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12 Reasons to Switch to a New Career in Your 40s

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When it comes to goals in life, many of us aspire to be in a career that brings out our talents. We would all like to live to work, rather than the other way round. As you maneuver through your 20s and 30s, you should pick up key skills and confidence to help you in your professional endeavors.

Once you hit 40, you may find you’ve become too comfortable in a particular job. If this sounds like you, it may be time to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try out a new career. Instead of feeling stuck in a rut, here are some great reasons why now is the perfect time to carve out a brand new career.

You Need a New Challenge

Even if you are happy in your role, friendly with your colleagues, or have a great relationship with your boss, there can come a time where everything becomes too routine. If you’ve been in your position for many years, while you may have the luxury of feeling at home when rolling into the office, it can be easy to become too comfortable in your surroundings.

As you enter your 40s, you may decide that it’s time to venture out and pursue something new. A career change may be just what you need to challenge yourself and give you something exciting to wake up for. You want to be satisfied with your work output and be proud of your achievements, so if you feel like every day feels the same, it’s time to get out there and shake things up.

You Want a Higher Salary

Understandably, you’ll want to be in a profession that pays well and gives you the best life possible. When you look back to your college days and early 20s, you may have picked up minimum wage jobs to support yourself. While these may have been perfect at the time (especially if you lived at home and had the parents sorting the mortgage), once you reach 40, you will want to be in a job that gives you financial security.

Whether you have children or not, the last thing you want is to be counting every dollar and worrying about bills mounting up in your mailbox. If you’re not happy with your current salary, why not do something about it? You’re never too old to change career paths, especially in your 40s.

You’re Not Happy

If you work the typical Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job, Sunday nights may fill you with dread and anxiety. For those who struggle to get to sleep and find themselves tossing and turning before Monday morning arrives, this is a sign that you may not be happy in your current job. As you get into your 40s, you should have a better idea of your likes and dislikes, as well as be more in touch with your emotional wellbeing.

High stress and anxiety can impact your work performance, interfere with personal and professional relationships, as well as cause you to burn out quickly. While some of us don’t exactly praise our jobs to the high heavens, if you find there are more negatives than positives, it’s time to get out and switch careers. Your health and happiness should always come first, no matter what. Don’t feel pressured to stay in a role if it isn’t making you happy.

You Want Flexibility

As you get older, you may require more flexibility in your day-to-day life. For those who have started a family, you’ll know more than anyone the importance and value of family time. If you’re in a job where you’re working long hours and away from home, finding precious moments to be with your loved ones can be hard work.

If you’re having difficulty juggling family life and having a career, now may be the perfect opportunity to look at positions that give you more freedom and flexibility. Whether that entails you launching your own business and setting your own hours, or finding a profession that coincides with parental duties, switching career paths to spend more time with your children is a no-brainer.

You Want Recognition

No matter what kind of job you do, we all want to feel respected and valued for what we contribute to the business. If you believe your talents aren’t being recognized by your boss, this can lead to a breakdown in communication and cause you to lose motivation. In many scenarios, business owners rely too heavily on their employees and expect them to go above and beyond their duties to keep the wheels turning. This can come at a price, however, as if an employee doesn’t feel valued, they’re more likely to look elsewhere for employment.

If you don’t feel like your talents are being appreciated, now is the time to look at a career change. Your hard work and effort shouldn’t go unnoticed, so if you’ve been with a company for many years and believe you’re not being rewarded for what you do, don’t stick around. You’ll soon find a career and boss who treats you with respect, pays you a healthy salary, and takes your feedback on board.

You Have Poor Working Relationships

In an ideal world, you would become close with all your work friends and create long-lasting bonds both in and out of the office. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If you’ve reached your 40s and found that your working relationships aren’t up to scratch, this can have a huge effect on your work performance. If you don’t feel comfortable engaging with colleagues or feel as though you’re being singled out, this can impact your self-worth and self-esteem.

Sadly, your boss may be the reason why you’ve decided on a career change. In most cases, it’s not the job that’s the problem, it’s the people who run the operation. If you believe your boss is being passive-aggressive and not treating you like a human being, it’s time to look for something new.

