HOW TO CHANGE CAREERS AFTER 30
Photo by Christine Morillo
You’ve worked hard to get where you are today, but now you’re in your thirties and you wonder if the career you’ve built is really the right place for you. You’re not happy at work, you don’t feel challenged, and you dream of another career that actually inspires you.
Yet even though your heart wants something different, perhaps you doubt yourself. You think, “Maybe I don’t really need a new career. Why can’t I just be happy where I am?” You go back and forth between the need to leave and the fear that you won’t be able to make it if you do. You’re filled with joy at the thought of a new role, yet you experience paralyzing moments of fear that make you want to hide behind your current desk and never come out.
If this sounds like you, then odds are you need a career change – you’re just struggling to see how to make it happen. In this guide, we’ll lay out all you need to know to boost your confidence, get prepared, and take action toward a new career path you’ll love.
Why 30 is a Great Time to Switch Careers
If you’re like a lot of women, you felt an internal shift around thirty. You felt naturally more confident, more self-assured, and ready to seize the opportunities that fulfill you rather than settle for what you’ve been told you should want.
This increased sense of empowerment illuminates places where you’ve built something that serves an outdated version of you – not least of which is your career. If this sounds like you, then know that right now is the best time to make a change. Here are some other reasons why your thirties is a great time for a new beginning.
The older you get, the more probable it is that you’ll take on new responsibilities like a partner, children, maybe even a home. Expenses will rise, other people will come to depend on you and you will feel the pressure. It’s always possible to make a change no matter how much responsibility you have, but in your thirties the field is far more likely to be clear. Now is the perfect time to take a risk on a new career opportunity.
Plenty of Time to Become a Master in Your New Field
You’re so young! Even if you want to move into an arena you know nothing about, you have so much time to master it. Let yourself dream big and give yourself permission to go after those dreams. If you need some training, no problem! If you need practice, great! You’re in an optimal position to choose a path that looks nothing like your current one if that’s what you desire.
It Only Gets Harder
You can always make a change. But if you know that you’re unhappy now, then now is the time to do something about it. No use wasting another ten or twenty years first.
If you know you’re unhappy where you are, or you’re not unhappy but you feel called to something different, just go for it. If you don’t, you’ll think about it all the time, which is mental space that could be used to create your new career path.
Negative Beliefs About Changing Careers You Can Stop Listening To
We all have that critic in the head – the negative voice that wants to shoot down every dream and kill all your heartfelt desires. Here are four major limiting beliefs that keep you down. Catch them when they pop in your mind and dismiss them right away – they’re not real! Combat negative thoughts with positive affirmations and before you know it that nasty voice will fade into the background.
No One Will Hire You
Yes, they will. And who is “no one” anyway? How does your mind know for certain that not a single person will hire you? Answer: it doesn’t. Tell yourself again and again that you will get hired in a position you love, and it will happen.
You’re Not Good Enough
Says who? Good enough in what way? Good enough for who? What really is “good enough” anyway? This limiting belief is a killer because it will never decide you’re good enough no matter what you do. So, forget about it. Stop looking to be good enough and start focusing on your goals. If you set a goal and take action in the direction of that goal you will reach it – good enough or not good enough means nothing with that type of action-oriented attitude.
You’ll Have to Start All Over
Who says? Your entire life has been leading you to this moment. You have skills you don’t even know you have because your current position doesn’t ask you to use them. You’re adaptable. You can learn. You can take all that you have and put it toward where you’re going. You’re not starting over. You’re changing directions. Big difference.
You Should Already Know What You Want to Do
This one is downright unfair, but unfortunately all too common. The belief that we should magically know exactly what we want before we’ve tried it is ludicrous. You wanted something that led you to where you are today. So, you got what you wanted. Now you want something different. And that’s okay. Your desires will change as you do all throughout your life. Give yourself the freedom to follow the path that feels right and do away with all thought that you’ve made a mistake.
4 Tips on How to Change Careers at 30
Our guide How to Change Careers dives deep into more ways to help you make a switch. Combine these tips with that additional guidance and you’ll be ready to take your next steps.
1. Take Action Early and Often – and Ditch Analysis Paralysis
You’re not going to make the change all at once. It’ll be many steps that make up your career switch. But nothing will happen if all you do is think about it. You’re going to learn as you go. No use thinking yourself in circles. Decide on a course of action and execute before your mind has a chance to talk you out of it.
2. Focus on Connection, not Position
You may want to shoot for a position in your new career that is akin to the one you hold now. However, you may find that you will be better set up for long-term success if you allow for great connections to drive your decisions.
Find a mentor, target companies that show great advancement opportunities for their employees, and choose to value your relationships over your starting salary. The intangibles often carry more wealth than dollars and cents. Play the long-game and you’ll be set up for success.
3. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Not every day is going to be a party. You’ll have plenty of days in which you have low energy or seem to have taken a step back not forward. Trust the process, practice gratitude, and keep your mind focused on the positives. The journey of change is never easy, but you can make it feel less stressful by the attitude you choose.
4. Combine Education and Research
Research before, during, and after your transition into your new career. Go for complete immersion. Learn about your new field and learn skills that will help you in that field. There is so much information out there and if you want to become an expert in your new industry in record time you can do so – as long as you’re willing to do the work. Stay curious and keep a beginner’s mind.
A Final Word: Believe in Yourself
There will be those who support you and those who don’t, but you must always support yourself. If you don’t believe in your ability to make a change, why should anyone else?
Yes, we’ve seen the movies where the lead meets the right person at the right time who sees something in them and helps inspire them to reach the top. Don’t expect that’s going to happen for you. Instead, think of yourself as your own best teacher, cheerleader, support system, motivational speaker, coach, and any other role that will help you get to where you want to go.
You’ll have plenty of assistance along the way, but there will be moments where there’s no one else around and you’re the only one who can keep you going. Your self-belief will be the fan that flames your internal fire when you feel the most alone.
If you struggle with belief in yourself, that’s okay. Like anything, it is a practice. Just remember that no matter what anyone else says or thinks, you can do anything you want – as long as you believe you can.
We know you can achieve your dream career, and we’re here to help you get there. That’s why we’ve put together our fantastic online course “How to Land Your Next Job.” No matter what vision you have for your future, our course is full of tips, strategies, and wisdom to educate, inspire, and empower you to take action in the direction of your dreams.