So you’re wondering if a career change at 40 is a smart move.
You’ve been employed by the same company for a while now – perhaps since you graduated college. Or maybe since you first accepted your ground level position while you were still in your 20s.
You don’t necessarily hate your job, but you ARE bored. It’s just time to do something different.
Maybe you’ve been in the corporate world and you’re nervous about leaving. You have security and benefits you really can’t afford to give up. And of course…there are those car and mortgage payments to think about – along with every other expense imaginable.
There’s also the fact you’ve worked too hard over the years to throw everything away, including your education.
I don’t blame you – and I wouldn’t try to influence you to do anything to jeopardize that.
But you’re tired of the monotony and you’d prefer not to wait until your retirement to finally do something that makes life seem exciting again.
And besides, I know people who did retire and still felt antsy and bored. This happened because they were ready to quit working, but they didn’t replace it with an activity they truly enjoyed.
The good news is that you can still take steps to reinvent yourself even if you stick with your full-time job. Career change is possible while you’re still gainfully employed.
Career Change at 40 – 3 Actionable Steps
If you’re hoping to add some zest to your life, but you aren’t ready to make a formal career change (for now), there are still things you can do.
As much as I hate to say this, while you may be willing to stick things out for the long haul, the company you work for just might have other ideas.
Unfortunately, even the largest corporations undergo changes, cutbacks, and losses of revenue. And sometimes, the company itself may be thriving, but they might bring on a new player that could make your work life miserable.
I’ve seen it happen many times.
“Everything was fine until that no good egotistical sh!t for brains showed up. This moron actually makes me miss my old boss.“
The harsh truth is, if you work for someone else, they’re in charge of your livelihood. You, on the other hand, are in charge of far less than you think. And though that might seem harsh, I say we’re all better off looking at the worst case scenario of just about any situation and doing what we can to maintain our happiness and well-being.
Now’s the time to create your Plan B.
Career Change At 40 – 3 Steps to Creating Plan B
Step 1 – Find Your Truth
The best way to discover your truth is to ask yourself the following question:
If I didn’t have this job – if I didn’t NEED this job, what would I want to do with my life?
Sit down and ask yourself what, if anything, would be your dream career. It may take a little while until you discover what that is, but as long as you’re still employed and aren’t desperate for the income, this is the time to do it.
Since we were in grade school, we’ve been programmed to “go to college, get an education and find a stable job.” And in all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with an education or stability. The problem, as I see it, is in the method and conditioning pounded into us throughout our youth.
I feel that everyone shows up in this world with something to contribute. Whatever that is will be unique to you – and it’ll work that way for everyone else.
As long as you’re still working and have the income situation taken care of, take the time to do some digging into yourself and find out what makes you tick.
Once you have that insight, it’s time for the next step.
Step 2 – Investigate Your Options
Since the internet is so prevalent now, people are sharing their lives and experiences everywhere. You can easily browse through stories of people who’ve turned their dreams into a lucrative and satisfying career.
Just go on Youtube and see how many people are earning money creating painting tutorials, guitar lessons, reviewing games or demonstrating DIY food hacks or home decor.
For example, this woman creates abstract paintings on canvas. She doesn’t speak or get on camera and her videos are actually pretty short. Yet this one has well over 100,000 views. I watched several of them in a row when I needed the inspiration to create my own artwork.
Writing has always been a passion of mine, but back in my day (yeah that makes me sound old), writers didn’t stand a chance unless they went into journalism or got “discovered”. Now people can write and make a decent living at it from the comfort of their home without needing a degree.
Believe it or not, you could find mosquitos fascinating and create a business out of it. You could also take your accounting skills and create a course that teaches people how to manage their finances.
Whatever you know, whatever you do…if you truly wanted to, you can find a way to make it work for you. You just need to do the research to see what others are doing and follow the steps they’ve taken.
That’s about the ONLY group thinking I’ll ever be on board with since in this case, it has merit.
Once you’ve discovered what your dream career looks like and you’ve opened your mind to the possibilities of success, your path to that career change will start to take form.
Step 3 – Gather Your Tools
You probably won’t go from one career to another without adding some new tools to your toolbox.
You’ll likely need supplies, a strategy, and some new skills.
This might be a good time to update your resume and cover letter – even if you decide to work for yourself as a freelancer. Or you might start networking with those who are doing what you’d like to do – just to surround yourself with the people and environment that compliment your vision.
- social media manager
- graphic artist
- insect expert
- personal chef
- jewelry maker
- video editor
- SEO Strategist
If whatever you want to do requires a more formal education (i.e. from a college or even trade school), now’s the time to see what’s available and how you can go about taking your classes in a way that suits your schedule and your budget.
However, these days, you can learn new skills online about a ton of different subjects.
I actually stopped the video I was watching on Skillshare.com to write this post because I was so inspired by the whole learn from home thing.
It’s after 9 pm and I’m hanging on my chase lounge, advancing my own skills and sharing this insight with you.
You, my career change wanting friend, don’t know how good you have it. Everything you need is at your fingertips. You just have to give yourself permission to move forward and make your plans.
Career Change – 40 is the New 40
I hear people say that 40 is the new 20, 30, 16, etc.
40 is 40. And it’s damn cool to be that age because at this stage of your life, you’ve already lived and learned a bit. You have no interest in devouring the nonsense you’ve been fed throughout your life about being a good little soldier and following the crowd.
You’ve had time to get to know yourself better. To decide what feels right and what doesn’t.
I say, you do you. Just do it deliberately.
Free your mind. Live your truth. Be creative.
You’ve earned your career change. Whether you like your current job or not, you still have the right to discover what truly makes your heart sing and do something about it.
I’m not giving you a bunch of fluff here either. People really are doing some creative things to make a living – and they’re having a blast with it.
Let that be you – even if it takes some time.
Go sign up to take free classes on Skillshare. They’re cool enough to offer 2 months at no charge.
And if you’re looking for ideas to help facilitate your career change, keep visiting the blog. I’m working on something I think you’ll love. I just need some time to finish it.
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