This article aims to answer the question, ‘Is it too late to change career?’
Career can be referred to as an occupation or profession, which most times require special training as one’s lifework. It is a job that a person does for a very long period of time. To many, a career is a lifelong job and as a result of that it is something a person must engage in throughout their lifetime.
On the contrary, an individual can actually switch from one career to the other as long as they are willing to bear the cost. These are some reasons why people change careers;
LIST OF REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHANGE CAREERS
1. Access to Better Pay
The main reason why a lot of people change careers is because they desire to get better pay. Naturally, money is a major motivation for a lot of people who chose certain career paths not just passion like many people paint it.
There have been numerous cases where some individuals went to acquire a second degree in courses that appear to be more financially rewarding. This is very common amongst young people. This is so because as people enter their 30s, the plans to build a home become an ideal thing to do. Thus, making money becomes a major goal as well as a natural driving force.
In the bid to seek more money, there are still a great number of people who place passion before money. For such a category of people, the desire to leave a positive impact on humanity becomes a driving force. Working for the good of others can offer a sense of personal fulfillment that other jobs simply can’t provide. This is why there have been cases where a banker will choose to resign to start an NGO for the less privileged.
Oftentimes, those who change careers to live their passion seek out opportunities in education and healthcare sectors.
3. Too Much Stress or Career Burnout
Health they say is wealth. Work stress is another major factor why many individuals seek a career change. Activities which range from constantly trying to meet targets, long hours of work, rushing through tight deadlines to incessant worrying about job security can expose one to unnecessary stress which in turn affects the worker’s physical and mental health.
For this singular reason, more people are changing to careers that offer better work-life balance. This has equally brought about an increase in the number of remote job offers because it is believed that remote jobs are less stressful due to its flexibility.
4. No Longer Feeling Challenged or Passionate About Career
As a fresh graduate, it is normal to feel excited about your job, but over time what seems like a challenging and exciting career will in most cases lose its luster. This often occurs as a result of engaging in monotonous activities.
Not too many people can give their best in a job they consider less challenging and boring. Therefore, when this feeling sets in, it’s certainly a valid reason to change career.
5. Aging Out of the Industry
Like many people would say, “age is just a number” but age isn’t just a number where some careers that require physical agility are concerned.
Aging out of an occupation therefore becomes a real problem for some people, hence, requiring a career change. For instance, professional sports like football playing, athletics, etc, require a particular level of physical activity. As a result, many in this career path find it difficult to keep up as they age.
6. Industry Is Dying and/or Outsourcing of Jobs Has Increased
Gone are the days where working in a traditional office setting was very rampant, but in recent times, remote jobs have made work more accessible. As a result of this, people are sometimes forced to look for a new career because of disruptions to their current occupation, decreased demand for their industry, and increased rate of outsourcing.
This development most times makes working to appear very boring and less challenging, thereby forcing people to change careers to a more challenging and demanded career.
Considering the above reasons, career change becomes very paramount. However valid these reasons are, a lot of people are still worried as to whether or not to change career. It is normal to feel confused when making a huge decision such as changing a career.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHANGING CAREERS
In order to make such decisions very easy, here are some factors to consider before deciding to change career.
1. Are jobs available in your chosen field for workers in your age group?
In recent times, some careers, etc, such as public relations and advertising, tend to shift toward a younger demographic. For such industries, it can be difficult though not impossible, to find entry-level opportunities for more advanced individuals. This is one important factor that may inform your decision to change a career.
2. Are you willing to start from scratch?
In a situation where the new career path is totally off from your qualification, it is most likely you’ll have to begin from the scratch to get another degree or start with an entry-level position.
3. Are you willing to work for someone younger than you?
As flimsy as it may sound, there are individuals who cannot cope with working for a younger person. There is a high probability that if you’re changing careers in your 40s, you’ll end up working for someone who is younger than you. So, ensure that you’re comfortable with working for just anybody before you go ahead to switch.
4. How much education and experience will you need to land a job?
Changing to a new career may require furthering your education. Fortunately, with numerous online classes many of which are free or very affordable, it is easier to acquire the required training.
5. Will you be able to manage financially during your transition?
Changing from one career to another sometimes brings about financial challenges. Getting a job immediately after switching is sometimes not guaranteed and in the worst case scenario, the salary may not be commensurate with what you earned in your former job.
Thus, you’ll need to ensure that your finances can handle the change to a new career. Bear in mind that it may take some time to secure a better job in your chosen field, hence, the need for a strong financial backup.
