So, You Want A Career Change in Your 30s or 40s?

The Founders of WorkWell Lucy Basta & Whitney Cole discuss what it’s like to make a career change in your 30s & 40s, and give practical advice for which steps to take first.

3 Min Read
February 24, 2022

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve been mulling over the idea of making a career change in your 30s or 40s. 

And by “mulling over”, we mean the thought of making a huge career leap is taking up every last brain cell you have from waking to sleep. 

“Have I missed the boat?”

“Will I sacrifice everything I’ve worked for?”

“Do I feel like starting over now!?”

“Will I make a huge mistake and hate my next job too?”

We get it! 

Making a career leap in the middle of your working life can seem daunting, overwhelming, and borderline exhausting. But the truth of the matter is that it can also be easier due to your transferable skills and existing network. 

We’re going to break down just how easy it is (or isn’t) to change careers when you’re in your 30s or 40s, and give you practical steps to help get started at the end of this blog. 

Let’s jump in.

How Easy Is It To Change Careers In Your 30s?

How easy is it to change careers in your 30s?

It depends, as there are a few factors involved. The biggest one being: clarity. 

How much clarity do you have around what you want for yourself and out of your career?

We talk about clarity a lot in our free events and job-winning accelerator, as it’s what’s going to drive the end result of your job search and career change. 

If you’re unclear on what you’re looking for, and what you want out of your career, you’re likely going to end up with a job that reflects that indecision. 

At WorkWell, we often see job seekers send resumes out left, right, and center, without any idea of what they want or what they can contribute, only to hope that something will finally stick at some point. 

And unfortunately, it rarely works out that way.  

It’s a competitive market - people of all ages are looking to transition into the Tech industry in order to make more money and find fulfilling, meaningful work. 

Throwing mud at the wall and hoping it sticks rarely, if ever, leads to finding meaningful, fulfilling, and lucrative work. In order to do that, we have to be clear on what we want for ourselves. 

Here are a few things to ask yourself to find that clarity: 

  1. What skills do you already have?
  2. Are there skills you need in order to achieve the job you might be interested in?
  3. Do you know what’s even possible across the industry, or in another position? 

We all have skills from our previous roles and experience that will transfer over to new roles and industries without having to get another degree or go through a boot camp. 

However, if you want to be a software engineer, for example, and you don’t have the technical skills required, you will have to do some type of learning to acquire those skills. 

So, our biggest takeaway for making your career change easier is to start with yourself. Get that clarity. What skills do you have and what skills do you need?

Making your “want” as razor-sharp as possible will go a long way in helping you achieve your best career. 

Will Age Be a Factor In Changing Careers in My 30s or 40s?

Change Careers in 30s or 40s

Here at WorkWell, we often ask our community: What’s the question behind the question?

And that’s just a simple way of getting to the crux of the underlying fear, i.e., what is really eating at you? What are you fearful of?

When working with job seekers in their 30s and 40s, we often hear things like: 

Is it too late? Is it even possible? Have I missed the boat? Will anyone hire me? 

And while you may feel similarly - that you’re not as hireable, you won’t get the job, etc. - we’re here to tell you that it couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

At WorkWell, we’ve helped over 1,100 job seekers find and land a career in Tech and the average ages of our clients are between 35 and 50 years old. 

In fact, just recently we helped a woman in her 60s land a job at one of the Top 5 tech companies in the industry.

It’s not the age, skillset, or resume that is often the problem. It’s the mindset.

Changing careers in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s is more than possible!

What Steps Should I Take Next?

If you’ve read this far and are ready to take the next step towards making a career change in your 30s or 40s, there are a few practical steps we encourage you to take. 

  1. Find Clarity: Find out exactly what skillsets you want to use in your next career, and which roles require them. Additionally, learn (and address) any skills that are missing from the role you’re interested in. 
  1. Nail Down Your Value: Believe what you say! It’s one thing to know your value, and it’s another thing to confidently convey that value to others. Be confident in the skills you bring and what you’re able to contribute to a new team. 
  1. Network, network, network! Networking is a critical component of finding a new job, especially in the Tech industry. Leverage your existing network on LinkedIn and put yourself out there in Tech circles to meet as many connections as you can. 
  1. Craft a Great Resume: While your resume isn’t everything when it comes to finding a new career, it still plays a critical role. Get help from an expert to help craft a resume that highlights your transferable skills and experience. 
  1. Work On Your Interviewing Skills: The last thing standing between you and your new career is the interview process. You want to nail it! Practice interviewing with peers as much as you can to prepare yourself beforehand. Craft a story that’s memorable, and one that will capture the hiring manager’s attention within the first 2 minutes. 
  1. Educate Yourself on Salary: Did you know hiring managers expect you to negotiate? It’s true! If you don’t negotiate your compensation after receiving a job offer, it’s likely that you’re leaving thousands of dollars on the table. Practice various scenarios of salary negotiations and go in with a clear “ask”. 

There you have it! 6 steps to take in order to make a career leap at any age.

If you’d like more help on any of these steps, we encourage you to check out one of our free, live events over on our Events page. We discuss these topics in great detail, and go through real-life scenarios that may help you in your own career hunt. 

Plus, we have a lot of fun while doing it!

Join a free event here. 

Until next time.