Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Image by Hilary Allison © The Balance 2019

Interested in a new career? People seek to change careers for many different reasons. Your career goals or values may have changed; you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few.

Before you decide, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options, to decide if your career needs making over, and to choose a career that will be more satisfying for you.

Why People Change Careers

There are many different reasons why people want to change careers. Of course, it’s a personal decision with many factors involved. Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis survey reports on the top five reasons people change careers:  

  • Better Pay: 47%
  • Too Stressful: 39%
  • Better Work-Life Balance: 37%
  • Wanted a New Challenge: 25%
  • No Longer Passionate About Field: 23%

The Benefits of a Career Change

The Joblist survey reports that most people were happier after they made the change:  

  • Happier: 77%
  • More satisfied: 75%
  • More fulfilled: 69%
  • Less stressed: 65%

In addition, the people who change careers were making more money. Survey respondents who changed careers for better pay earned an additional $10,800 annually compared to their previous positions.

10 Steps to a Successful Career Change

Review these tips for assessing your interests, exploring options, evaluating alternative career paths, and making the move to a new career.

  1. Evaluate your current job satisfaction. Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes. Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work? While you’re doing this, there are some things you can do at your current job to help you prepare to move on when it’s time for a change.
  2. Assess your interests, values, and skills. Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. There are free online tools you can use to help assess career alternatives.
  3. Consider alternative careers. Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts. If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.
  4. Check out job options. Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.
  5. Get personal. Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews. A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.
  6. Set up a job shadow (or two). Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand. Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers. Here’s more information on job shadowing and how it works.
  7. Try it out. Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest e.g. if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.
  8. Take a class. Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Spend some time at one day or weekend seminars. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.
  9. Upgrade your skills. Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g. offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new field. If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can. There are ways you can position yourself for a career change without having to go back to school.
  10. Consider a new job in the same industry. Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have e.g. If you are a store manager for a large retail chain and have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours, consider a move to corporate recruiting within the retail industry. Or if you are a programmer who doesn’t want to program, consider technical sales or project management.

Write a Career Change Resume and Cover Letter

When you’re ready to start applying for jobs in your new industry, be sure to write a cover letter that reflects your aspirations, as well a resume that is refocus based on your new goals. Here are tips for writing a powerful career change resume and a sample career change cover letter with writing advice.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

If you’re paralyzed with indecision, consider this list.

LinkedIn reports that 25% of its members are actively seeking jobs, while 60% are passive job seekers – not proactively looking for a change, but willing to seriously consider opportunities. Lots of people stay in jobs they hate, often because of the fear of change and the value they place in long-term job stability. Career change is scary, but sometimes necessary. There are five critical signs, based on psychological research, that indicate you’d probably benefit from a career switch. One indication, especially for highly curious and creative people, is that you’re no longer learning in your job. Another sign is that you’re underperforming. If you’re on autopilot at work, you’re not engaged with your job, and you may be damaging your future employability. A third indication is feeling undervalued. Employees who don’t feel appreciated by their managers are more likely to burnout or to engage in absenteeism and sabotage. The next sign is that you’re just doing your job for the money. You can actually be demotivated by financial rewards because they extinguish intrinsic goals. Lastly, you should consider a career change if you hate your boss. Research shows that 75% of working adults find their supervisor to be the most stressful part of their job.

If you’re paralyzed with indecision, consider this list.

Regardless of your age, background, or accomplishments, you have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career at some point in your life – those who haven’t are the exception.

LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered passive job seekers – people who are not proactively searching for a new job, but seriously willing to consider opportunities. In addition, there has been a steady increase of self-employed and temporary workers over the past two decades. This is true even in rich economies with low unemployment rates, like the U.S. and the U.K., partly because of the glamorization of entrepreneurship, the rise of the sharing economy, and the ubiquity of incompetent management, which makes the prospect of not having a boss rather alluring.

Yet at the same time, humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analyses show that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement, and failing to identify with the organization’s culture. And, since career changes are often driven by emotional rather than rational factors, they often end up disappointing. So at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed: “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

You and Your Team

Mid-Career Crisis

The inability to make a decision is in itself anxiety-provoking, because it increases uncertainty about the future. In addition, most people, even millennials, value long-term job stability, not just in themselves but also in others. Unsurprisingly, the OECD sees job security as a key component of quality of life, while academic studies report that job insecurity is a major cause of psychological stress.

