There are numerous reasons why making a career change at 30 can feel challenging. Once you’ve hit the age of 30, you may feel like you’re in a lifestyle groove, you could have major financial obligations like mortgage or a young family. A career change in your thirties may feel daunting; however, it’s important to remember you're still at a flexible stage in your career. There has never been a better time in history to treat your career like a jungle gym and make a leap towards a new opportunity.
While there are challenges to making a career change, many are doing so successfully within their means and at their own pace. Here are three tips for managing your career change:
Self-Assessment with a Career Aptitude Test
When making a career change, it can be helpful to re-evaluate yourself internally. Personalities and goals change over time, and your values are likely different now than they were 10 years ago. Taking a career aptitude test can provide insights and ideas about what types of careers may fit your skill set and disposition. More than the black-and-white details of the jobs you may consider, a career aptitude test will help you understand the unique, tailored types of environments and roles that will help you continue to grow as a person.
Properly Leveraging Past Experiences
After years of work, your resume and CV may be filled with countless bullets of experiences and projects - far too many to express all at once. A helpful tip is to consolidate your experiences and filter for transferable or applicable skills. By demonstrating transferable skills, you may be able to expedite the interview process or even substitute your skills for formal training. The key to leveraging past experiences is to properly articulate that you have developed and possess skills such as these:
- Demonstrated professionalism and brand awareness
- Public speaking
- Proper delegation and management
- Ability to provide and receive constructive feedback
- Handling complaints
- Negotiation and persuasion
- Mentoring less experienced colleagues
- Time management and multitasking
- Attention to detail
By demonstrating that your skills from past experience are applicable in new environments, employers will be more likely to trust in your abilities to learn new skills and adapt to your career change elegantly. Try to present these transferable skills succinctly, using multiple powerful examples from your past experience. The more detailed and resonant your narrative, the more likely you are to be successful at making a career change at 30.
Gather Job Information and Look for Training Opportunities
While simultaneously looking inward through self-assessment and leveraging past experiences, we recommend studying the external forces that affect your new career path. Learning about specific job duties, the economic outlook and considerations for your intended role and standard earning rates is a great start. A starting point for research is The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which includes relevant statistics and information.
Look for opportunities in your community to meet other professionals, such as Meetup groups or affordable training opportunities in your new field. Networking and skill building are two critical ways to start pursuing your new career and testing your ability to stay engaged over time.
Keep in mind, no job will be perfect and there may be tasks that won’t exactly make you jump for joy - it is important that you are willing and excited to do the job. You should begin reaching out and reconnecting within your network to have discussions and extract nuances of jobs that would not otherwise be available by simple Internet searching.
Get Started on Making a Career Change at 30
Putting yourself out there, reflecting on your past experiences, and learning more about new industries will mitigate much of the uncertainty around making a career change at 30. By leveraging your fine-tuned skills and experiences, you will find that you can provide a wealth of value to new roles and become a highly sought after applicant.
If you would like to learn more about tactics to making a successful career change, or if you are thinking that a career in software development might be the right one for you, please reach out to us. At Momentum, we are committed to helping you kickstart your career. To learn more about how to make a career change that's right for you, contact us today to schedule an information session.