Are you stuck in your current job? Do you feel like you're on a treadmill going nowhere?

If so, considering a career change might be just what you need.

While it can be scary to make a big career change at 40, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

Afterall, it makes sense to stick with your current role only if it aligns with your passions. There are plenty of other careers out there to explore. And being in your forties doesn’t put you out of the game.

As we continue this article, we will consider the various challenges and benefits that a midlife career change can bring to your table. To make your transition easier, we will cover some steps you can consider for a more rewarding career.

Possibility of a Career Change at 40:

You are a much different person than you were during your first job.

You've learned to work with complex teams, gain confidence in dealing with difficult peers and superiors, and reinvent yourself repeatedly.

On top of that, you have a wide range of experiences at the age of 40. And they have caused you to grow both professionally and personally.

With all those feathers in your cap, yes, a career change in your midlife is more possible than you think.

It might take some extra effort to get in line with your new aspiring job. But it is worth walking the extra mile to reach those new personal and professional development goals.

Cheers to living a life that is meaningful to you!

Signs that you Need a Career Change:

Do you often think of a career change? If so, it is evident that the recipe for your successful career needs some adjustments.

If any of the points listed below resonate with you, it is a screaming gesture that you must consider a career change.

1. Every other day, you get monday blues!

It's normal to feel that Monday blues after a long weekend.

We all go through that phase every now and then. However, if it is a common occurrence, and you dread going to work every other day, it is a sign that you must reassess your job.

2. Your self-esteem is at stake

Your career is no exception to the rule that nothing is more important than your self-esteem.

If your job makes you feel horrible about who you are, there is no point in continuing a career, no matter the pay or perks.

You should be able to feel good about your job. But if it makes you question your self-worth, that is a screaming sign that you must reconsider your career.

3. Money is the only binding agent

Do you keep telling yourself that you will quit just after the bonus? Do you buy yourself nice things to compensate for the pain of the job?

Money is an important aspect of life, but it should never outweigh other reasons to stay in a job. What's the point of earning a lot of money only to suppress your true calling and feel miserable in the end?

Money can buy you the things that you desire. But what is the point if you still have to go to your office feeling dreadful?

Having a career where you feel content about your personal and professional life surpasses every penny. Isn't it?

4. You always dream of a different career

A Solomonic proverb from the 10th century B.C. reads, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." That makes a lot of sense.

It's the right time to take the plunge and hit that apply button if you constantly dream of a different career. Experience the joy of waking up to a job you love each day.

Benefits of a Career Change:

As you age, you get a better sense of what you like and dislike.

Though there are challenges in making a career change midlife, the prospects are brighter.

What's the point of sticking to a job that has lost its luster?

1. Plenty of experience

If you're in your mid-life, you have already walked a long road. The journey is marked with many revelations.

You have gained considerable experience since your first job. And there is a high chance that many of your skill sets are transferable to the different careers you have in your mind.

2. A satisfying career

Success has a different meaning for everyone. But, it is always rooted in satisfaction.

Whether your conquest is based on better work-life balance, higher pay, or a more challenging role, making a career change can be the solution.

3. Healthier lifestyle

Working on a job you dislike is like opening pandora's box whenever you drag yourself to the office. It can cause stress and, in the long run, push you to a mental breakdown.

You can save yourself from this climax by making a career change, regardless of age.

Challenges of a Career Change at Midlife:

A career change can be highly rewarding, but it does come with a few challenges we must recognize.

1. Greater responsibilities

When you started your career in your twenties, hopping from one job to another was easier. But it's all very different when you are in your forties.

A Change in the career trajectory might require you to learn new things. This might put an additional burden on your available resources: time and money.

You must balance this extra responsibility. No compromise with your family here!

2. Higher financial requirements

As you age, your financial requirements take an upward momentum. Mortgages, elderly care, and childcare expenses are just some leaves of this plant.

As you shift your career, you will likely have to start with an entry-level position.

The impact:Most probably, a pay cut!

Before making a career decision, you must have a plan on how to continue watering your money plant.

3. A New learning curve

You might be at the top of your game in your current role, but a career shift might make you a rookie in your new position. You have to unlearn a lot of things and relearn others.

Before taking the plunge, you must anticipate and prepare for a possible learning curve.

How to Make a Career Change at 40?

Now that you have carefully chewed over the benefits and challenges of a midlife career change. Here are some guidelines for your easy transition:

1. Be clear about your goal


Consider your current career and position carefully. Sometimes it is not a career change that you require but a change of work environment.

You should avoid making a decision on a whim. So, consider all the reasons that made you think of a career change and jot it down.

Focus on the factors you want to change from the current situation and what you aspire for in a new career. This will help you to understand if switching careers is the right choice or if you just need a new company, role, or workplace.

Whether to start a new career or stick to the old one, you must be certain of your choice. Take your time, and when it's clear, commit wholeheartedly.

