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25 Killer Sites For Free Online Business Courses

25 Killer Sites For Free Online Business Courses

What would you do with an MBA from Harvard or a certification in internet marketing? As tuition costs rise and it becomes increasingly difficult for high school graduates to attend 4 year colleges and universities, talented and skilled graduates are looking for alternatives to earning a bachelors degree. With the rise of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and ecommerce websites, education is becoming more accessible and affordable for those looking for an alternate path.

Ready for the cherry on top? You can take top courses from universities like Harvard and Yale and you don’t have to pay a penny.

Here are 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Business Courses:

1) High-Impact Business Writing

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    What’s in it for you?

    “Effective writing is a powerful tool in the business environment. Learn how to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will allow your ideas to be better understood by your readers. Improve your business writing skill by learning to select and use appropriate formats for your audience, use the correct medium and adjust your writing style accordingly, as well as identify your objective and communicate it clearly. You’ll also learn to spot, correct and avoid the most common writing pitfalls, and gain valuable experience analyzing, writing and revising a wide spectrum of business documents. From a simple interoffice memo to a twenty-page business proposal, learn how to put good business writing to work for you.”

    Course Duration: 4 weeks, Class begins on April 6, 2015

    Provider: Coursera 

    Link to course: High-Impact Business Writing

    2) Design Thinking for Business Innovation

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      What’s in it for you?

      “Design thinking is a popular new idea in the business world – organizations as diverse as entrepreneurial start-ups, big established corporations, and government and social service organizations are experimenting with design thinking as an alternative approach to traditional problem-solving. Accelerated by the spectacular rise of Apple and IDEO, design thinking is seen as offering a new approach better suited for dealing with the accelerating pressures for growth and innovation faced by so many organizations today. But design thinking can remain mysterious for people interested in introducing this approach into their decision-making processes. Demystifying it is the focus of this course.”

      Course Duration: 4 weeks, Class begins on Feb. 15, 2015

      Provider: Coursera

      Link to course: Design Thinking for Business Innovation

      3) Launch a No Fail Business Model

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        What’s in it for you?

        You will learn to define the why of your business, how to model success, and create your “Frakenbiz” (your class project). The course is taught by Joe Fairless.

        Course Duration: 43 minutes, open enrollment

        Provider: Skillshare

        Link to course: Launch a No Fail Business Model

        4) Business Development For Startups and Tech Companies

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          What’s in it for you?

          Companies explode when they crack the code to business development. The challenge is only a very small percentage of people actually know what they’re doing when it comes to achieving massive, scalable growth through the business development. This course was created to change that and has only been available amongst a private, group of elite Business Development professionals until now… By the end of this training you will be armed with breakout business development cunning and an arsenal of proven tactics for every situation you’ll face. This course is taught by Scott Britton.

          Course Duration: 9 hours and 28 minutes, open enrollment

          Provider: Skillshare

          Link to course: Business Development For Startups and Tech Companies

          5) WordPress Essentials for Business

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            What’s in it for you?

            “The course covers almost all of the WordPress user interface. We learn by doing as we build out an actual website for a client of ours, explaining and demonstrating key concepts along the way, such as themes, plugins, widgets, images, etc. Students should download the project files from http://wpacademy.com/essentials and then follow the tutorial on their own website, repeating the keystrokes and mouse sequences as they build out their own site. You can expect to walk away from this training with an attractive website and a solid understanding of WordPress fundamentals.” This course is taught by Marc Beneteau.

            Course Duration: 90 minutes, open enrollment

            Provider: Udemy

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            Link to course: WordPress Essentials for Business

            6) Beginning Twitter for Professionals Course

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              What’s in it for you?

              “OpenSesame’s Kelly Meeker has created a step-by-step informational online training course to help you get started in all things Twitter. The course includes a tour of the Twitter interface, tips on creating great tweets and suggestions for building a strong Twitter network. After you complete this course you should have a better understanding as to how you can use the basics of Twitter for professional purposes and to better your business.”

              Course Duration: 7 minutes

              Provider: OpenSesame

              Link to course: Beginning Twitter for Professionals Course

              7) How to Build a Startup

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                What’s in it for you?

                “In an introduction to the basics of the famous Customer Development Process, Steve Blank provides insight into the key steps needed to build a successful startup. The main idea in this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback. Many start-ups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers. In order to mitigate that, students will learn how to get out of the building and search for the real pain points and unmet needs of customers. Only with these can the entrepreneur find a proper solution and establish a suitable business model.”

