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Making a career change later on in life


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As we approach middle age we often start thinking about how life has turned out compared to what our dreams and ambitions were when we were younger. Making a career change later on in life is a brave decision to make but also very liberating. Sometimes life’s twists and turns mean things turn out even better than we’d hoped but for others feelings of disappointment can creep in. Alternatively, you may feel you’ve achieved everything you set out to but find you’re no longer satisfied with your work life. If, for whatever reason, you’re considering a career change but think you may be a little long in the tooth to take the plunge, don’t despair! There are plenty of opportunities out there – you just need to go about finding them the right way.

Should I even bother?

There’s no denying that making a career change in your 40s or beyond can be challenging. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. People who are happy in their work enjoy greater self-esteem as well as finding life in general more rewarding. It’s likely you spend a huge chunk of your time at work so it’s worth putting some effort in to make sure you enjoy it.

Decide on the kind of job that you want

This is the first step on your road to job satisfaction. Think about the things you’re good at, the qualifications and skills you already possess and how they could be transferable into a new career. Research the industry and the different positions you might be able to take as well as any training you may have to complete before applying for roles. This helps you decide whether or not it would be a good move for you as well as allowing you to get a grasp on the practicalities.

Be realistic

career changeSpeaking of practicalities you need to be realistic in your approach. If you’re the main breadwinner and couldn’t pay the mortgage and bills (not to mention tuition fees!) while spending upwards of three years at university then you may wish to rethink your goals or your approach to achieving them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it, just that you may have to think outside the box – retraining at night classes or applying for jobs in different departments of your current workplace for example.

Break it down

Don’t expect to walk into your dream job overnight. Before you hand in your notice make a plan of action. Breaking your goals into smaller chunks makes a career change much less daunting and far more achievable.

Update your CV

Even if you have a top-notch CV, the chances are it’s tailored to appeal to employers in the field you’re already in. Take some time to think about how aspects of your current job may fit into your new career path. For example, if you’re a shop manager looking to break into marketing then focus on your people skills and your experience of budgeting and planning.


Let all your friends and family know the type of job you’re looking for; you never know who might have a lead for you. Keep in touch with former colleagues and contacts that may have progressed into other fields. Use social networking sites to connect with people in the field and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.

Stay motivated

Keep your goals at the front of your mind and do something positive to work towards them at least two or three times a week. Nobody is going to call you out of the blue and offer you your dream job – you have to go out there and make it happen.



One Response to “Making a career change later on in life”

  1. hayley lyons

    you are never too old to make changes in your life especially if your unhappy, I have a 10 year old with a brain injury and tis makes it hard for me to find fixed hours, so I took the plunge an found my own way and im now helping lots of people in the same kinds of situations to do the same and become financially independent and worry free.
    Life is for living….I just think its a shame I waited till my 30’s and wish id had the confidence to go for it sooner.


About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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