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January 7, 2022

Tips for Changing Your Career in Your 30s

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Today’s professionals have no qualms about changing jobs and careers as the need arises.

Making a switch in your 30s isn't always hassle free, but it's also not a difficult thing to do and it generally has positive results. In fact, if you're thinking of changing path, it's common to feel reservations.

However, most of these reservations are easy to exaggerate. For instance, here are a few common stereotypes about changing careers when you're more than 30 years old which can put people off:

  • Your age might turn off some potential employers. Actually, most employers are looking for employees with past working experiences.

  • It might be too late to try something new. That's nonsense. Those in their 30s blend experience and energy, and they still have at least an additional 30 years to build a new career.

  • You’ve wasted time and resources investing in your previous role. On the contrary, you’ll discover that you can transfer multiple skills and experiences to your new position.

Don't be a slave to your fears. Instead, read on to discover how you can leave your current job and begin a new career with confidence.

Know the reason behind the career change

Your parents, baffled friends, and surprised co-workers will want answers about the sudden change in heart, so take time to craft responses to the “Why?” question. Most importantly, these answers are essential for your own sake.

While your friends may be concerned about your choice, there’s little doubt that they’ll be willing to support you. All the same, you need to approach this change with a clear mind.

Perhaps your initial career change resulted from peer pressure, or you’ve become interested in an emerging field. Or you’ve experienced a significant perspective change that currently drives your thought processes. Ensure that you verbalize your specific reasons – they’ll come in handy, especially when you face challenges along the way.

Master the language of your new career

Try to learn the nitty-gritty of your new field. Job descriptions and profiles of professionals in your new industry could be an excellent place to start. Also, take note of keywords that appear repeatedly. If you don’t understand specific terms, take time to research them.

Subscribe to relevant podcasts and blogs by thought leaders to learn more about your new field. These knowledge-sharing opportunities will help you master your craft’s language with ease.

And if you aren't sure about your knowledge, invest in intensive courses to brush up. A few classes can make a huge difference to your confidence.

Understand what you’re giving up

Although changing careers is surprisingly easy, you need to keep a couple of things in mind when leaving an established role.

For one, you need to be conscious of the sacrifices that you’ll have to make. You might need extra education for your new position, meaning that you may have to forfeit the regular income from your present job. So there may be a transitional period which, eats up some of your financial reserves as you build your skills.

As you make the career switch, you should also prepare yourself to start your new journey from scratch. Don’t expect to begin from a place of influence, especially if you change fields.

Such realities and trade offs shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing your dream. Just assess all the variable and be ready for a period of adjustment. If you're committed and talented, it won't last long.

Make the most of your previous experience

During your first days in a new job, we often feel like newbies alongside experienced colleagues. But don’t let your new circumstances intimidate you!

While you have a lot of things to learn, don’t belittle what you already know. By your 30s, you've built a portfolio of personal experiences and skills that will come into play.

Keep an eye on any transferable skills and any projects or challenges that taught you something valuable in the past. They could help you make significant contributions in your new field and make entering new workplaces easier.

It also helps to perform an honest self-assessment to leverage your skills while mitigating your weaknesses. That way, you won't linger on your shortcomings. Instead, you can accentuate the positives as you start a new journey.

Network effectively

When you switch careers past 30 years old, it helps to build the right connections to find new roles. Reach out to your present networks and ask them to introduce you to potential connections in your new field.

Always remember that effective networking is only possible in a win-win situation. Ensure that you offer value to your networks rather than simply asking for favors. For instance, learning relevant skills will impress contacts and show that you are engaged in yr new field.

Do enough research, learn some skills, and build a reliable network that will help you make your way through your new surroundings.

Consider lateral moves in your company

It's not always necessary to completely overhaul your career. Rather than making a radical career switch, you could also investigate lateral employment migration within your company.

This involves switching careers within a business whose culture, expectations, and processes you understand fully. In most cases, you can also maintain a steady wage as you change your career focus.

At the same time, your current employers already have your track record and know what to expect from you. Your competency, professionalism, and work ethic will precede you and ease your transition into your new role.

Obviously, lateral moves aren't always available. But you can often move from roles like marketing to coding, and companies will often provide support to do so.

Build your skills to take a bold move forward

A career change after 30 years old should not be a far-fetched idea. Today’s professional world accepts and often rewards individuals who choose to begin new careers. So be bold. There's no taboo against career switches any more. It's built into the system.

Even so, you can still give yourself a major boost by optimizing your skills. At Ironhack, we support countless workers as they make career changes in their 30s. Take a look at our tech boot camps and give yourself a head start as you change track. There's nothing to fear. Dive in and turn your life around.

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