                Course Duration: 4 weeks, open enrollment

                Provider: Udacity

                Link to course: How to Build a Startup

                8) Website Performance Optimization

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                  What’s in it for you?

                  “From Ilya Grigorik’s High Performance Browser Networking: ‘The emergence and the fast growth of the web performance optimization (WPO) industry within the past few years is a telltale sign of the growing importance and demand for speed and faster user experiences by the users. And this is not simply a psychological need for speed in our ever accelerating and connected world, but a requirement driven by empirical results, as measured with respect to the bottom-line performance of the many online businesses: faster sites lead to better user engagement, faster sites lead to better user retention, faster sites lead to higher conversions. Simply put, speed is a feature.’”

                  Course Duration: 1 week, open enrollment

                  Provider: Udacity, powered by Google

                  Link to course: Website Performance Optimization

                  9) Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?

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                    What’s in it for you?

                    “You will learn, through the stories of MIT entrepreneurs, how to go from idea or technology to the necessary understanding of who and why will want to buy your product.  Specifically, you will learn how to identify prospective customers, interview them, and finally, select the right customers for your business. Course assignments will be real-life exercises that will guide you through a series of concrete, practical, and effective steps that will help you make your idea very real.”

                    Course Duration: 12 weeks, Class begins on December 2, 2014

                    Provider: edX

                    Link to course: Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?

                    10) An Introduction to Credit Risk Management

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                      What’s in it for you?

                      “This course offers you an introduction to credit risk modelling and hedging. We will approach credit risk from the point of view of banks, but most of the tools and models we will overview can be beneficial at the corporate level as well. At the end of the course, you will be able to understand and correctly use the basic tools of credit risk management, both from a theoretical and, most of all, a practical point of view. This will be a quite unconventional course. For each methodology, we will analyse its strengths as well as its weaknesses. We will do this in a rigorous way, but also with fun: there is no need to be boring.”

                      Course Duration: 8 weeks, class begins in April 2015

                      Provider: edX

                      Link to course: An Introduction to Credit Risk Management

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                      11) Engaging with Innovation Ecosystems: The Corporate Perspective

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                        What’s in it for you?

                        “This course is aimed at corporate executives and senior managers who need to generate new growth opportunities from external innovation by engaging with “innovation ecosystems” around the world. We will show how to assess the relevance of and design various types of programs that corporations can implement to engage with their innovation ecosystem: prize competitions, hackathons, accelerators, commercialization programs etc., taking a series of deep dives into how leading corporations have used these programs internally and externally to drive growth. This course draws heavily on the findings of MIT’s groundbreaking and unique Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), which brings together cities, regions and countries to study and learn from MIT research and from each other how to create and grow a successful innovation-based regional economy.”

                        Course Duration: Class starts in July 2015, open enrollment

                        Provider: edX

                        Link to course: Engaging with Innovation Ecosystems: The Corporate Perspective

                        12) 21 Days to Building a Web Business

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                          What’s in it for you?

                          “21 Steps To Building A Web Business is ALISON’S free online course covering the skills and techniques needed to create a successful online business. Chris Farrell, voted Number 1 Internet Marketing Service Provider, describes the process of developing an online business in a non-technical and step-by-step manner. The course is ideal for those who’ve always wanted to create an online business but lack the skills or knowledge to do so.”

                          Course Duration: 21 days, open enrollment.

                          Provider: Alison

                          Link to course: 21 Days to Building a Web Business

                          13) Diploma in Business Management & Entrepreneurship

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                            What’s in it for you?

                            “This free online Diploma in Business Management and Entrepreneurship course gives you the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices behind key business management subjects. Subjects include corporate management, operations management, accounting, human resources, financial accounting, and project management as well providing insight on key entrepreneurial skills from Bill Liao, co-founder of the social networking site XING.com. This Diploma course is ideal for those who want to further their knowledge and understanding of business management and entrepreneurship, and will greatly enhance your career prospects.”

                            Course Duration: Open enrollment, self paced.

                            Provider: Alison

                            Link to course: Diploma in Business Management & Entrepreneurship

                            14) Fundamentals of Business Law

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                              What’s in it for you?

                              “This course reviews important principles found in business law. These principles include details on sole proprietorship, general partnerships, limited partnerships and incorporations. This course explains principles of business law in a clear and easy to understand way. The course also covers topics such as legal requirements, legal recommendations, financial status, taxation, and liability related to these principles. This free online course will be of interest to business professionals and students of law who would like a greater knowledge and understanding of laws relating to business and commerce.”

