Things to Consider When Pursuing a Career Change in Your 30s
Switching up careers and starting anew can feel like a daunting task to many people. A career change sounds even more frightening when you’re in your 30s and have spent most of your 20s working your way up to get to where you are now.
As difficult and scary as it may seem, making the switch is sometimes the best thing you can possibly do for yourself, especially if you feel like your current job doesn’t seem fulfilling or fitting anymore. People grow and evolve, and remaining in the same workplace when your aspirations and goals have changed can feel suffocating, affecting both your professional and private life.
If you feel like your current job is the cause of your dissatisfaction and are contemplating a career change, here are a couple of things you’ll need to consider before you take a leap of faith.
Take some time to decide if this is something you want
Changing careers is a huge step – there is no doubt about that. It’s a move that will impact all the other aspects of your life and a decision that should not be taken lightly. This is why it’s important that you are 100% committed to the idea of making the switch.
Surely, we all get fed up with our to-do lists and a dull everyday routine from time to time. But is swapping careers really an answer to your problems or just a thought that crosses your mind every time you feel overwhelmed?
Take some time to examine your current situation and figure out what’s wrong and what’s right. Write down what you want from your new job (both your nice-to-haves and non-negotiables) and make sure to set some long-term goals as well. Only after you’ve done some serious thinking will you be able to decide whether a career change is something you truly want and need in your life.
Make sure you understand your strengths and motivation
One of the reasons why many people aren’t happy with their job is because it’s not something that truly showcases their strengths. For you to be happy, engaged, and productive at your job, you need to be able to utilize your skills and talents every day.
Therefore, write down what you’re good at and base your job search on careers that align with your strengths. If it’s something that energizes you and makes you thrive and you’d do it for free, chances are, you’re on the right path of finding a fulfilling career.
Finding out what you want your days to be like takes time and effort. One way to find some inspiration and learn something new in an entertaining way is to simply download some business podcasts you can listen to in your free time. They can help you develop a business mindset, improve your leadership skills and teach you how to brand yourself on the Internet – and all that completely free of charge.
Get ready to re-educate yourself
Unless you’re looking to get a job in the same industry, you’re going to need to master some new skills and complete certain courses. Some career changes may call for a new degree, while others may simply require you to complete a certification program.
For instance, those looking to become project managers could benefit from obtaining project management PMP certification as a proof of education, experience, and competency to perform the job, i.e. lead and direct projects. Regardless of the field you’re looking to land a job in, having the necessary credentials will help you present yourself in the best light possible.
This in turn, will help you impress the employers, thus boosting your chances of getting the position you applied for.
Take it for a test run
Whether you’re looking to get started in a completely different field from the one you’re in right now or thinking about moving jobs in the same industry, there is always more than meets the eye. Surely, you could do some Internet research and ask around to get some important information. You can even connect with those who work in the field and learn what you can expect from that certain job.
That said, your safest bet would be to take your career change for a test run. Look for different volunteering opportunities available or try your hand at freelancing if your potential new career allows for that.
Regardless of the route you take, testing the waters first will give you a taste of what it would be like working that particular job you’re after. This, in turn, could help you understand whether or not you’re making the right choice by switching to this new career and empower you if you decide to go for it.
Given how many of us made their career choice when they were still in their 20s (or even younger), the fact that we’re thinking of ditching our current job and finding something more fun and fulfilling doesn’t come as a shock. Chances are, you’d pick a completely different career path if you had to start all over again.
And although it may feel risky, your 30s could be just the right time to take the plunge and make this big change. After all, you’ll probably work for another three decades, so you might as well find an occupation you enjoy.