Should You Switch Your Career At 30?

Career Switch is needed when it could be the daily feeling of dread that engulfs you when you wake up. A horrible boss who’s driven you to the verge of a nervous breakdown through terrible management. Boredom.

At 30, you can’t ignore the fact that your career just isn’t what you thought it would be.

At 30, you also can’t afford to be as impulsive as you were in your teens and 20s – there are life responsibilities to consider, and serious implications that come with dropping the ball on them.

Change can be good, but only if we acknowledge our own capacity and limitations for growth and learning. Positives arise out of change when we learn to turn negatives to our advantage – not because change merely occurs.

Changing careers is a life-changing decision with plenty of strings attached. Before you take the leap of faith…

Examine your current career.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Why it drew me here?
  • What do I enjoy in general?
  • How does the potential career in this field interest me?
  • What do I dislike about the current job I’m in?

Put aside some time to truly reflect on the answers to the questions above. Is there any possibility of changing the things you dislike about your current job through feedback to managers? Have you spoken to people working in the industry you’re eyeing to assess if what you think it’s like is what it actually is? (If you haven’t, check out these brilliant tips on scoring informational interviews!)

Most importantly, are you certain that a career switch will bring you the fulfillment you desire?

If yes…

Examine the responsibilities you currently have in your life.

  • What financial responsibilities do I have?
  • Is the career that I’d like to embark on future-proof?
  • Are there income and growth opportunities that will allow me to fulfill my financial obligations while growing both personally and professionally?

You might have a family depending on you for long-term financial stability. Education and housing loans to fulfill. Bills to pay. 

Will your career switch jeopardize the future financial prospects of your children? Is it impervious to drastic shifts on the economical, technological and cultural landscapes? Does it allow you to grow your savings in the long run, provide your dependents with a fulfilling life through satisfactory income increments, and allow you to develop intellectually and practically?

If switching jobs makes sense now…

Start preparing for a new future.

There will be incredibly tough times. 

Your new job might not begin for a number of months after you leave your current one. Perhaps you haven’t secured a new job yet! Make sure that you have a financial plan in place to manage the gap in income. How much will you have to tighten your wallet? What luxuries are you willing to sacrifice to keep yourself afloat?

Choppy seas require great mental strength to conquer.

Reflect on your conversations with people who are already in the field, and prepare yourself for the necessities and nuances of the new industry. What skills do you need that you don’t already have? What resources are available to help you in your upskilling efforts? 

If there is a long waiting list for the job you were eyeing, are there similar jobs in places that are having trouble filling the position? A better chance of getting employed might come with longer travelling times, inconvenient work locations and hours – perhaps a toxic work environment. Make sure the sacrifices you’ll have to make are actually worth it – don’t walk back through the same door you just came out off, into the same problems you thought you were leaving.

Whatever you decide, do it with your eyes wide open.

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