                              Course Duration: Open enrollment, self paced.

                              Provider: Alison

                              Link to course: Fundamentals of Business Law

                              15) Diploma in Business Process Management

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                                What’s in it for you?

                                Major advances in technology have resulted in the widespread implementation of information systems into businesses and organisations. The management of processes and data is critical to the overall success of a business. This free online Diploma course introduces the learner to business processes and their management. The course will explain business intelligence and knowledge management systems, systems analysis, systems design and systems implementation. This course will also give learners a basic knowledge and understanding of how to design, test and implement information systems for a business process. This Diploma course will be of great interest to business professionals, as well as any learner wanting to expand their knowledge and understanding of business process management.

                                Course Duration: Open enrollment, self paced.

                                Provider: Alison

                                Link to course: Diploma in Business Process Management

                                16) Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship: Pitching Your Business and Yourself

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                                  What’s in it for you?

                                  Find out what makes a great entrepreneur from Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran.

                                  Course Duration: 42 minutes

                                  Provider: Skillshare

                                  Link to course: Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship: Pitching Your Business and Yourself

                                  17) Pinterest for Business: How to Get More Traffic and Sales with Pinterest

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                                    What’s in it for you?

                                    “By now you’ve probably hear of Pinterest and all the success online businesses are having with it. You’ve probably heard about how it drives massive traffic. How businesses are using Pinterest to generate massive online sales. How businesses are leveraging Pinterest to better serve their current customers. You want to have that massive success with Pinterest too! The problem is, you don’t know where to start.. Or, maybe you’ve played around with Pinterest and still don’t see what the fuss is about. This course is your step-by-step guide to Pinterest success. No matter your current experience with Pinterest, this course will unlock the secrets of Pinterest and who you how to leverage it for your business.”

                                    Course Duration: 3 hours and 24 minutes, self paced, open enrollment

                                    Provider: Skillshare

                                    Link to course: Pinterest for Business: How to Get More Traffic and Sales with Pinterest

                                    18) Beginning Facebook for Business

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                                      What’s in it for you?

                                      “With over one billion users, Facebook has come to the forefront in popular social media applications. Now more than ever, businesses and companies are using Facebook as a platform to display essential updates and messages for their target audience. Max DuBowy, a content specialist at OpenSesame, has created a beginning course for businesses to maximize their marketing strategy and approach using Facebook. This course provides businesses with simple and easy to understand Facebook functions and tools. Getting started on Facebook and creating a page is compelling because its free. If your business is struggling to remain in the presence of your audience, try incorporating a Facebook page to approach your target audience. Use the specific applications and tips covered in this course and your business will be visible to Facebook users around the world.”

                                      Course Duration: 10 minutes

                                      Provider: OpenSesame

                                      Link to course: Beginning Facebook for Business

                                      19) Foundations of Business Strategy

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                                        What’s in it for you?

                                        “Strategic analysis is critical for analyzing the competitive context in which an organization operates and for making reasoned and reasonable recommendations for how that organization should position itself and what actions it should take to maximize value creation. In this course, we will explore the underlying theory and frameworks that provide the foundations of a successful business strategy. Managers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, analysts, and consultants all may find value in mastering these fundamentals.”

                                        Course Duration: 6 hours, self paced

                                        Provider: Udemy

                                        Link to course: Foundations of Business Strategy

                                        20) University of The People, Business Administration

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                                          What’s in it for you?

                                          “The Business Administration Program offers broad exposure to business administration and economics. Behavioral and quantitative sciences are studied in both theoretical and applied contexts. Mathematics is used as a key tool in the analysis of complex problems and in the interpretation of data. Emphasis is placed on effective written communication. Students are made aware of the need for imaginative, innovative solutions to business problems that encompass human needs and ethical objectives.”

                                          Course Duration: Open enrollment, must apply to be accepted into the Business Administration Program. The application is on the University of The People’s website.

                                          Provider: University of The People

                                          Link to course: University of The People, Business Administration

                                          21) Building a Business

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                                            What’s in it for you?

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                                            “Building a Business is a lecture series designed to teach the fundamentals of developing a business. Each lecture provides practical information and examples to identify key aspects of successful entrepreneurship. These ppodcasts are the lecture video recordings registered at the Said Business School in Oxford, United Kingdom.”