All this explains why it is so hard to leave a job, no matter how uninspiring or monotonous it may be. In order to help you decide whether it may be time for a career change, here are five critical signs, based on psychological research, that you would probably benefit from a career switch:

  • You are not learning. Studies have shown that the happiest progression to late adulthood and old age involves work that stimulates the mind into continuous learning. This is particularly important if you are high on Openness to Experience/Inquisitiveness, a personality trait associated with curiosity, creativity, love of learning, and having a hungry mind.
  • You are underperforming. If you are stagnated, cruising in autopilot, and could do your job while asleep, then you’re almost certainly underperforming. Sooner or later, this will harm your resume and employability. If you want to be happy and engaged at work you are better off finding a job that entices you to perform at your highest level.
  • You feel undervalued. Even when employees are happy with their pay and promotion prospects, they will not enjoy their work unless they feel appreciated, especially by their managers. Furthermore, people who feel undervalued at work are more likely to burnout and engage in counterproductive work behaviors, such as absenteeism, theft, and sabotage. And when the employee in question is a leader, the stakes are much higher for everyone else because of their propensity to behave in ways that could destroy the organization.
  • You are just doing it for the money. Although people tend to put up with unrewarding jobs mostly for financial reasons, staying on a job just for the money is unrewarding at best, and demotivating at worst. As I pointed out in a previous post, employee engagement is three times more dependent on intrinsic than extrinsic rewards, and financial rewards extinguish intrinsic goals (e.g., enjoyment, sheer curiosity, learning or personal challenge).
  • You hate your boss. As the saying goes, people join companies but they quit their bosses. This implies that there is a great deal of overlap between employees who dislike their jobs, and those who dislike their bosses. In our research, we find that 75% of working adults find that the most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor or direct line manager. Until organizations do a better job at selecting and developing leaders, employees will have to lower their expectations about management or keep searching for exceptional bosses.

Of course, these are not the only signs that you should pay attention to. There are many other valid reasons for considering a job switch, such as work-life balance conflicts, economic pressures, firm downsizing, and geographical relocation. But these reasons are more contextual than psychological, and somewhat less voluntary. They are therefore less likely to lead to decision uncertainty than the five reasons I listed.

At the end of the day, real-world problems tend to lack a clear-cut solution. Instead, the correct answer depends on its consequences and how pleased we are with the outcome, and both are hard to predict. As Abraham Lincoln said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” so the only way to know whether a career move is actually right for you is to make it.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Change is hard. Whether you’re facing a big change like reinventing a business model or something simple like the day paychecks come out, change is difficult. One study found that 70% of change efforts fail. Big or small, change efforts seem to run into the same brick walls over and over again. By understanding the basic phases of change and the psychological state of your employees, you can prepare your culture for change and avoid common pitfalls of failed change efforts.

There is a myth about change that has destroyed many leaders’ careers. When managing change, many leaders mistakenly believe expediency is the best approach. They think, “If we move quickly we’ll be better off during the change management effort. We’re not going to waste time preparing our culture for change. We’re just going to jump in and make the change!”

Gallery: 10 Powerful Ways To Empower Your Employees

Unfortunately, about a week into the change effort, they realize they should have prepared their culture for change because they don’t have any support. There is a big difference between leading a parade and getting run out of town. If you don’t take the time to prepare your culture for change you won’t have the basic support needed to go through with a change effort. You may get a couple of people to buy into the change, but then there will be a tidal wave of support against you. Until you have confirmation that 70% of your culture is prepared for the change management effort, you are not ready to start taking action.

The challenge in preparing any culture for change is that employees tend to cling to the present state (where they are now). One of the biggest obstacles in getting folks to move with the change into the future state (where you want them to be) is that the present state is usually fairly comfortable. Unfortunately, getting them to move is not as simple as asking nicely. In order to get folks to move from the present state to the future state you need to understand the three stages I call the “Why, Where, and How” of change.

Why Do We Need To Change?

