Top Tips For Changing Your Career In Your Thirties

Bridget Jones, 2000

by Cate Sutherland |
Published on

Changing careers can be a daunting prospect. That said, fear of change shouldn't put you off. Cate Sutherland went for an all-out career change in her mid-thirties, abandoning her steady job in marketing to take on journalism.

Here she reveals her hot tips for going about a total career change...

Plan your exit strategy

Knowing what you want to do is half the battle. The rest is planning your transition and mitigating the risks. Research your new profession – understand what a typical day looks like – not just what you get paid or what hours you need to be available.

Invest in up-skilling

Try to find summer courses or evening classes that fit around your work schedule, and sacrifice the necessary personal time to get the most from your learning experience. Attend open days and speak to former students for the inside track on what value the course really adds.

A degree isn’t the same as experience

Don’t underestimate the need to build relevant experience. Do internships, worke gratis for new clients and slowly build a portfolio. As your track record grows, so do the job opportunities. At any age, you must be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up.

Ask for feedback and learn from constructive criticism

If you don’t need to re-train, find a mentor at the very least. Having the right skills for a role isn’t the same as making a success out of it. Learn from someone who has.

Don’t close doors

It’s tempting to leap with joy as you exit the building but it never pays to leave on bad terms. You can always leverage your past network and experience to benefit your new career. Recognise that unforeseen circumstances may land you back in the job you know.

Understand what sets you apart and work to your strengths

This is where changing career in your thirties gives you the edge. Ones twenties can be motivated by money, whereas job satisfaction and work-life balance can come into play in your thirties.

Finding a job we love and we’re good at is strongly linked to our personality and values. Just like our office fashion and make-up routine, they change over time.


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