If you’ve reached a point in your current career where you feel you’ve hit a wall or are just sick of what you do, you may be considering starting a new career. If you’re 40 or over you may think you’re too old to make such a change. But that is far from the truth. Many people start the second half of their life in a new career, learning new skills, and making a positive change in their life. Before you make the move and quit your current job, there are a few things you need to consider.
What do you like to do? Take some time to consider your likes and dislikes. What would you enjoy doing at this point in your life? Perhaps starting your own business has been a dream of yours, or you want to work from home and freelance. In the article, 5 Steps to Start a Second Career on US News, the author suggests you take the self assessment quizzes at Monster.com and Careerpath.com. This will help you decide what area of work would be a good match for your preferences and skills.
Research jobs you’re interested in. You can find information on jobs and careers at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Research how much you’ll earn, the demand for a job, and the best areas of the country to work in.
Ask around about jobs you like. Network with people who are in the fields you’re interested in. Ask them about training, working conditions, advancement opportunities and any other questions about the job you might think of. Let them know you’re thinking of making a change and ask them if they have any advice for you.
Get the training and education you need. There are many people over 40 taking classes to advance their skill set. I was 43 when I earned my cosmetology license, and my father was over 40 when he changed careers and married my mother so it can be done. You’re never too old to back to school and learn new skills. Don’t let age stand in your way, you’ve got experience and life skills younger people don’t have and employers will see this when you make a career change.
Examine your finances. In a best case scenario you should have one year’s salary saved up, but if that isn’t possible you may have to trim down your budget. Starting out in a new career may mean your salary will be lower than what you’ve grown accustomed to.
If you feel the need for a career change, education will be your ticket to a new life. Look into online classes that let you do the work on your own time. There are several online degree and training programs that will enable you to make a change and have the life you really want.