If people don’t understand why they need to change, they won’t change. This is why, ironically, it’s often easier to lead a change management effort in a failing company than in a successful one. If the company is heading towards bankruptcy, it’s a lot easier to explain why we need to change (e.g. “we’ll literally be bankrupt if we don’t change!”). But in successful companies, employees will often say, “Why do we need to change if we’ve been so successful thus far?”

Often the first thing leaders need to do to prepare their culture for change is to start a fire. In other words, make the present state significantly less comfortable. Maybe it’s as simple as pointing out that there are coming threats to our current success. Maybe it’s pointing out that we’re not really as perfect as we think we are.

If the present state were less comfortable, folks would be a lot more likely to jump from the present state to the future state. As the present state gets hotter and a little uncomfortable, folks will begin to move away from the heat. They won’t necessarily be excited about it shouting, “I can’t wait to jump over to the future state! I bet it’s fantastic!” But, if you set a fire, folks will be much more likely to move from the present state to the future state.

Where Is This Change Taking Us?

The second way to prepare your culture for change is to make the future state look a lot better than the present state. Are we going somewhere good? Is the future state more attractive than the present state?

People don’t need every tiny detail about the future state, but they do need a rough idea of where we’re going. They need to be able to visualize that there is a better place waiting for us out there and they need to be able to imagine themselves in that place.

How Will We Get There?

The third way to prepare your culture for change is to give employees a sense of just how it is they will get from the present state to the future state. One of the roadblocks to change is the gap between the present state and the future state. To employees, that gap might seem insurmountable. Build a bridge; make it easy to move from the present to the future state.

If folks understand why they need to change and where they’re going, they might still freeze up if they can’t begin to imagine how they could ever make the journey. So leaders need to show that while there’s a big journey ahead of us, we can break it down into bite-sized steps and take them one at a time.

Change management isn’t always easy. But a great many of the mistakes that get made stem from neglecting one of these three stages. If people know why they need to change, where they’re going, and how they can get there, they’re going to be a lot more likely to buy in and join you on the journey.

Mark Murphy is a NY Times bestseller, author of Hiring For Attitude, and founder of Leadership IQ.

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Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Too many live a hesitant, tentative life, totally unaware of the strength and power that they have to get much, much more out of living.

Don’t be one of them. Don’t wait until your life well and truly sucks before paying attention to the signs it’s time for a change.

Not every bad moment makes for a bad life. Sometimes a challenging moment is simply that. And there can be times when feeling stuck turns out to be a good thing. Especially when it forces us to stop and notice what’s happening around us.

Our ultimate success or failure depends on our ability to recognize whether something is just a bad moment or a cry for help.

Here are some signs it’s time for a change:

1. You’ve forgotten you have choices

Learn to recognize when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to stop hitting your head against the proverbial wall and move on. You don’t have to continue living in the drama just because it’s familiar.

Allow yourself to let go of people and situations, ideas and feelings that aren’t conducive to the nourishment of your growth, or your soul. Let go. Let go now.

Commit to making choices that nurture your personal growth, give yourself permission to start a new chapter in your life and make the choices that liberate you from following the wrong path, the wrong purpose for you.

Love yourself enough to choose freedom from anything that sucks the life out of you.

2. You’ve forgotten that you’re deserving of the best

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Not everyone sees you through the same eyes. But everyone deserves to have someone in their corner who appreciates them just as they are.

Feelings of worth will never flourish in an atmosphere of criticism, where mistakes aren’t tolerated and differences are belittled.

If you’re besieged by people who are discouraging and critical, the spark of inspiration and hope that allows you to be in touch with your deepest potential is being crushed.

You deserve to be appreciated, to be valued. Surrounding yourself with those who have a constructive attitude towards you helps you to follow your path towards greater success and happiness and the achievement of your dreams. Do it today. You’re worth it.

3. You let minor irritations become major problems

Free yourself from those pesky irritations that get you down. You’re more free than you give yourself credit for. You’re free to stop letting minor annoyances take a hold. You’re free to feel whatever you choose. You’re free to take control and refuse to react in the old ways.

Life consistently delivers challenges…whether you react or respond…and how you respond is entirely in your hands.

Each day practice releasing something that you normally would find annoying.

