Making a Successful Career Change at over 40

Posted April 15, 2020, by Bronwyn

These days, it’s normal for people to change jobs and even make total career transitions multiple times throughout their working life. Whether it’s the stress of your current job, lack of flexibility to work around your family commitments, or that you find your role lacks purpose or meaning — there are plenty of reasons why you might be considering making a change.

Here at Career FAQs, Australia’s #1 careers and course search website, our goal is to provide the best career resources and course information available to help you develop new skills and get ahead in your career. In short: we’re here to make Mondays your favourite day of the week! Recently, we spoke to Noble Oak to share some expert tips on changing careers in your 40s and beyond.

Top 3 things to do when embarking on a career change

1. Talk it out

A career change is a big deal that calls for careful consideration. It’s wise to talk it through with someone you trust personally or professionally to get a fresh perspective and advice from a great career counsellor can be invaluable.
If you have a family, they’ll be affected by the career change too so involve your partner in the decision-making process.

2. Plan for change

Change is inevitable but the more we can plan for change, the better we can adapt, so the better you plan for your career change, the smoother the process will be.
Are your finances stable while you transition? If you’re going to be studying or working different hours, will your family be looked after? Will you need to move homes or states for your new gig? There are so many things to consider, so the more time you take to make a plan, the more at ease you’ll be when it comes time to take that leap into your new career.

3. Build resilience

With any change comes the risk of failure, however, it’s important to remember that even the greatest entrepreneurs have failed. So if at first, you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again. Getting out of your comfort zone is hard, however, deciding to make a career change is the first big step, so you’re halfway there! Don’t let a few roadblocks get in your way.

4 common mistakes people make when changing careers

There is no ‘perfect’ way to go about a career change, but if you try to avoid the following it can make for a much smoother transition:

Changing careers for the wrong reason

What are your motives for switching up careers? There are many reasons people change careers: to get a better work-life balance, to spend more time with their family, to follow their passion, to be creative, to get out of the rat-race, or make more money. Ask yourself what your real motives are and how they meet both your short-term and long-term goals.

Confusing a bad boss for a bad career choice

Just because you hate your boss or your workplace, it doesn’t mean you’re in the totally wrong field. Step back and evaluate why you want to change and be sure you’re not changing careers for the wrong reason.

Not doing any research

Try to find out as much as you can about the industry you want to enter – research online, talk to your family, contacts and industry professionals, attend career and trade fairs, and keep an eye on job advertisements for job descriptions. Maybe you could work part-time or even volunteer to get a better idea of what’s involved before you make the leap.

Having unrealistic expectations

Career changes don’t take place overnight – it can take two to six years to fully transform your career. Maintain a positive attitude and take the journey to your desired career one step at a time.

How easy is it to upskill these days?

Whether you want to advance in your current industry or are planning a total career change, learning, development and upskilling are integral to taking your career to new levels. With new skills in your toolkit, you’ll enjoy more opportunities and choices.

Upskilling has literally never been easier, with more and more education providers offering their courses online, so students can enjoy the utmost in flexibility with both time and geography.

Don’t be fooled, learning isn’t just about your career and being serious – it’s fun! Taking a course and getting your grey matter buzzing is one of the best things you can do if you’re feeling brain-dead or striving to get ahead in the game. From short courses to postgraduate degrees, you can find your perfect course match on Career FAQs.

For more expert advice how to plan for a successful career transition, take a look at the full article on the Noble Oak website.


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