There are many people over the age of 40 who have successfully changed careers: the Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until he was 55 years old, and he did not license his name for cake mixes until he was 73 years old.
At the age of 46, Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and co-starred in Pulp Fiction with John Travolta.
- Ray Kroc was 59 years old when he purchased his first McDonald's.
- At the age of 44, Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart.
- I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
- You can successfully change careers if you have a clear mind and enough oxygen in your lungs.
In this article, I'll investigate why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, as well as how to make the change and break free from your stale job.
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What is preventing you from making a career change?
There are numerous compelling reasons to change careers at the age of 40. You could argue the benefits of changing careers at any age. Making a career change at the age of 40, on the other hand, is a little different.
When you're 40, you probably have a lot of “responsibilities” that influence your decision-making. What exactly do I mean by “responsibilities,” you may wonder.
Our fears and self-doubt are usually wrapped in a bow of logic and reason when it comes to responsibilities. You might be thinking to yourself, “I have bills to pay and a family to support.” Can I afford the risk that a career change entails?
What about the friends I've made along the way? I can't just walk away from them.
What if I don't enjoy my new job as much as I expected? I could end up unhappy and stuck in an even worse situation.
Because my new job is so different from what I've been doing, I'll need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this extra expense, and do I have enough time to recoup my investment?
The economy is not doing well, and there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding starting a new job. Perhaps it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, at which point I will be able to start something new.
If you have had any of these thoughts, they will only make you feel better for a short time. Whether that time span is a few weeks, months, or even years.
You begin to feel stuck in your current position because you know you would rather do something else for a living.
Your old justifications for inaction are no longer effective. What was once a small schism in your dissatisfaction with your current situation is now a chasm.
Ideally, you should never stay in a situation until that point, but there is still hope.
4 Ways to Change Your Career at 40 You don't have to be unhappy in your current position any longer. You can take steps to overcome your fears and self-doubt so that you can achieve your goal of changing careers.
The difficulty in changing careers is not knowing where to begin. Most people are held back by a sense of overwhelm and apprehension about the unknown.
Follow these four tips to successfully change careers at the age of 40.
1. Value Your Time Over Money Nothing is more valuable than your time. Every month, you most likely receive a pay check or two that replenishes your income. Money is something that you can always get more of.
When it comes to your time, once it's gone, it's gone forever. That is why waiting for the ideal situation to make a career change is a bad idea.
Realistically, there will never be a perfect situation. There will always be something that could be improved or a project that you want to complete before you leave.
By prioritizing time over money, you will increase your chances of success and avoid stagnation.
Understand that you are not alone if you feel disconnected at work. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees are actively engaged at work. Whether you believe your talents are underutilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something different with your life, the time to act is now.
Make a career change now, rather than waiting until you retire in 10 to 20 years. Make a plan to change careers right away. You'll be glad you did it later.
2. Create a Network Making a career change will not be easy, but it does not have to be impossible.
One advantage of being further along in your career is that the people you associate with are also further along.
Even if the majority of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know what their needs are.
My friend recently changed careers and entered the real estate industry. He began by informing everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.
It's not like he assumed everyone he knew was planning to sell their house. He wanted to make sure he was at the top of our minds if we talked to anyone who was thinking about buying or selling a home.
You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvassing the area. They wanted you to know they were a licensed and local financial adviser. They wanted to make sure that if you or someone you knew was looking for an adviser, you thought of them first.
The advantage of having a network that is further along in their career is that they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.
You want to inform people early in the process that you are considering a career change so that they will remember you when the need arises.
Let me pose a question to you: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?
When there isn't a speck of snow on the ground in the summer.
In the summer, let them know about your company. Then, ask them if you can keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to devote the entire autumn season to cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when winter arrives, they already know who will shovel their snow.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, start sending out those feelers before the need arises. Then you'll be ahead of your competitors, who waited until the snow fell to begin canvassing the neighborhood.
3. Believe It Is Possible One of the most common mistakes people make when they want to try something new is never talking to people who are living the life they desire.
What kind of advice do you think you'll get if you only talk to friends who haven't changed jobs in 30 years? They will give you advice based on their own experiences. If they have spent 30 years in the same profession, they most likely believe that career stability is critical to their well-being.
In life, your actions frequently reflect your beliefs. Someone who wishes to start a business should not seek advice from someone who has never done so.
A person who has never taken the risk of starting a business is likely to be risk averse. As a result, they will discuss the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.
Instead, if you speak with a business owner, they will advise you on the difficulties of starting a business. They will, however, share with you how they overcame those challenges, as well as the advantages of being a business owner.
If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt about changing careers at 40, you should talk to people who have done so successfully.
They will give you a realistic perspective on the difficulties of the endeavor, but they will also help you believe it is possible.
By absorbing the successes of others, you are choosing to believe that you can change your career at the age of 40. If, on the other hand, you absorb other people's fears and doubts, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.
4. Put Yourself Out There In order to make a career change at 40, you will most likely have to leave your comfort zone.
The reason for this is that your comfort zone is based on the experiences you've had thus far. As a result, your current job is in your comfort zone.
Even if you are feeling stuck and unproductive in your job, it is still your comfort zone. This helps to explain why so many people are hesitant to change careers.
You will need to attend industry events if you want to improve your chances of starting your new career.
You should make it a priority to attend these events, whether they are local or a large conference that everyone attends. Ideally, you should begin with local events because they may provide a more intimate setting.
Many of these events include a professional development component where you can learn about the skill sets, certifications, and education that people are looking for. Here are the top 17 careers worth returning to school for at the age of 40.
You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action based on the responses.
The benefit of getting exposure to your new industry is that you might get lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and develop a valuable relationship or land an interview.
Final Thoughts Regardless of the reason, you owe it to yourself to change your career. You have valuable insight from your current job that can help you stand out from the crowd.
Begin sharing your story and desire to change careers right away. Attend industry events and cultivate a belief mindset. You have everything you need to achieve your goal; all you need to do is act.
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