6. Do you possess any transferable skills?
Every career, both old and new, requires certain skills to thrive. In many cases, some fields require different skills. When deciding to change career, be sure the skills you possess are transferable. Where there is a need to acquire more skills then you can take the necessary steps to do so for efficient performance in the new field.
You don’t need to rush into your new career. It’s important to consider the above factors and weigh critically the pros and cons of your desired professional trajectory before making a decision.
REASONS MANY PEOPLE ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT CHANGING CAREERS
There are a lot of reasons why changing a career is a good decision. Some of the reasons as identified above include, desire to get more pay, passion for a given career, lack of work-life balance, stress at work, etc. However, there are individuals who are very skeptical about taking the bold step to change a career.
The reason for this may include the following;
- Fear of the unknown
- Criticism from loved ones
- It is too late for a change.
This brings me to the main topic of discussion. Is it really too late for a career change?
Prior to this time, it was very common to choose a career and stick till retirement. This is no longer the case. Nowadays, many people are changing careers for many reasons and this cuts across different age ranges.
Choosing a specific occupation based on qualification doesn’t mean you’re stuck with that path for life. From the survey, very few people are lucky enough to find compatible career paths and eventually stick to it. In most cases, people move from one career to the other till they identify what’s suitable for them.
So, to answer the question “Is it too late for a career change?” It is a No.
There is absolutely no perfect time to change career. Many famous business owners and entrepreneurs started their careers late in life after trying to find their feet in numerous fields.
Jeff Bezos worked in computer science before launching Amazon in his early 30s.
Even if you decide to change careers at age 50, you would still have a full 17 years until retirement, that’s plenty of time to make an impact and get to the pinnacle of success. Oftentimes, age is the major reason why a lot of people fear to change careers.
No matter your age, there is always something new you can learn and an opportunity waiting around the corner. If you’re motivated and passionate enough about what you want to do, it’s never too late to have a career change. Goals, interests and dreams are bound to change. When that happens, don’t be scared to look for a more rewarding profession as long as it gives you maximum satisfaction and fulfilment.
As one who is a science graduate, I discovered after 5 years at the University that I have more passion for the arts field. I did amazingly well in art related careers and trust me, I’m gradually building on what I’m passionate about irrespective of the number of years I spent in school pursuing a course I have never worked with.
HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CHANGE CAREERS
Career change is not always a very easy thing to do. It requires planning and enough preparation. Here are helpful ways to change careers successfully
1. Go back to school or enroll in a few courses that may be required for your new role.
This is very important especially if it’s a professional career. Endeavour to earn necessary certifications for the new industry.
In most cases volunteering is underestimated but the fact remains that it is a good place to start. Offering your services in exchange to learn from industry experts is one guaranteed way to acquire knowledge about your new career. Therefore, complete volunteer work in or related field you want to venture into.
The role of mentors in career building cannot be overemphasized. These are people who have gone through the path you’re about to tow. They have more experience, they have made mistakes you might want to learn from and as such, talking with industry veterans and mentors who can give you insight on what to expect in your new role is another sure way to successfully make a career change at any given time.
4. Don’t Be Distracted By Other People’s Opinions
A lot of people are yet to make the decision to change career even when the signs are there simply because of other people’s opinion. Career change is a personal decision and so people’s opinions don’t necessarily matter. If you must make that change, don’t get distracted by the opinion of others.
5. Discard Limiting Mindset
It is normal to have many negative thoughts when faced with life changing decisions like this. Work on those thoughts and wear a positive energy. Always remember it’s never too late for a change. After all, change is constant.
It might appear crazy for a person who has invested so much in a particular career to want to change career. If a lot of top entrepreneurs had considered the sacrifices they made, time and money invested in a given career, I’m sure many of them wouldn’t have taken the bold step to change their career.
Where the reason for wanting to change a career is valid and very compelling, there is no such thing as “late”. Therefore, are you planning to change a career because you seek more money?
Do you want to change for the sake of passion?
Are you in search of a career that will give you a work-life balance?
Then, go for it as long as it makes you fulfilled. If you’re still contemplating on taking that bold step to make a change because you feel it’s already too late, you’re so wrong because it is never too late to change a career.
Changing careers is a big decision. Whatever your reasons for wanting to enter a new field, do your research and consult others in the industry.
If you’re still not convinced, remember those Medical doctors who left their profession after years of practicing to build a career in the music industry. Remember C. Sanders of KFC who opened a world class eatery at age 80.
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