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5 Career Changes You Can Still Make Past 30

5 Career Changes You Can Still Make Past 30

It really doesn’t matter what you do. The sad reality is that many people are really unhappy with the career they find themselves in.

From the outside, it may look like you’ve got it all, but on the inside, you wake up each morning knowing that you’re doing something that you no longer feel any passion for. The worst thing you can do in this case is to grin and bear it. This may seem like the safest and least disruptive course of action to follow, but what are you waiting for? Life gives you no second act.

If you want to make a change, you have to be brave and go for it. Below are five career changes that can be actioned relatively quickly, and without the need for you to go back to school for three or four years.

1. Teaching

In many ways, going into teaching later on in life has many benefits as this is a career that can grind you down over the years. Many teachers start out as fresh-faced graduates and after ten or fifteen years, they have lost most of the passion which drove them to become teachers in the first place.

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If, however, you go into teaching later in life, you may well find that the excitement that comes with making a career change and the opportunity to pass on not only your knowledge of your specialist subject but also your accumulated years of life knowledge, will put a definite spring in your step.

If you have a degree already, teaching is a relatively simple career change to make. You will need to do some specialist training but this can often be done on the job. In less than a couple of years, you will be a fully-fledged teacher ready to take on the world and really make a difference in young people’s lives.

2. Go Freelance

One of the big bugbears many people have at work is that they simply don’t like being told what to do. If you work for any kind of organisation, there will almost certainly be superiors to report to, training weekends to attend, Christmas parties to suffer. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep doing what you are doing, but be your own boss?

Freelancing is the perfect solution for those people who enjoy what they are currently doing but want to do it on their own terms. The big drawback is that you lose the guaranteed paycheck each month and any benefits that come from working within a bigger organisation, but the sense of freedom you will get in return is certainly worth the pay-off.

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A freelancing career move suits some professions better than others, but in almost all fields, it is a possible solution if you go about it in the right way. You need to fully prepare yourself for the uncertainties that will come your way when you take this kind of brave career change decision, but if you approach this move with a lot of planning and with your eyes wide open, you can definitely make it work.

3. Start A Social Media Career

Almost all of us spend way too much time than we would care to admit on social media. If you’re one of these people, a great career change might be for you to take all of your social media skills and convert them into a brand new career.

This is by no means the easiest switch to make, but businesses everywhere are turning to social media more and more every day. If you can exhibit how skilled you are at running your own accounts, the chances are that a lot of people will be interested in you doing the same for them.

Getting a foothold in this kind of field may be one that takes you a little while, but this is something that you could actually start to look into before handing in your notice at your current job. So why not test the waters and see what you can pick up when you first try your luck?

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As with all new career ventures, it’s only once you begin to take the plunge that you’ll see exactly how quickly these decisive career changes can quickly snowball into a whole new life for you.

4. Maximising Under-Appreciated Skill Sets

For many of us, the world pretty much takes place mostly online these days. Without even realising it, we possess skill sets that surpass those of previous generations when it comes to being tech savvy and computer literate. The great thing about this is that a lot of our basic skills can very easily be developed into ones that can make you a specialist in your field.

There are probably many things that you dislike about your current role if you’re thinking about making a career change, but there are also likely to be some things that you do actually enjoy. For those who have a lot of daily contact with the web, there are a plethora of options open to you.

Enjoy taking part in the development of your company’s website and online profile? Awesome, so take this to the next level and learn how to become a web designer in your own right. Like the aspect of your job that means having to keep up on relevant articles and blogs in your field? Brilliant, use that in-depth knowledge of your industry in such a way so that you can start to be one of the people who actually writes the content that people want to read. Already write the content and understand the power of SEO? You’ve hit the jackpot. Turn this skill set into one that you can outsource yourself to the thousands of companies out there who are dying to see their online profile grow and hit the first page on a Google search.

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Many people’s day-to-day tasks have become so multi-faceted that we take them for granted. Have a good think about what you actually do like doing at work and you’ll be amazed at how easily that could be turned into a whole new career.

5. Start Your Own Small Business

If you don’t enjoy your job, one of the biggest reasons that you’re still doing it is probably because of the lifestyle the salary brings you. Having money is a true blessing, but it’s not really all that great if you are genuinely unhappy with the way you’re spending the majority of your week.

Why not tighten your belt a little bit and start to save up some money to start your own business? This is clearly quite a risky strategy to take. If things don’t work out, you could see all of your savings burnt up and be left without a job. That’s the worst case scenario, though. If you plan out a move into a field that really makes you happy and which you understand how to make work, there is no reason for you not to give it a go.

The rewards that will come with success will more than make up for the stress that will also inevitably come along on the ride. Most importantly, you’ll feel happy and invigorated about getting out of bed each morning and trying to make things work on your own terms.

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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