Changing career in your 30s can be a hard decision to make. You will probably have a decade of work experience that you have been building. The fear of the unknown will almost immediately set in. You will start questioning yourself and your decision especially when you come around well-meaning friends and family. Most people will assume and advice that you will need to take a pay cut or start at the bottom before you move forward. This will add to the anxiety of the situation which is not what you need at this stage. The plus side of that is your 30s are the age when you start to feel like you know yourself better and you are more confident in yourself, so trust your instinct.
The first thing you need to do is to know your numbers. This will help inform your decision on many levels. So get your spreadsheet out, your bank statement and start looking at your income and outgoings. Decide whether you are prepared to take a drop in your standard of living and what you can live without if you had to. Stay realistic about this. From there you can work out what your minimum new income should be. Don’t forget to include other benefits you currently get that may not show up as money in your bank each month.
Not everyone will, but you need to value the experience that you have accumulated over time. It may not be in the same field as what you are in but it should not be disregarded. Doing so will be doing yourself a disservice. This doesn’t apply to technical roles where you may have to spend a considerable amount of time gaining industry-recognised qualifications. This is where most people get short-changed and short-change themselves. All your experience is worth something.
3. Transferable skills
Understand your transferable skills. Before you try and convince someone else that you should be progressing and not regressing in this career change, you need to have a good understanding of your transferable skills. Be really clear on how the skills will be an advantage in the new role before you start talking to recruiters. The more confident you sound about the reasons why you are making this move and why it’s a good fit, the better your chances of being taken on at the same level.
4. Update your skills
Don’t just rely on the skills that you have acquired over time. Those skills got you to where you are now. In order to progress in your career change you will need to update your skills and make yourself relevant. This will help you be more marketable especially when you are competing with candidates that are more experienced. A combination of updated skills and a different background might work in your favour and give you a slight edge over your competition.
5. Informational interviews
The best way to find out about the industry or career you want to go into before you make a big leap is to ask people that are doing the job now. This can help you find out what career paths are like, whether the work content is actually something you are interested in and passionate about. Go a step further and talk to people who work for the companies you are interested in and possibly in the roles where possible. You will have to balance opinions and ask the right questions as people won’t always volunteer things they think you don’t want to hear. Don’t be put off by other people’s experiences because that won’t necessarily be your experience.
Go forward not backwards and arm yourself with as much information as you can. To start designing the career you see yourself in book your free discovery call.