Is It Too Late To Switch Careers?

Written By Alla Levin
April 30, 2020
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Is It Too Late To Switch Careers?

Many of us find ourselves on the wrong career path. Changing careers could help you to feel happier and more fulfilled – but what if it’s too late?

What if you’ve already invested years of time and energy into your current career? And what if you have to do the same in order to pursue your next career?

While switching careers may not be easy, it’s never too late to take the leap.

You just need to be certain that it’s the right decision – you don’t want your new career to be equally unfulfilling.

You may also need to consider commitments and the costs of changing careers.

Here are a few tips on how to make the switch and the answer to your questions: is it too late to switch careers.

Why do you want to switch your career?Why do you want to switch your career

It’s likely that you want to switch career because:

  • there are things you don’t like about your current career,
  • there are things drawing you to another career.

The most common reasons for people switching careers are the pay, the work/life balance, the stress, and passion for the job.

It’s important to weigh up all these factors before changing careers.

Does your dream career tick all the boxes? Does your current career come with certain perks that you may end up sacrificing?

When choosing your next career, assess your needs. Your current job may involve long hours and lots of stress, but it is a career switch worth taking a pay cut for.

Alternatively, you may find that a higher-paid career involves more stress and less free time.

If you don’t already have a dream career in mind, it could be worth seeking out a career coach.

They may be able to assess your talents, interests, and needs and work out the best occupation for you.

Do you need extra qualifications?Is It Too Late To Switch Careers?

A career switch may not require seeking extra qualifications. Some trades don’t require you to have an education.

In other cases, a non-specific degree may be needed – if you already have a degree, you may not need to worry about returning to higher education.

In other careers such as medicine or law, specific degrees may be essential for getting your foot in the door.

You need to consider the time it will take to obtain these degrees, the cost, and how you plan to study it.

There are now many online courses that make it possible to study in your own time – possibly while holding down a job or looking after kids.

Juggling multiple commitments on top of studying could be difficult, so consider whether you need to cut down to part-time hours or arrange childcare.

There could be ways of fast-tracking qualifications if you don’t want to wait years to get into your new career.

As this guide at George Washington University explains, it’s possible to get into careers such as law with alternative degrees such as political management.

In other cases, there may be alternative options to degrees, such as apprenticeships.

You could also consider looking into accelerated courses that can be completed in a shorter amount of time.

Do you need experience?Too Late To Switch Careers

A lot of employers value experience. While you may have experience in another trade, this may not be of value to your new career.

Often the best way to bag experience is to volunteer. Many companies offer a voluntary experience – you may even be able to volunteer part-time while working your current job.

While some companies advertise voluntary experience, it could be possible to gain experience simply by asking companies directly.  

Voluntary experience may even lead to a full-time position if you are able to prove that you are a good worker. The company may take you on once you are qualified.

Alternatively, you may be able to simply build useful connections.

Can you use your experience to your advantage?

It’s possible that you may be able to use your current experience to your advantage.

Many jobs have transferable skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills.

It’s worth highlighting these on your application.

There may also be creative ways of bridging the gap between the two careers.

If you work as a doctor but are eager to make the switch to journalism, you could consider getting into medical journalism.

Your medical experience will put you at an advantage and may compensate for lack of experience in journalism.

A fear that stops many people from changing careers is having to start from the very bottom.

If you’ve spent years working your way up the career ladder, it may seem daunting having to go through the same process again.

It could also mean having to settle for low pay at first – which could mean having to make big cutbacks to your lifestyle.

Consider whether you’re willing to make this sacrifice.

While you may be giving up the income and status that you currently possess, you find that your new career makes you a lot happier simply because you enjoy the work more.

It could be worth discussing with your family if you think it will affect them.

Often having experience in management can help you to climb the ladder more quickly.

You may even be able to fast-track your way straight into management in some cases – much of the role may involve similar admin jobs to the tasks you handled before. 

Is it too late to switch careers? Never!

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