Career Change At 30 — Should I?
One day, some of us might fall out of love with our careers. The things you were once excited about feels tedious and boring. You cease to become “passionate”, a word you’ve used on your resume to land your first job in that career. You might look at older people in your career and wonder if that’s how you really want to end up in fifteen to twenty years. And as shocked as you might be, you come to realize that you don’t.
Career change is a topic people like to avoid. It’s cringe-inducing once we overthink the consequences of starting over after investing so much blood, sweat, and tears in your career. People might constantly think about it before they sleep at night, yet find no strength within themselves to do it. Some of these people would retire old age still in the same career, wondering how life could have turned out if they’ve only made a change.
Should we seriously consider a career change? It seems safe if you’re in your early to mid-twenties. But what if you’ve made the realization at 30 or older? Is it still on the table?
FEAR OF A CAREER CHANGE
You really can’t underestimate the stress that people undergo in this situation. There are hard consequences a career change might bring you, especially if you’re not exactly swimming in cash.
Some people go five figures in debt from their undergrad degree, and even more so for people who go to grad school for a shot at their current career.
You would think that all the education would prepare you for the job. Unfortunately, learning about conceptual frameworks is different from the menial day-to-day grind nobody could prepare you for.
A career change is a rough couple of months. If you’re changing careers from an expertise with no transferable skills, you’ll spend a few years in an entry-level position. This is extremely hard for people that are used to living a more expensive lifestyle. The transition could be jarring, especially if you’re not so sure yourself about the career you’re changing to.
If you choose to study again to enter your career of choice, you’ll likely be adding more debt on top of your previous debt. You might destroy your credit and drain your savings. The worst part is — it will take years before you can recover.
Aside from these serious external factors, there are also internal consequences.
You’ll be a great candidate for clinical depression. The rough years and the jarring cognitive dissonance from feeling like you’ve “lied to yourself” all this time will leave you feeling sad, anxious, and empty.
Until you cope with the change, you’ll obsess over the guilt and shame of financial setback, feeling unsuccessful, and “wasting” years.
WHY SHOULD I CHANGE CAREERS?
First of all, you’re not alone.
In this article by The Huffington Post, it’s reported that around 80 percent of workers in their 20s wanted a career change. For people around 30s, they 64 percent wanted a career change. For people in their 40s, 54 percent reported a desire to change their careers.
Today, it isn’t uncommon for someone to change their careers. The people of today are more proactive in leaving a miserable job to pursue happiness.
30 is young. Its 30 years of work ahead of you before retirement. For people in their 40s, it’s 20 more years of work. Those 20 or 30 years shouldn’t be spent in regret. If the rough years of a career change might cause depression, imagine enduring another decade in your career.
Nobody should compromise happiness out of fear and anxiety. We should all relish the satisfaction of preference.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO MADE A CAREER CHANGE
In another the Huffington Post article, entitled “13 People Who Prove It’s Never Too Late For A Career Change”, we can see a list of people who made a big career change in their lives and ended up becoming successful.
Here are some examples:
Walt Disney was a newspaper editor. Dreams didn’t always come true for Walt. The founder of The Walt Disney Company started out as a newspaper editor, but was apparently fired because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Harrison Ford was a carpenter. After his performance in “American Graffiti,” Ford gave up acting for the financial stability of carpentry. That is, until George Lucas came calling about a little movie called “Star Wars.”
Brad Pitt was a limo driver. For strippers. Yep, Brad used to drive strippers to and from bachelor parties. Before this, he also dressed up as a giant chicken and stood outside of an “El Pollo Loco” restaurant waving to cars.
HOW DO I SURVIVE A CAREER CHANGE?
Learn. No matter what. Research every topic you have a slight interest in.
Seriously consider where you true north lies. We covered this in our blog “What Career is Right For Me?”
Never miss a day without working towards your goals. Tweak and submit your resume every day. Call about vacancies on your target companies. Here’s our collection of blogs full of job searching tips.
Work with a staffing agency. This will be the jumpstart you need to advance your own career.
Any consequence from your career change is a temporary hurdle for you to bravely jump over. Don’t lose hope. Better days are ahead of you.