You’ll find your happiness is longer lasting and your peace immense. And as an added bonus you’ll discover you’ve freed yourself to broaden this control over other areas of life. If you want a greater understanding of releasing you can find it here.

4. It’s hard to stop obsessing over what was

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Life presents you with ups and downs, losses and gains, chances to embrace joy, to experience hope and love and to fulfill your dreams.

Bad things do happen. No one is so enlightened that they’re free from the pain of the past.

We can choose to be immobilized, frozen and focused on perpetual feelings of sadness for all that’s gone wrong in life or, without diminishing the past, turn our focus on to the most precious gift we have…life.

Offer yourself a little loving kindness as you train yourself to take your attention away from what was and place it on what is and what’s about to be.

All it takes is one step at a time. One little shift in attention today will shine a big, bright light on tomorrow.

Remember you’ve always done the best you could with what you knew at the time. Celebrate this awareness, it’s going to set you free.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

5. When you find yourself asking the wrong question it’s time to make a change

If you find yourself asking why me, more often than you ask what next. It’s definitely time for a change. Don’t become a victim of the stories you tell yourself.

When something doesn’t turn out as you expected don’t go blaming someone else, or outside circumstances. It’s time to give that up.

You have, you’ve always had, the power to change things; to do what needs to be done to produce the results you want.

Be willing to ask yourself what do I believe? What was I thinking? How was I feeling?

All that matters now is that you choose to be focused on the right questions, the right ideas, that feeling that there is always another option, a different way.

Different results will only be available to you as you make the necessary choices that lead you towards understanding that you are greater than any current problem.

6. You’ve lost your passion

You’re lifestyle no longer fits the person you’ve become. There’s no spring in your step, no joy in your heart.

Life is just one ho hum day at a time. You’ve forgotten a time when you jumped out of bed with a smile in your heart.

External motivation doesn’t last long. Material possessions and money all have their place…but if you want to live a passionate life it’s the internal motivation that will get you there. And it’s rarely exhausted until the dream comes true.

Finding something to be enthusiastic about is one of the main ingredients in the recipe for a happy, fulfilling life. A glorious life can be lived if you’re involved in, or actively seeking your passion every day.

When you’re involved in what you strongly believe in, what you love you become a person of interest. It’s hard not to experience a meaningful life when you become someone who inspires the rest of us.

In the comments below tell me what your telltale signs are that it’s time for some changes. Go on, you know what they are.

As always thank you for reading and leaving your thoughts. Please share this post with anyone you think might be motivated or encouraged by it.

Are you thinking about making a career change? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that the average person will change careers between five and seven times over the course of their working life. Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average worker holds upwards of 10 different jobs before the age of 50, and this number is set to rise even further in upcoming decades.

The changing nature of work means that a career change may be more feasible for you than for previous generations. People are increasingly working in new ways, be it flexibly, remotely or part-time.

While in the past skills and professions were learned for life, education and training is now becoming an ongoing part of a more dynamic working style. This is made possible with the help of new learning opportunities, such as online courses.

While working might once have been viewed as little more than a means to pay the bills, it’s now widely accepted that finding a fulfilling career is one of the keys to a happy life. With this in mind, perhaps it’s time for you to take a step back and look at some of the main reasons people take the leap and decide to make a career change.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

1. You need a new challenge

Even if you’re content with your job, company and work colleagues, it’s possible that after several years have passed, it has all become too routine. If you’re the kind of person that needs to push themselves and try new things, a career change might be just the ticket. Venturing a little out of our depth can sometimes be exactly what we need to feel satisfied and accomplished in our working life. If you’re feeling just a little too comfortable, starting a new career path that encourages you to gain new knowledge and skills may help to spice things up.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

2. Your values have changed

A job is like a relationship; sometimes you just grow in different directions. While you might once have been passionate about your company’s mission, this may no longer be the case. The idea that people can change drastically over the course of a lifetime isn’t a radical one, and something you’re happy doing at 22 might no longer float your boat at 40. You may have had a spiritual awakening and be craving to get out of the office and into a more relaxed working environment. Or, while financial security might not have been a priority for you when you were young, you now seek more stability than your current job as a freelancer affords. These changing values, concerns and priorities might mean a career change is in order.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

