People see others joining the flock of sheep and without thinking follow suit. In their 30’s / 40’s and after slogging in a dull job for years. Many start questioning themselves- am I too old to make a change or learn new skill. But trust me, it’s never too late to do anything and that includes career progression. You can do a career change at 35, 40 or even later.
Career progression is important if do not wish to stay stagnant and are open to the learning curve. Thankfully, these days, more people are open to new skills to learn and realize that it’s never too late to start anew.
My story was a little different. I changed my career path in my 30’s. I started working in a BPO (call center) at the age of 21 without knowing what I really like. Tired of taking calls, and in pursuit of growth, I explored various career paths from IT to the HR to banking sector till I stumbled upon digital marketing.
Before deciding to switch my full-fledged career to digital marketing, I researched many career options, career pathfinder, and networking with people to find something that would interest me. But digital marketing got me intrigued and soon turned into a passion. I think that was the best decision of my life because it helped me to realize my true love and direction in life.
People feel that career path change or career progression at a certain age may not be possible and they lose their confidence, but the fact is that there is no definite age to learn new skill or even switch careers. Because with age, you get one of the biggest blessings- EXPERIENCE. No one can take it from you.
There are many reasons why an individual looks for a career change. Turning a side hustle into a full-time career opportunity, keen to follow a passion, stagnancy in the work, tired of 9-5 job or saying “yes” to the boss. The reasons can be many.
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But, before venturing into the new career path, it’s important to consider a few things-
- Figure out the finances (as you may have to restart from a lower package than your current one or be without a job/income for a few months).
- You might have to learn new skill.
- Be prepared to listen to the naysayers including the family/ friends/ colleagues/ boss who might judge you for your decision to change careers at 30 or 40.
- Research growth prospects in the new field.
- Networking people is important. Join Facebook groups or start searching for people on Linkedin from your field.
- You might have to start from a lower designation.
Career switch in the ’30s and ’40s is a big change and you would need a lot of determination to do that. Make sure to do your research before. You can check articles on best midlife career changes, midlife career options, etc as well.
Tips to Switch Career
Understand your liking
It’s important to introspect a bit to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and what you enjoy most. You don’t want to jump from one undesired career to another one.
Once you switch a career, it might take a few years to establish yourself in that. So, it’s crucial to take a well-thought and well-planned decision.
Enroll in a few courses
Thanks to the digitalization age, career progression is not as hard as used to be. Learning a new skill or a subject is like a breeze. There are ample materials available on every possible subject and you can also get online certifications done.
Sites like Skillshare, Udemy, Upgrad, etc are great as you can explore many courses in your desired industry and do the certifications.
Connect to industry network and group
As mentioned above Social media groups are the best way to build a network, learn more from industry leaders, and elevate your knowledge. Networking with people as much as possible as this might help you to land a job as well.
There is no age to try something new. Next time, someone tries to tell you- “You are too old to do something new”. Remember– the only people who manage to leave their mark are the ones who dare to stand out in the crowd.