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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 January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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