Having a fulfilling career is a lifelong journey. As we get older, our interests and passions change and you may find yourself in a position where you’re ready to make a change in your career. If you find yourself standing at a crossroads, questioning the path you’ve treaded thus far, remember this: it’s never too late to pivot, to reinvent, and to chase after the dreams that stir your soul. Changing careers in your 30s, 40s, and beyond is a testament to your resilience and an opportunity to align your professional life with your passions and to embrace the untapped potential within. It’s a chance to script a narrative that resonates with your true self. Perhaps there’s a long-neglected dream that’s been patiently waiting in the wings, or a passion project that’s been simmering on the back burner. Now is the time to bring it to the forefront, to let your experience and newfound wisdom infuse new meaning into your career.
I get it. It’s uncomfortable to think about making a big change, but don’t let fear and uncertainty get in the way of your happiness. The road may be winding, but it’s yours to navigate. Embrace the uncertainty, for within it lies the excitement of discovery and the thrill of transformation. I wish there was a perfect roadmap on how to navigate changing careers, however each one of our journeys is different. Acknowledge that your situation is unique and listen to advice with an open mind and an open heart. This article offers tips to inspire you to go out there and make your dreams possible. Best of luck and know that I believe in you. You got this.
Take the time to get clarity: Whether it’s a job loss or other life-changing moment that is brought you to this crossroads, my biggest advice is to take the time to get clarity on what you want. Evaluate your passions and skill sets to understand what motivates you, what you have to offer, and what type of career environment is most important to you. There are several career clarity courses available to help you work through this process to get to the root of what you want for this next phase of your career.
Let go of expectations: Whenever our world is changing, it is natural for us to fall into preconceived expectations because familiarity is comfortable. Remember that you are at this crossroads for a reason. You are looking for something different to fill a gap in your life. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that we may not want to be that corporate climbing boss-lady anymore, that perhaps what we value out of life has changed. Get comfortable with letting go of what you’ve always done and be open to the possibility of a new path.
Build connections: As you are researching and exploring changing careers, reach out and connect with people in different careers that you are considering. This is a great way to understand your options at a deeper level from people who are in the trenches. This is also a great way of building connections in your areas of interest that can serve you later when you are building your new career.
Brush up on your finances: Ultimately, we work in order to make a living, so understanding your household finances is a key component of changing your career. Evaluate your savings and the timeline you have to make a career decision. Build a budget so you know exactly how much you need to make. Although money should NOT be the ultimate decision maker on a career change, it is valuable information to have so you know what to expect.
Get educated: Chances are if you are thinking of changing careers, you may identify some gaps in your knowledge. Be open to this and don’t discount a career just because you need additional skills. Research certifications or courses that will give you the upper hand and get moving. The more you can educate yourself and learn about potential careers, the more you’ll understand if it’s a right fit for you.
Reimagine yourself: Once you identify a career path you want to pursue, you’ll need to toss that old resume and give it an overhaul. Do the research on the top skills required and highlight the value you can bring to the table. Update your social media profiles with and add descriptive content showcasing your talents. Reimagine your life in this new career and fake it til’ you make it. Good things will come.
Lean on your networks: Your networks are a powerful tool when changing careers. Lean on your networks, talk to as many people as you can, and see where you can make connections in your new career. There is so much power in people and the more you put yourself out there, the faster you’ll see results.