Many people start thinking about changing careers at 30 – as you reach this age, the career choice you made 10 years ago at college or university now might seem unfulfilling.
Your career may no longer be suitable for your lifestyle you are now living; or you have the commitments of family and the financial responsibilities that brings.
Is it common to start thinking about changing careers at 30?
Yes it is very common for people to think about a career change around the age of 30 because usually they have had 5-10 years in their chosen career from college or university by that stage in their life and have been focused on that career choice since attending university.
Often what happens at 30, is the reality of the career structure becomes very obvious where as before when they were at university or planning a career; those career structures may not have been considered or the reality of the chosen career path had not been fully apparent.
There has been in-depth studies done, particularly in America, where they’ve said that:
- 50% of adults by their late 20s are already regretting their career choice.
- Close to 90% over the age of 45 considered changing their careers at that point in their life.
So that gives you an idea that 50% of adults at the end of their twenties considered that they’ve made the wrong career choice so it is quite common.
What advantages and disadvantages are that the changing career at this age?
The advantages of changing career at the age of 30 is that you have plenty of time left.
You have often got a first level qualification behind you, perhaps a degree or you have worked up to a certain industry level or stage in your career.
Therefore you may have some skills and qualifications that you can take with you or transfer into another career.
These skills and qualifications can help you get into another career by applying them in different work environments.
That’s the advantages, that you have time, you have a little working background behind you and a skill set to move your career on with.
The disadvantage is that often you have required by this time, or are close to requiring responsibilities that require you to earn a certain amount of money.
For example you may have a family, a mortgage or a certain lifestyle that you want to maintain and that can be quite difficult to do while you are in the middle of a career change.
Want to change career but unsure what new career to choose?
The first rule with any kind of career change is to look at all the facts.
Firstly I suggest doing some self-analysis about what you don’t like about your present career.
Be sure that a career change is actually needed and you don’t just need to move departments or have a different boss or change the company you work for and do the same job.
Really examine what it is that you don’t like and would a career change lead to those things being improved?
A good way of self analysing your job is to take a piece of paper, divide into two columns, named LIKE / DISLIKE and write down the pros and cons of your current job.
Making sure that the new career that you may only just be imagining at this moment, will actually met those likes and reduce your dislikes; because if it doesn’t you are making a career change for no reason. Will this career change fulfil your ambitions? Will it improve your current circumstances?
The 3 most important things to do before changing your career?
Take a long look at why you feel dissatisfied with your current career, what is it that you really want to do? Write a Now and Future plan out.
Will this be beneficial to your future career choices and financial security? (Or is it really just a case of itchy feet and time to find a new company to work for?)
Make sure that you are in a financially sound position to go through the upheaval of changing your career at this time in your life.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself.
- Can you afford to pay the necessities of life whilst re-training or looking for a new career?
- Is your partner willing to support you and the family whilst you resettle and once you have found a new job in that new career choice?
- Will that career choice be financially beneficial in the long run to warrant the change in the first place?
Research new skills that you might need and consider what skills you can take with you or can offer a different career choice. How much will it cost to retrain or get new skills to facilitate this career change.
Can you find a new employer that will train you? Or will you have to attend college / industry courses to get new skills to fulfil this career change?
I hope that this has been informative to you if you are about to embark on changing your career in your early 30s.
I suggest planning and researching your new career choice thoroughly before making any moves. However once you have made that choice, may you be successful in fulfilling that career goal.
Have you made a Career Change in your 30’s? How did it go?
If you changed careers in your 30s and found anything useful which I haven’t included above, do get in touch and share your experiences.