Changing Jobs

Here’s why you’re never too old for a career change

Written by Michael Hoon

It’s always scary to change jobs. But it can seem downright terrifying if you have given years (or decades!) to traveling one career path and want to make a complete switch. Don’t let fear hold you back—sometimes, circumstances call for bold strokes. Whether you have a goal your current position won’t allow you to reach, a list of regrets, or simply are bored and want to make a change, you can do it.

Here are a few reasons why it’s never too late for you to get the job (and the career) you’ve always wanted. Making a change might involve hard work and risk, but if you focus and really want it, change is attainable at any age.

Your skills can transfer.

You’ve already spent time in the working world, which means you’ve acquired two sets of skills: general soft skills that apply to any job (think time management, communication, office etiquette) and skills specific to your chosen industry. The former will serve you well no matter where you land.

What you don’t know, you can learn with time and hard work. And what you do know can easily be transferred into another field, position, industry, or path. Your job-specific skills might even bring a fresh element to your new career that would make you an attractive candidate.

You’ve earned enough to float.

At this point in your career, you’re probably comfortable enough to have provided yourself a nice cushion for taking a pay cut to do what you love. That doesn’t mean you should go into debt or work for less than you are worth—just consider it not the end of the world to make less for a little while. Weigh your happiness against the salary loss and see what comes out on top.

You will NOT seem flaky.

Just because you picked a field in your early twenties doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it for good. Wanting a change, even a major one, doesn’t make you fickle or indecisive. It just means you’ve grown up and identified your preferences. Good news! You’re supposed to grow! Ignore people who say you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The opposite is true: you do know, and you’re actively pursuing it.

Your passion will be infectious.

Wouldn’t you rather be bright, shiny, and positive about something again? If you’re waking up every morning dreading your work day, it might be time for you to consider a change. Life’s too short and you’re running out of time! Make the changes you need to live the life you want. Your drive and excitement will bleed into everything you do inside and outside of work.

It’s never too late to start something new, so don’t hold yourself back because you think it’s inappropriate. Keep in mind: you might have to start slowly, which is fine! You’ll need to assess the gaps you might have in your skills or education, and then work to fill them before you become an attractive candidate. But if you think there is a way, you should probably go for it. You’ll never know until you try.

About the author

Michael Hoon