3. You want to focus on other things

Sometimes our job does not allow enough us to spend enough time on other aspects of our lives. Perhaps you wish you had more time to dedicate to your family, or to a hobby you’re passionate about. Maybe you desire more time out to travel and see the world. If this is the case, consider a career that allows you to work flexibly or for yourself. Research also shows that more and more Europeans are now opting for part-time work as their primary job, so depending on your situation, working fewer hours may be an option. There’s more to life than work and sometimes we need a career that allows us to acknowledge that.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

4. Your passion lies elsewhere

Cast your mind back to your adolescent years. Did you quietly dream of finding success as a stand-up comedian, but your school careers counsellor advised a business degree? There’s nothing wrong with chasing a long-term dream or following what you’re passionate about. We’re often under pressure to make career decisions deemed practical or realistic, but ultimately you are the only one who can determine what job is right for you. Thanks to technology it’s easier than before to research your new career or gain visibility for yourself online. For example, a career in the competitive field of journalism may have seemed unreachable before, but now you have the opportunity to start a successful blog from the comfort of your own bed! If you prepare well and utilise all the modern resources available to you, it’s completely possible to make a career out of doing what you love.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

5. You’re not happy

A recent study of British workers showed that job satisfaction was the second most important predictor of overall life satisfaction. This is no big surprise. If you’re unhappy, your job is one of the first places you should look. Your work life inevitably seeps into your personal life, and if you’re feeling dissatisfied, perhaps a career change will give you something new to focus your energies on. There are a number of things at your job that could be leaving you unhappy such as the pressure, the long hours, your colleagues or the tedious work. If you’re not happy in your work environment and it is affecting you on a personal level, it might be time for a change.

Do any of these apply to you? Whether you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current job or just looking to try something new, a career change offers many potential benefits. And, luckily, in this day and age, the possibilities are endless. You can start researching your new career online right now, or check out a bootcamp like CareerFoundry to get started.

Oh, and don’t forget, every CareerFoundry course comes with a Job You Love Guarantee. If you don’t find a job you love within 6 months of completing your course, you’ll get all your money back.

What You Should Do Now

Become a qualified UX designer, UI designer, web developer, or data analyst in less than a year—complete with a job guarantee.

Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and find out which fields are best for you.

Learn about our graduates, see their portfolio projects, and find out where they’re at now.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)


  • How Do I Find My Career if I’m Lost?
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  • Things to Consider When Choosing a Career
  • How to Become a Resume Writer

At 35, you may be going through what some refer to as a “midlife crisis,” or you may just be bored with the career track you have taken. Some “thirty-somethings” may be sidetracked by an economic slowdown and find themselves out of work. But, never fear, it is not too late to change careers. At only 35-years-old, there is lots of light left at the end of the career tunnel.

One of the Upsides of 35

Starting a new career at this midlife stage may offer even more opportunities than you had when you were younger. Look for new challenges or parlay your talents into fields related to your current career. The possibilities are plentiful for 35-year-olds. You only have to decide what you will be happy doing for your next chapter, then follow your passions.

Mental Health

Mental health is an industry that values experience and maturity. With many years of life experience, you can offer guidance and wisdom to those who need it. If you do not already have a degree in psychology or counseling, you may consider investing the time and resources needed to get a degree or two including a master’s degree. Because mental health is a field you can work in until well past the traditional retirement age, the investment is a good one.

There are dozens of jobs in the mental health field that are ideal for a new career at 35. Here are just a few:

  • Therapist. As a therapist, you can work in private practice, in a group practice with other practitioners or at a treatment center. You can choose to work with a group of people, such as adolescents or people struggling with addiction. You can specialize in a therapy such as art therapy, yoga therapy or music therapy.
  • School counselor. School counselors or guidance counselors help students while they are in school. These counselors offer help with day-to-day struggles, personal issues and career counseling. If you choose such a rewarding career, you have the chance to make a dramatic difference in the life of a child.
  • Life coach. Put your life experience to use as a life coach. You can help people achieve their life goals and realize their potential.

