Is It Ever Too Late to Make a Career Switch?
Changing careers is a big step to take at any stage in life. It can feel especially difficult if you’ve worked in the same industry for many years or are worried that you’re too old to make the switch. But as long as you give it some careful consideration and prepare appropriately, you can switch careers at any age.
Why Make a Career Switch?
Changing your line of work isn’t impossible, and it’s not just for younger people either! In fact, the average age for a career change is 39, while one study found that 90% of over 50s would like to find a new professional path.
So, why do people decide to switch careers? Some of the most common reasons include:
- More flexibility. A poor work–life balance can put pressure on your productivity, relationships, and mental health. Changing careers could help you find a more flexible job that fits around your schedule, especially if you’re partially retired.
- Better pay. Sometimes, staying in one job for a long period of time can result in fewer raises and wage stagnation. Changing careers can result in a higher income and better recognition for your hard work.
- Less stress. With approximately 77% of workers experiencing workplace burnout, many people look for work that offers a less stressful environment.
- Job fulfilment. Many people have a dream job or field of work that they’ve always wanted to try. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current line of work, a career change might be the answer.
- Opportunities to develop. Staying in one job for a long time can result in feelings of stagnation. Changing careers is one way to explore different options, develop new skills, and learn new things.
If these factors strike a chord with you, it might be time for a new career!
Steps to Starting a New Career
1. Decide Which Career Is Right for You
A good place to start is by considering any lines of work that you’ve always been interested in pursuing. You should also look into the sorts of jobs that offer any particular benefits you’re interested in – for example, the ability to work from home.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential careers, carefully research each one, thinking about:
- Whether the pay is suitable for your needs
- What equipment or training you might need to invest in
- Whether you would enjoy working in that area
If you’re still not sure, try reaching out to people already working in the industry. That way, you can find out a lot more about what a job really involves, and you may even get the opportunity to shadow someone.
2. Identify Your Transferable Skills
Even if you’ve only ever worked in one particular job or industry, you’ll have picked up plenty of transferable skills that you can apply to any job. And the more years you’ve spent as part of the workforce, the more you’ll have developed those skills.
Think about the skills and experience you might already possess, such as:
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Customer service
- IT proficiency
Then, identify the skills that would be useful in your chosen career. If you’re struggling to think of any, try looking at relevant job adverts and highlighting the skills they’re looking for. If you’re missing any essential skills, training can help you fill in the gaps.
3. Make a Plan and Set Career Goals
Once you know which career you’d like to pursue and which skills you’ve already mastered, you can start planning your next steps. This will involve:
- Undergoing any necessary training to fill in your skill gaps
- Reviewing and updating your resume to reflect your new career path
- Marketing yourself on platforms like LinkedIn
- Networking within the industry
If you’re planning on switching to freelance, you’ll also need to create a freelance business plan. For each stage of your plan, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that will help you progress toward your new career.
If you’re planning a career change, our Becoming A Proofreader and Becoming An Editor courses can help you get a foot in the door. Take advantage of our comprehensive training, work guarantee, and 15% off bundle offer to help you start a new career, whatever your age.