in your career have provided you with a range of experiences, and you will be able to leverage this experience into an excellent transferable skillset.
Moreover, a good career change will positively impact your health, wellbeing, and relationships. Being in the wrong career is stressful, and while deciding whether to make a transition can be overwhelming. Once you figure out what occupation you want to do, it will likely come as a huge relief.
If you plan to retire at 65 or later, you still have 25 years of work in your future. Even if you require a few years of education or training to prepare for your future career, you will still have over two decades of work in your new occupation. If you are required to work over the age of 65 for financial needs, you will be grateful for making that switch into a career that is enjoyable and of interest to you.
With industry changing faster than ever, including the prospect of 30% of current jobs being made redundant by 2030, moving into a career with greater prospects could easily lead to a better salary and pension. If you’re willing to take on some retraining, your potential is almost limitless.
Before making a career change, it’s crucial to consider your responsibilities. This may include taking care of young children, a mortgage, or loans that may make a career transition more complicated than a career switch at 30 would have been. Such responsibilities may restrict the options available to you for financial reasons or childcare duties. Remember to research the occupations of interest to you in-depth, to ensure the hours, wage, and location are suitable for your position in life.
How to embark on your career change
Once you have decided that a career change is right for you, try to find a way to do so that fits in well with your current life situation. This may mean that the transition could take longer than it would have been if you had decided to make a change ten years ago, but as long as you are well-prepared, this switch will certainly be worthwhile.
Beginning with a self-assessment should be the first step in your career planning process. This will allow you to learn about your interests, aptitudes, and work-related values, which have likely changed since your early 20s.
Explore the types of careers that are of interest to you. Compare the responsibilities required of you to your personality traits, skills, and experiences. If you are interested in a particular career path but are less familiar with the industry, consider undertaking an adult internship to gather experience before making any commitments.
One of the best aspects of your accumulated years of working is that you will have immense experience. The talents and abilities you have acquired can be transferable to your new career. Look out for jobs that you feel your skillset could be easily transferable to. These occupations may be easier to enter if you can avoid the training or education that less experienced candidates would require.
If the career you are interested in requires extra education or training, don’t be put off or disheartened. There are options available allowing you to study while you work, including distance learning courses through the Open University or part-time college and university.