A Career in the Business Sector

If you are business-oriented, there is no shortage of jobs in the business sector. Business continues to grow at a healthy pace so a career in business leads to long-term job stability. There are many opportunities available in business for a new career at 35. Here a just a few:

  • Business operations management. All businesses need someone to manage their departments and help guide strategy. As a business operations manager, you help with hiring, budget, contracts and general business operations. If you have a background in business, this is a natural transition because your years of experience will be highly valued.
  • Fundraising. Fundraising is a great new career at 35 if you are good at reaching out to people, building community and writing letters asking for support. Nonprofits, educational organizations and health and research institutions always need help and support when trying to raise funds for their causes.
  • Financial analyst. If numbers are your thing, consider becoming a financial analyst. You can be at the forefront of economic trends and help people manage their investments. Financial analysts often work in insurance and financial services industries.

Be a Recruiter

If you have worked in an industry long enough, you may be able to transition into recruiting for that industry. Recruiters help track down and hire talent in an industry niche. Recruiters can work in almost any field: legal, creative, management and education. To be a successful recruiter, you will need a few important skills. Those include communication, the ability to sell, a good attitude and a friendly demeanor. If you are starting this new career at 35, it is easiest to start in an industry in which you have experience.

Beauty and Wellness

Desk jobs are not for everyone. That may be one of the reasons you are changing your career at 35. The beauty and wellness industry offers many opportunities. You can transition your years of working out or training for marathons into a new career at 35. Or you can apply all that experience you have doing your daughter’s hair or giving your spouse massages. You will need a certification for many of these, but you will have a lot of flexibility on when and where you work.

  • Personal trainer. Help others achieve their fitness goals by becoming a personal trainer. You can work with them one-on-one or in groups. Your office can be a gym, a park or even the beach.
  • Massage therapist. Everyone loves a good massage. You can apply your relaxation skills at a spa or salon or do in-home therapy.
  • Esthetician. Estheticians do waxing, facials and other skin-care treatments.
  • Hairstylist. Everyone needs their hair done at some time or another. Specialize in cuts or colors and let your creativity flow.

Hands-On Jobs

A new career at 35 means the chance to turn your hobbies into your profession. If you are skilled at carpentry, painting, car mechanics or general repair work, branch out and start your own business. You can start with referrals and reach out to your community through neighbors or social media. You may be able to build enough business to start your own company.

Health Care

Jobs in the healthcare field are always in supply. There are a variety of fields to choose from depending on your interests. You can be a dental assistant, patent care technician, medical insurance biller, patient advocate or a nurse.

Whatever new career you choose at 35, make sure you select one that you will be happy doing for the next 35 years. Or, until you decide to change careers again.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

Whether you are looking for a career change, a new job or you are not sure what success means to you, chances are you’re in need of a little motivation to boost your spirits.

  • “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford
  • “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker
  • “Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.” — Herb Brooks
  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” — Steve Jobs
  • “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi
  • “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” — Audrey Hepburn
  • “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius
  • “Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
  • “Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck
  • “There is no passion to be found in playing small — in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “The future depends on what you do today.” — Mahatma Gandhi
  • “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” — Stephen Covey
  • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein
  • “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford
  • “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” — Aristotle Onassis
  • “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand
  • “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray
  • “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein
  • “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh
  • “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” — George Addair
  • “Nothing will work unless you do.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for it.” — Katharine Whitehorn
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
  • “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe
  • “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” — Gary Player
  • “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — Chris Grosser
  • “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot
  • “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” — Anna Freud
  • “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” — Aristotle

Discover your potential with the Jobscan Career Change Tool

Practical Advice for making a Career Change

Although geography, culture, and age play a role in career decisions, many people worldwide are moving away from the job-for-life mentality. We’re embracing gig economies and, in many cases, developing new skills in order to change careers.

In Britain, 46% of workers quit their jobs in order to retrain and embark on new career paths at some point. In the U.S., Baby Boomers will work an average of 12.3 jobs in their lives. And for Millennials, that number is bound to be much higher. One survey showed that young workers are comfortable job hopping and even believe changing jobs often advances their careers.

