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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 September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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