                                            Course Duration: 27+ hours worth of lectures, open enrollment. Self paced.

                                            Provider: University of Oxford, iTunes University.

                                            Link to course: Building a Business

                                            22) Corporate Finance

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                                              What’s in it for you?

                                              “In my (biased) view, Corporate finance is the ultimate big picture class. It lays out the financial principles that govern how businesses, small or large, public or private, should make choices (and decisions). In particular, it looks at how businesses should allocate scarce resources (the investment decision), where they should raise the funds to makes these investments (the financing decision) and how much cash to leave in (and take out of) businesses (the dividend decision). This class focuses on the big picture, while paying attention to the details that matter, and is designed to be an introductory class for MBAs. Anyone who has had exposure to accounting and basic statistics will be be access and use the material.”

                                              Course Duration: 30+ hours worth of lectures, open enrollment. Self paced.

                                              Provider: New York University on iTunes, open enrollment.

                                              Link to course: Corporate Finance

                                              23) How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services

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                                                What’s in it for you?

                                                This course has 4 lectures delivered by professor Eric von Hippel.

                                                Course Duration: 4+ hours worth of lectures, open enrollment. Self Paced.

                                                Provider: MIT Open Courseware on iTunes

                                                Link to course: How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services

                                                24) Valuation (Online Class)

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                                                  What’s in it for you?

                                                  “Valuation is a key tool in almost every aspect of finance – corporate finance, investing and portfolio management. Understanding it is essential to not just bankers, analysts and appraisers, but the rest of us who get to see the products and are sometimes are targets of their work. This is an entirely online version of my MBA valuation class that is designed for someone who wants to understand the valuation process and its inputs, but does not have the time nor the inclination to sit through 80-minutes sessions. It is constructed in three parts, with the first a series of short webcasts on the concepts that underlie valuation, the second a collection of in-practice webcasts on the mechanics of putting the concepts into use and the third an ongoing series of my valuations of companies.”

                                                  Course Duration: 4+ hours worth of lectures, open enrollment. Self paced.

                                                  Provider: New York University on iTunes

                                                  Link to course: Valuation (Online Class)

                                                  25) Writing for Strategic Communication

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                                                    What’s in it for you?

                                                    “Writing for Strategic Communication is part of La Trobe University’s Bachelor of Strategic Communication degree. It is about writing strategically as a specialist vocation but is equally applicable to developing written strategic communication skills to use in organisational life, irrespective of your job role. From tweeting to speechwriting, it provides an overview of various forms of professional writing including writing for traditional media and writing for web and social media. Students are encouraged to explore the concept of ‘great writing’ as a construct for understanding the power of words and developing their own writing skills.”

                                                    Course Duration: 4+ hours worth of lectures, open enrollment. Self-paced.

                                                    Provider: La Trobe University on iTunes

                                                    Link to course: Design Thinking for Business Innovation

                                                    Photo credits:

                                                    Bailey Hall

                                                      Featured photo credit: blmiers2, owner Bailey Hall via flickr.com

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                                                      Last Updated on October 22, 2019

                                                      How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

                                                      How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

                                                      There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

                                                      The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

                                                      Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

                                                      Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

                                                      And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

                                                      I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

                                                      In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

                                                      What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

                                                      There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

                                                      When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

                                                      Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

                                                      • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
                                                      • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
                                                      • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
                                                      • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
                                                      • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

                                                      If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

                                                      Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

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                                                      Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

                                                      Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

                                                      4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

                                                      You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

                                                      The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

                                                      To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

                                                      1. Value Your Time Above Money

                                                      There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

                                                      When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

                                                      Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

                                                      By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

                                                      If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

                                                      Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

                                                      Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

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                                                      2. Build a Network

                                                      Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

                                                      One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

                                                      Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

                                                      A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

                                                      It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

                                                      You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

                                                      The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

                                                      You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

                                                      Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

                                                      In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

                                                      Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

                                                      If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

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                                                      Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                                                      3. Believe It Is Possible

                                                      One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

                                                      If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

                                                      In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

                                                      A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

                                                      Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

                                                      If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

                                                      They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

                                                      Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

                                                      “environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

                                                      By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

                                                      4. Put Yourself Out There

                                                      You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

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                                                      Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

                                                      Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

                                                      If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

                                                      Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

                                                      Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

                                                      You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

                                                      The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                      Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

                                                      Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

                                                      More About Career Change

                                                      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

                                                      Reference

                                                      [1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
                                                      [2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

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