You Want to Be Your Own Boss

If you’ve been working nonstop for the past two decades for others, you may decide it’s time to go it alone and be your own boss. Launching your own business may sound daunting, but as long as you have the drive and commitment to keep going, you can turn your idea into a successful venture. Some people grow tired of working for others and not getting the salary or recognition they deserve. If this sounds like you, channeling your inner entrepreneur and launching a startup may be the perfect route to go down.

Unlike the 20 somethings, you’ll have a wealth of experience in the working world. This can benefit you when it comes to finding your niche, target audience, and choosing what products or services to offer to consumers. You may find that you cannot give up the day job just yet, so if you set a few hours aside each week to focus on your brand, not only will you have a regular income to support you, but you’ll also soon have the tools and resources to branch off and become the boss you’ve always aspired to be.

Your Passion Lies Elsewhere

As you move into your 40s, you may discover that your passions and interests lie elsewhere. For example, if you’re a caring person and want to help those in need, you may not get much fulfillment stuck behind a computer screen. Use your 40s as a window of opportunity to find a career that aligns with your ambitions and goals. If you slide into a role that gives you a sense of accomplishment, you’ll feel your hard work is being appreciated and recognized.

For those who have a passion for nursing, you may be interested in obtaining an MSN FNP degree. This will enable you to work as a family nurse practitioner. Whatever your passions are, you need to have a good think about what careers interest you most. You don’t want to end up in a position like the one you’re in now, especially if you’ve spent time and money going back into education.

Photo by Kenny Leys on Unsplash

You Want to Learn New Skills

You’re never too old to learn new skills. Just because you’re not in your 20s and 30s anymore does not mean you can’t expand your skillset. Whether you want to become a better communicator, understand time management, work better under pressure, or learn the importance of networking, you can gain all kinds of new skills when switching careers.

As you master these transferable skills, they will look great on your resume and show potential employers that you mean business. It will take time to broaden your knowledge, so you need to be patient and understand that learning is life-long, not just for the short term. You may find that some roles require you to have certain skills before applying. This means it may be time to look into doing a course or degree that aligns with your goals.

You’re Not Getting Any Younger

While 40 is not considered old in the grand scheme of things, when you factor in that retirement is only two decades away, you may have goals you want to achieve before taking it easy. You don’t want to go through your retirement with regrets about what you did and didn’t do when you were younger, so if you are serious about making the change, do it sooner rather than later.

Don’t let your age put you off when applying for jobs. Sure, some employers may look more fondly on those younger than you. However, there will be just as many who value your experience and hard work too. You will have bouts of wisdom and knowledge that your younger counterparts simply can’t offer, so try and focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

You Want to Be More Creative

If your mind is constantly filled with exciting ideas, you may not be able to unleash them in your current job. If you are in a profession that isn’t creative, this may bore you to tears and not feed your appetite for creativity. While some people are more than happy to stay in their lane, others are desperate to be more creative and have a hands-on approach.

There are tons of creative avenues you can look into, such as marketing, design, public relations, or publishing. Whatever path you choose, make sure it’s one where you can use your imagination and be able to freely express your opinions.

You Want to Reach the Top

If you’ve been in your job for many years and find you’re still doing the same roles and responsibilities, you may find switching careers will give you the chance to reach the top and enter managerial positions. Some people aspire to climb the career ladder and get to the top of their game. If this sounds like you, don’t waste another second in your current position.

Room for progression is vital for keeping you happy in your professional life. If your job doesn’t offer training or development programs, it’s time to find one that does. There are so many skills and characteristics you can gain from recognizing and furthering your potential. Once you develop the right skills, you’ll have no trouble applying and being accepted for interviews. It takes hard work, confidence, and drive to lead a team, so if you feel it’s the right time to embark on a new chapter, go for it and don’t look back.

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to switch career paths, try and see this as an exciting period in your life. As you enter your 40s, you may feel anxious about the road ahead. However, this decade of your life is the best time to seek new opportunities.

Whether you’re after a higher paid role, want to become a leader, gain new attributes, or even launch your own company, changing your career and starting afresh will give you bouts of motivation and drive to excel in your professional endeavors.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com