Is it too late to change careers?

If you’re 40, 50 or older and wondering, ‘Is it too late to change careers?’, we say, no! We’ll also give you tips for how to overcome your fears and make it happen.

Find out what makes you happy at work – and pursue it for that new career at 40. Discover what retraining at 40, 50, 60 or above means. Will you have to go back to uni to get a degree, or is all the experience you’ve picked up enough to land you your dream job?

You’ll also discover unexpected career options after 40, for example with your current employer.

A career change at 40 – how to make it happen

It feels like yesterday you were playing conkers in the playground. Now, you’re 40 and stuck in a job you don’t like. Well, if you’re in your 40s or 50s and wondering, ‘Is it too late to change careers?’, the answer’s no. So stop thinking about the conkers that got away and start making things happen. Here’s how.

Look in the mirror

Yes, we mean the metaphorical mirror, but if it helps, stare into an actual glass one if you like. Now, think about what parts of your job make you happy. Is it working with others? Leading a team? Being creative? Problem solving?

Be honest. You don’t have to BS anymore. So, if you like working on your own – in your own headspace – that’s okay, too. Now, make the small part of your job you enjoy the most the main aspect of your new career.

Think about the final product

When you get home from your new career and switch on Netflix to unwind, what do you want to have achieved that day? Is it earning more money? Contributing to society? Making something with your bare hands? Visualise that thing – or feeling –and it’ll help you achieve it.

Roll up your sleeves

Retraining at 40 can feel daunting, but you know by now how you learn best. Want a break from the office? Do a Luke Perry and go back to university as a mature student. More the hands-on type? Learn on the job and do an internship if it’ll give you the foot in the door you need. Just look at fast food chain McDonald's, where trainee franchisees put in a shift making fries along with the fresh-faced teens.

Worried your degree isn’t relevant to your new job? Don’t. Many employers value experience more than the letters after your name and you’ll be surprised by how many of your skills – taught at uni or on the shop floor – are transferable. Make these skills bold in your CV and commit them to heart for interviews.

Network like it’s 1999

You’ve met more people, shaken more hands and done more deals than the 25-year-old you. Use this experience and network with colleagues and acquaintances. They can give you pointers about breaking into a new industry – and might even put in a good word for you. And don’t be shy. Would you mind if someone asked your expertise about getting into your profession?

Before you go…

Your new career could be closer than you think. Like around-the-next-corner close. If your boss values you and your skills above a job title, they might be willing to invest in your personal development to help you change roles within the company. He or she might even create a new position just for you. So, before you press send on that company-wide email – the one with a massive V-sign made out of dashes and brackets – swing by your boss’s office for a friendly chat.