Looking for a career change in your forties?
Things were different in your twenties. You were just starting out, and there was a whole new world on your plate to explore. Eventually, you figured out what your ambitions were, and worked towards achieving them.
After years of experience, people tend to become comfortable with their jobs. And as they grow in their professions, it might get difficult for them to switch because of several reasons. Therefore, looking for a career change in your forties is not a popular stride amongst professionals.
Why should you look for a career change?
Explore your options
You probably couldn’t go for a career change earlier because you were scared, or probably didn’t know what to do next. But, you might have an option to explore things now. You may have a chance to try new things after all. Figure out what drives you, and push your limits. It is never too late to try new things.
Stuck in your career
Your job probably seemed like a cool thing to do when you started off, but it probably isn’t anymore. You might be bored, and cannot imagine yourself doing the same thing for the next 25 years. You might not see any room for your career growth. Hence, to learn more, changing your domain can prove to be a beneficial decision for your career growth.
Follow your passion
Survival, responsibilities, procrastination, and other innumerable factors tend to take a toll on most of us. These factors may handicap us from following through with what we love. Although, there is no particular time of life when you are supposed to realise what your passion really is and start working towards it.
How can you go about it?
First and foremost, you need to decide what is it that you wish to do.
List your interests
Research on the list of career options that are available on the internet. There could be hundreds of professions you didn’t know existed. Listing them down will give you a better idea of what it is that you exactly want to do.
Map your skills to your interests
The next important thing is to know what you are good at. List your skills to give you a better idea of what you know.
Now that you have a rough idea of your skill-set and interests, map them together to see where they intersect.
Research on skills to be learned
Now, look upon the complete list of skills required for different professions you are interested in.
For example, to become a Data Scientist, you will need to learn SQL, MATLAB, R, etc. To be a graphic designer, you will need to learn Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign.
Make a choice
Now, you know your interests, things you are good at, and the things you will need to learn for every profession. Analyse the data and make a decision.
The factors that will majorly affect your decision: Time you have in hand, skills you want to learn, and places you want to work at.
Once you have chosen a profession, start learning. There are several online tools available for the same, like Coursera, edX, SitePoint, etc. You could join some crash courses as well.
Once you have acquired the minimal skill-set, start applying. Read the job descriptions. If there is something in the description that you think you should learn, go forward with it.
Use online platforms like LinkedIn, AngelList, iimjobs to the best of your benefits.
You can review the companies at Hush, and make your decisions accordingly.
Challenges & Advice
Not many people change their career interests in their forties. With this decision comes many challenges. Also, knowing a few things beforehand can make this transition a little easier for you.
Following is a list of things you should know while looking for a career change in your forties:
Your responsibilities might have increased as you entered your forties. A lot of financial strain might rest on your shoulders. It is always better to plan your financial situation properly, so you know when to quit.
Not many people do it
Most people tend to stick with their current professions after the age of 25, or even before. You should know you are not the majority if you are looking for a career change at this stage of your life.
Regardless, you should be confident and proud that you are still willing to explore more options and understand what you want from life.
Be reasonable with your salary expectations
It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you hold in sales. If you are starting as a visual designer right now, you are new to the profession. And so, your salary may be equivalent to any beginner in this field.
Make sure you have researched well on the salary structure for a particular role to make the negotiations. You can do that easily with the help of Hush’s salary feature.
Your experience is an advantage
Even if you are starting out in a different field, your profession before this could be related to your current choice. For example, if you are a graphic designer wanting to get into front-end development, then the fields are closely related. And so, you have a better chance of getting the job.
Even if the job role you are aiming for may not be even remotely connected to what you did before, you have experience in the industry. You understand how businesses work and may also possess the required soft skills, which can only be earned through experience. This is another advantage if you can display it properly.
Be considerate about your resume
Make sure the skill-set you portray in your resume is relevant to what you want to do. Make it current job-focussed, and single paged.
Get on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the most used social media platforms for professionals. People will ask you for the link to your LinkedIn profile more times than you think.
Also, connecting through LinkedIn improves your chances of getting your aspired job. Comment on posts. Meet people with similar work interests. Talk to them. And you are good to go.
It is not easy to change your career in your forties. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication. But, if you really want to do it, you must go forward with it.