2. Make a note of your transferable skills


With those years of experience, you have surely built upon your arsenal of skills. While some of these skills may be very niche, others are sure to overlap with the requirements of your dream career. You should make a note of each of them!

Here are some transferable skills you can include in your cover letter or resume, irrespective of the job profile:

  • Leadership skills
  • Emotional intelligence (E.Q.)
  • Analytical expertise
  • Communication abilities
  • Teamwork skills
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity

While you include your skills, it will be better to have examples supporting each one. This will make you a better candidate when cracking any job interview.

3. Identify possibilities


As the world runs on information, so does your ability to find the right job.

To know the depth of the water before taking the plunge. You should:

  • Do thorough research on your dream job.
  • Connect with people on LinkedIn.
  • Note the required skill set and see what's missing in your arsenal.
  • Investigate companies on review websites like Glassdoor, Ambition box, comparably, etc., to get a clear picture.

Some careers might be harder or, in certain cases, impractical to start at 40, for example, being an astronaut or a professional athlete. Diving deep and researching will help you make an informed decision about your career and the possibilities.

4. Experiment


Neither Rome was built in a day, nor can a career change happen overnight. You will need to experiment with different opportunities:

  • Start a side hustle.
  • Take a part-time job.
  • Look for other ways to dip your toes before committing full-time.

A curious mind and the willingness to take risks are like powerful magic spells. They will help you get a real taste of different career paths and make a calculated decision.

As a career changer, eat, sleep and experiment!

5. Continue to hone your skills


More and more people are entering the workforce every minute. And to take on this huge competition, you must commit to learning the skills of the future.

Keep yourself updated with the latest trends and skills that the market demands, and prepare for the career change you dreamt of.

Today, learning anything is just a click away. You can enroll in online courses and get a certificate in the new skills. It will boost your confidence and help you bridge the gap areas - like social media strategies.

Rather than diving deep into one technical skill, build a working knowledge around it and get your hands on other skill areas

Different Career Paths at Mid-Career

Though there are a plethora of career options to choose from, the best will be subjective to the individual's interests, passion, and existing skill set.

Some career options are easier to start from scratch, while others require significant specialized knowledge and practice hours.

Here are some popular options to start your career at 40:

Event planner

Event planning can be ideal for you if you like talking to people and have an excellent time and people management skills.

The way event planning works is consistent across different sectors. The only thing you must pay greater attention to are: creativity and detailing.

Project manager

Project management has much more to do with experience than formal qualifications. A career as a project manager can be a great fit if you have a knack for organizing tasks and people.

You will be in the driving seat of the project and need to oversee the progress and quality of the work being done.

Freelancer or consultant

Nothing can be more satisfying than getting paid to do the things you love. The great thing about freelancing or consulting is that you can choose your own schedule.

You solve your client's problems with the experience you have gained over the years.

Nothing beats a subject matter expert; be sure your skills are in demand, and you can profitably build your grip over your clients.

Human resource manager

A human resource manager is responsible for all the human aspects of a company: hiring, onboarding, and terminating—the entire employee cycle.

A certification or a degree in human resources is a common requirement in this domain. Still, you can prepare for this role by going through online courses.

Being in the workforce for more than a decade, you already have experience in administration or team leadership roles. These are some crucial skills that an H.R. manager requires, making you an ideal fit.

Final Thoughts

A career change is both exciting and scary, no matter at what point you make it. Therefore, your decisions should always be backed by logic rather than blunt emotions.

A midlife career transition needs considerable planning. You will probably have to gather a lot of information and take advice from various people.

But if you’re confident enough, take a call and uplift from the present situation. You need to trust your gut feeling!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)-

Is changing careers a good idea when you're 40?

A midlife career shift may be daunting, but there is always time to make the right move. Your vast experience makes you more qualified to fit into different roles. Focus on your transferable skills and align them with your passion for landing your desired job.

How to make a career change at 40 with no degree?

In case you are insecure, you bring more than a decade of experience. Concentrate more on your impressive skill set and past achievements. With the right attitude and ambition, you can easily navigate a mid-life career change without any degree.

Is a career change at 40 worth it?

Though it is subjective, a career change at any stage of your life can be worth it. Even if you shift your career at age forty, you probably have another 20 years to climb the ladder in your new career. If you have good reasons to take this leap, dive in!

Will I get a job after a career change at 40?

With the right attitude and skill set, there is no reason to worry. The market is always looking for prospective employees, and those years of experience give you an edge over others. You just need a proper job search plan, a detailed resume, and great interviewing skills.

This article has been written by Sanjoy Khan Choudhury. He works as a Content Marketing Specialist at Vantage Lens. His areas of interest include music, marketing, cuisine, and anime. When he’s not writing, he’s usually singing to the tune of his guitar or finding some weird way to cook his meal.