All these statistics point to one thing: changing jobs, and even career paths, is normal. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. Many factors play a role in how difficult transitioning careers will be. Some variables to consider are:

  • Your age. Changing jobs can become more difficult as you get older, since you have fewer working years to develop new skills and are more likely to be entrenched in your current career. However, changing careers is possible at any age. Read more about transitioning careers in your thirties, forties, and fifties.
  • Your current income and financial responsibilities. This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of a career change. Your financial responsibilities may narrow your job options. If you are at a high income level currently, it can be difficult to earn the same pay in a new career.
  • Your skills. Accountants can’t transform into astronauts overnight. Understanding your skillset and how it can transfer to a new career is essential. (Hint: use the tool above to get started!)
  • The economy. When determining which career to pursue, you’ll need to consider the viability of each career option in the current and projected economy.
  • The career and industry you want to pursue. Will you need to learn new skills, take courses, or work an internship before you’re able to land a job in your desired field? Careers that require niche skills can be much harder to break into.

Reasons to Change Careers

People change careers for many reasons, including financial opportunity, work-life balance, and changing economies. Your reasons for making a career change could influence how you approach your search. Here we’ve listed some of the most common reasons people change careers.

  • Long term financial opportunity
  • Immediate financial needs
  • Better work-life balance
  • A loss of interest
  • A new interest
  • The changing economic landscape

Evaluating your personal reasons for changing careers is important and will inform your job search.

Which career is right for you? The three questions of alignment.

If you’ve evaluated your reasons for changing careers, you may have a good idea of which jobs you want to pursue. You may, however, only have a vague idea of which direction you’re headed. Consider the three questions below when beginning your search.

Which careers align with your interests and personality?

On your journey to finding the best career for you, you must consider your personality type, preferred working environment, and interests. At this point in your professional life, you may now understand yourself and your ideal working environment much better than you did when you were younger. Let this knowledge guide your search. If you’re unsure about your nature and how it affects your working style, you can take a career assessment online.

Which careers align with your needs?

This question will take you back to the above section, where you evaluated your reasons for transitioning careers. Now that you know what your needs are, you’ll have to find out which careers match up. Consider reserving time to research different careers and industries and talk to people already in those careers, whether they’re friends or someone you connect with at a networking event or on LinkedIn.

Which careers align with your skills and experience?

Here’s where the Jobscan Career Change Tool (above) can really help in your search. Some people may want to completely restart their careers from scratch, but most people will want to find jobs that match their existing skillset. The tool above will help you see which alternative careers are good matches for you and your resume.

Putting together your career change resume and cover letter

Applying for any job requires well thought out materials. Right now, you have an advantage over your younger self because you have accrued skills and experience. However, you may feel at a disadvantage among other candidates whose work histories and resumes are more relevant.

The key to getting a recruiter’s attention is effectively showing how the skills on your resume can transfer to the role and highlighting the ways in which your unique skills make you a standout candidate. You can accomplish this in both your resume and cover letter.

Tips for crafting a career change resume

  • Tailor your resume not only to your new career path but to each specific job
  • Use your resume summary to highlight your top transferable skills and communicate how they will apply to the role
  • Include the job title in your resume headline if possible
  • Use a hybrid resume template
  • Read more about career change resumes

Tips for writing a career change cover letter

  • Write confidently about your ability to transition to a new role.
  • Communicate what your unique experience can bring to the company.
  • Be specific about your interest in the company.
  • Highlight your transferrable skills.
  • Read more about career change cover letters

Using Jobscan tools in your career search

The Jobscan Career Change tool (at the top of the page) can show you which jobs are best matches based on your current resume. Paste your resume into the tool and find out which careers match up. This tool is great for understanding how your resume presents to applicant tracking systems and recruiters, as well inspiring career change ideas.

The core Jobscan resume optimization tool can be even more beneficial as you progress in your search and begin applying for jobs. You can scan your resume against any job description and see how well your skills and experience line up.

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

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Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

“I kept thinking, ‘I can do better than this.’”

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

“I wasn’t proud of what I did, and never felt I fitted the role.”

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

“For any new idea that came up, I’d always find a reason why I couldn’t do it.”

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

“I knew that I wanted to change things, but stepping out of my comfort zone felt frightening.”

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

“Each night, I would sit down at the computer and search for a job that didn’t exist. It was exhausting and soul destroying.”

Signs you need a career change at 30 (and how to make it successful)

“I couldn’t bear dragging myself to work any longer.”

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