Steps to Take when Considering a Career Change in Your 40s 

12 Min Read

It is certainly not too late to get back to the job market at the age of 40. As the popular saying goes “Age is nothing but numbers.” However, remember that changing to a new career is not a simple move. You have to be highly motivated to do this, and you need to have reasonable expectations. 

One of the most difficult issues many people encounter is putting aside some of the specific experiences and contacts they developed in their prior careers. Generally, I think it is okay to start a new career at any time that you feel the need, drive, ability, and desire irrespective of your age.  

Why Start a New Career at 40? 

There are numerous reasons why most people tend to start a new career at 40 and here are just a few of them: 

To find Job Satisfaction/Fulfillment 

One major reason why most people consider starting a new career path at 40 could be that they do not find happiness in their current job hence they are opting for a career, maybe in a different field or something to find satisfaction and fulfillment in what they do. 

If you’re unhappy with your current career, then changing careers is an option. Decide which career path picks your interest, assess the gap in experience and education, and then make a plan to close the gap. You may need to undergo training to get the experience you need. 

Revise your resume, showcase yourself as a professional, and then apply and interview for jobs. This process may take anywhere from a few days to a few months to fully change your career path but it’s sure going to be worth it and in the end, you will have yourself to thank! 

Social Environment

If you’re a people person then you’ll want to consider the social environment of your work as a yardstick when it comes to choosing a new career.  It could be that you don’t get along with your co-workers or you no longer want to work with the company anymore because of its culture.  

This can be a very frustrating and difficult situation to be in, and it can lead people to look for a new career where they feel more comfortable and accepted. While introverts may be comfortable at a desk job, extroverts often need more stimulation. 

Try to choose a career that fits your social needs so you don’t get easily bored or see your job as a work. New experiences can be great to help you grow as a professional. Being willing to try new things can show future employers that you take initiative and are adaptable to new situations.

To Accomplish Your Priorities and Goals 

The last but not the least reason why most people start a new career at 40 could be because of their personal priorities. Sometimes, people feel like their priorities are not being met in their current career. It could be that they are not able to make enough money to support their families.  

They may also feel like they are not able to pursue their passions in their current job. When this happens, looking for a career that better aligns with your priorities and goals can be a very positive and empowering decision to take as it allows you to be in charge of your life.  

You could also make choices that are in line with your values. If you think your current career is limiting you from achieving a lot of things then you should consider a different career.  Knowing what your priorities and goals are and how to achieve them could save you a lot of time and money in the future!

Steps to Take to Change Your Career at 40  

While changing careers at 40 can seem challenging it is actually possible to achieve. However, there are some steps you need to take to be sure you are doing the right thing for yourself and they are as follows:

Reflect on Your Current Situation and Goals 

Understand that by embarking on a new career path you are about to move to a new phase in your life and you do not want to make the same mistakes that you did in your current career. You may need to take some time to reflect as it is important to help you identify what’s working and not working in your current career. 

Ask yourself some important questions like: 

  • What aspects of my current job do I enjoy?
  • What are my strengths and skills?
  • What is my ideal work environment?
  • What would I like to be doing in five years?

By answering these questions, you can get a clearer picture of what you like and dislike about your current job, what you want to keep the same, and what you want in your next career. With that in mind, you can start to develop a plan for achieving your goals in the long run.  

Research Various Career Options that Align with Your Goals 

The second step is research, which involves gathering information about your career options. You don’t just want to go into any career without having in-depth knowledge of what it is all about. Moreover, since this is your next try you simply want to go for a career that aligns with your interest and can help you achieve your goals. 

Research specific jobs, companies, and industries that suit your personality and interest.  You can also research educational requirements, salary ranges, and job outlooks for different career paths. The goal of this step is to narrow down your options and focus on the most promising ones. With this in check, you can be sure to get a more fulfilling career than your current one.  

Network with People in Your Desired Field 

You will agree with me that starting a new career can be tasking especially when it is time to look for a new job in your desired field. However, that’s where networking plays a crucial role. Having the right network and networking with the right people can help your career in many ways even more than you can ever imagine.  

For me, I think networking is the single most important skill to grow in your career. The truth is, most jobs are not often posted on the internet. People trust people they know. People hire people they know. Most great jobs come from professional networks and it is crucial to build that because it can help you find opportunities you might not have found on your own.  

Update Your Resume and Begin Applying for Jobs 

Updating your resume and applying for jobs right away is the way to go. As soon as you have figured out what you want for yourself and already have sound knowledge of your newly found career path. You’ll want to make sure your materials are updated and accurately reflect your skills and accomplishments. 

Tailor your resume and profile to the specific jobs you’re applying for. For instance, if you are picking a career in Vocation, you should find a job within the field same as any other career path you want to work in. This step may seem tedious, but it’s essential for putting your best foot forward over the competition in the labor market.  

However, as much as it is important to secure a good job it is also necessary that you consider certain potential roadblocks that could get in your way like lack of experience, skills, etc as you kick on with your job hunt.  

Is 40 Too Old for a Career Change?

No, not at all. At 40 you are still young and there are so many things you can achieve at such an age. Much too young to give up on your life and accept the miserable existence known as “adult responsibility.” Many people might disagree with me on this, but I don’t think there is any age that is too old to make a change.

If you are doing something, and it is making you unhappy, or you think you are capable of better, or you want to do something else for whatever reason, find a way to make it happen. Doing anything else is being dishonest with yourself. In the meantime, start exploring other career paths where you can find fulfillment in what you do.  

The hopeless attitude of “it’s too late for me” is not going to do you any good. The only people that it is too late for are the people who give up. The weak minded individuals who accept their fate instead of insisting on making things better. Reinvention, career or otherwise, depends on a strong minded attitude and persistence.

Wrap Up 

If you want to change careers at 40 do it, as long as it makes sense to you and it gives you fulfillment. If you start a new career at age 40 and live as long as 90 years you will spend the next 50 years in your new career. How sweet! To sum up, if you are sure of what you want to do, don’t let anyone stop you. Not even your own fears. Best of luck with your endeavors 

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