How to Change Careers Past the Age of 40
Work has always left you a bit bored and tired but lately, it’s just stressful. You’ve found yourself hiding in the bathroom and crying more and more often. You’ve wanted to switch jobs for a couple of months now but you’re over 40 years old.
You’re scared that you may face discrimination due to your age or that you won’t be able to keep up in a new field due to your current skill set. We’re here to say that it’s never too late to teach an old dog a new trick.
To help you get into a career that doesn’t make you want to scream, here is a step by step guide on how to change careers when you’re over the age of 40.
1. Evaluate Your Current Career and Skills
Before you start browsing on Indeed, you should do a little self digging. Take a step back and figure out why you want to leave your current job so you don’t make the same mistake with your new one.
It could be that you don’t hate your current job, the company is just a drag. In which case, you now know to go for a job where you’ll be performing the same kind of tasks.
You also need to take a look at your current skill set. Combine these skills with a list of things that you’re passionate about. That will give you a little direction on where to go next as well.
2. Check Out a Few Alternate Career Choices
Now that you know what kind of direction you want to go in, you can start looking at alternate careers. While it may feel a little daunting, don’t let location deter you with this. You can always ask about going through the WHR Group to relocate.
Check out a few different jobs that you find interesting and look into the companies a little more in depth. This will help you later on when you contact them via email about interviews and such.
3. Break Out Those Old Connections
Never underestimate the power of connections. Dust off your laptop and break out Linkedin. One of your connections may know someone who is looking for a candidate with your exact skill set.
You may also have access to a college alumni network of some kind. These networks will sometimes post daily job openings. Perhaps your old college advisor or career counselor can help you out as well.
4. Do a Job Shadow
If you find a job or job field that you’re interested in, talk to a higher up about shadowing them. You’ll get a chance to experience the job through the eyes of someone else to see if it’s something you want to do before you delve into it yourself.
If you’re unsure where to find these brave shadowing volunteers, your old college career counselor most likely has a list they can give you.
5. Dabble a Little
If you’re the kind of person that would rather do than see then a job shadow isn’t going to be enough for you to tell if you’re going to like a job or not. You’ll need to get your hands dirty.
To this end, you should branch out and do a little freelance or volunteer work that revolves around the career you’re interested in. For example, if you’re looking at a job that revolves around animals, try helping out at your local shelter. This will be a test to see if you can handle it and it’s a nice resume buff too.
6. Take a Class
Does your current skillset not exactly match up with the career that you’re looking at. Don’t fret over that. You can always pick up new skills.
Check out a few colleges near you and see if they offer evening classes in the area that you need. This is a little bit of an expensive avenue to go down because sometimes you have to pay for these out of pocket.
If you can’t shell out the expense some companies provide classes for their new recruits. Feel free to ask about it. A company leader will never look down on someone who wants to better themselves for the sake of their business.
7. Send Out a Few Cold Emails
If you have a few dream companies in mind you can reach out to them by sending them a cold email. The purpose of this is to make an attempt to create a relationship with them.
You don’t have to send them a five-page email telling them that you spent a week going through their website with a fine tooth comb. All you need to do is tell them who you are and that you are interested in working for them as an (insert job title here) and inquire about future openings.
You may feel a bit wary of doing this but look at it this way, the absolute worst they can tell you is no and they’ll have your name at least.
8. Consider Expanding With Your Current Company
It could be that you’re more unhappy with your job title than you are with the company itself. Consider branching out and trying a different job at the place you work now. For example, if you’re a cashier and you want to dabble in management.
You’ll be able to take advantage of your current skillset and you won’t have to leave the company you love and have grown with.
How to Change Careers When You’ve Reached the 40 Years Old Mark
It’s scary to make a job change when you’re over the age of 40. It can also be a long process. There is the chance that you’ll have to take classes to gain skills that revolve around your new career choice. It can be a lot of work but if you use these tips on how to change careers then it shouldn’t be long before you see yourself in a bright new job field.
Tired of striking out with different jobs and want to open a business of your own? Check out our blog for helpful guides and tips.