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Career change at 30: how to put your daydreams into action

Changing careers at 30 can feel incredibly daunting, especially when you’ve already spent many years in a previous field. Perhaps a career which once inspired you is no longer fulfilling, or you want to finally take that leap of faith into your dream field. Either way, changing careers is something to consider deeply, no matter what age you are.

At MentorCruise, we will discuss how to smoothly and successfully change careers at 30, and which careers in tech will help you hit the ground running.

Why change careers at 30?

Shifting to a new career at any point in your life will affect your finances, your relationships, and maybe even your health. These changes will in fact have a positive impact when making the change to a more satisfying and fulfilling career.

At 30, you have likely been unhappily working in the same career for 5 years or more. It makes sense to change careers now while you still have a few more decades of work ahead of you. Why be unfulfilled for more time?

Many people don’t have any significant responsibilities at 30 years of age. It may be easier to switch careers now while the stakes are lower. Millennials are now putting off life-changing events which require career stability.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the median age for marriage in the US is 29.9 for men and 27.9 for women. The United States Census Bureau states that the percentage of women having children in their late 30s and early 40s has in fact doubled between 1990 and 2019.

Signs that you might need a career change

There are a few signs which may indicate that it is time for a career change. Don’t confuse these with job dissatisfaction though, you can hate your job and still love your profession. These signs may include:

  • You no longer feel passionate.

  • You feel demotivated. You lack dreams or goals in your job.

  • Your job is affecting your mental or physical health.

  • Your salary isn’t enough, or not enough for the amount you do.

  • You constantly daydream about following a different path.

Need that extra push? Check out our article on making changes when you lack motivation.

Make a career change: step-by-step

Once you have decided to change careers, the next thing to do is plan extensively to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow.

  1. Evaluate your current career

Before making a drastic change, examine the aspects of your current career which you enjoy, and the aspects which you’d like to change. You need to narrow down exactly what you want: a huge life overhaul may sound like the best solution, but not being 100% sure will lead to dissatisfaction. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

  • What do I enjoy about what I do now?

  • What drew me to this career path in the first place?

  • What excites me about a new career path?

  • What are some things I’d like to change about my current career?

Swapping careers is a serious decision and acting without thinking could prove a disaster. Make sure you take time to narrow down your long-term goals and what you want out of this change.

  1. Conduct research into possible new fields of work

Some careers may require a further education or maybe even a secondary degree. Don’t jump into this blindly though; conduct thorough research into what is actually required within your desired field.

Job search engines such as Indeed and Joblist can be a great starting point to figure out what kind of education or experience you may need. Trawl through descriptions to find the applicable skills you need for the career change you want. Some hiring managers will prefer experience and skill over a specialised degree.

  1. Assess your strengths

Before you make the change, consider what you could bring to the table personally. What drives you? What environment do you tend to work best in? Assessing your strengths in this way will help you narrow down what you can bring to a profession as well as what it can bring to you.

  1. Assess your personal and professional networks

Networking is crucial these days: finding the right career and opportunities available to you is all about the relationships you have in the field. In fact, 70-80% of people get their jobs through people they know.

Your professional network will almost certainly comprise individuals within your current field. If this is the case, you may want to start looking at your personal network for professional connections. If you have contacts who work in the field you wish to work in, pursue stronger connections with them.

With so many online communities and online networking groups on the rise, how do you find the one which will suit you best? One way to approach this is by determining your niche: what kind of people do you want to meet? Are you looking for people with the same interests as you or the same profession?

Here are some examples of networking communities to get you started:

  • NoHQ: a group of remote work enthusiasts with all the info and advice you’ll ever need for working at home.

  • The Startup Chat Mastermind Group: a Facebook industry group for you to chat with like minded entrepreneurs and business owners.

  • WorkOnline sub reddit: find online jobs and remote working advice.

Slack groups for networking:

  1. Consider seeking professional advice or mentorship

If you are especially daunted by a career change and don’t know where to begin, consider seeking professional advice in the form of a mentorship. Check out our article on why it is so important to have a mentor when changing careers.

A MentorCruise, we aim to connect professionals and entrepreneurs with great mentors and coaches to help you realise and reach your potential. Saeed Mirshekari, a mentor at MentorCruise, believes that seeking help and learning as much as you can is the key to success: “Transitioning to a new field, your prior information is your power. Do a broad and careful research on different aspects of the field and what you are interested in the most. No question is stupid or naive.”

With new mentors added every day, we’re certain that there’s a mentor out there who is a perfect fit for you, and will help you achieve all of your career goals. Apply here to become a mentee.

  1. Assess your financial stability

The importance of this will depend on whether you are moving into another field immediately or will be entering into a period of formal training or education.

If you are making a major career change or entering a period of training it is always wise to have a financial buffer to rely upon. However, lots of jobs these days offer part-time training or study options too.

  1. Re-structure your CV

The best way to re-create your resumé is to use your old CV to assess your strengths and transfer them over. You’ll want to show your employer skills which are relevant to the position you’re applying for. After you’ve conducted your research of your desired field, this should give you a better idea of what these employers are looking for.

Edit out irrelevant information and re-assess your experience and skills for your new field. Examine the keywords in job descriptions and integrate them into your resumé to ensure you fit the industry standards.

The Star Method Resume is a 4-part structure used to help interviewees when answering questions during an interview. It is also a useful framework for building your CV. The acronym stands for:

Situation: what was the challenge you faced?

Task: What were your responsibilities or end goal in this situation?

Action: What did you do to achieve these goals?

Result: What happened in the end? How did you overcome obstacles to reach your goal?

  1. Stay persistent

Remain courageous during your job search, and don’t give up during the first hurdle. Being confident about your experience and skills will go a long way when searching for a new career.

Tech industry jobs for a career change

Here are a few fields to consider.

  1. Software development

Jobs in software development are increasing in popularity and desirability. Making a career in this field requires a lot of hard work, but it is equally rewarding. Have a look at our article on how to step into software development while balancing a busy home life.

  1. Data analyst

Data analysts are high paid positions in constant recruitment. Check out our article on how to become one without experience or a degree.

  1. Business management

Business management is a field which holds a whole host of possible careers which are often high-paying and rewarding. Jobs may include:

  • Financial analyst

  • Recruiting

  • Entrepreneur

  • Business consultant.

  1. Marketing

In the digital world, marketing positions are more important than ever. Jobs may include:

  • Social media marketing

  • SEO specialist

  • Marketing analytics

  • Digital strategist

  1. Product management

Product management careers require dedication and hard work. They are also in high demand these days, and come with equally high rewards. Check out our article on how to use data to build better products.

  1. Remote operations

Since the COVID pandemic, working from home has become the new normal. In fact, many people desire to work remotely even when they have the opportunity to go back into the office. Most job search engines such as Indeed and Joblist have remote search filters.

Join MentorCruise to follow the career of your dreams

A career change at 30 should now seem a little less daunting and unachievable.

Remember to not make any rash decisions: sit with your thoughts for a while until you are sure a career change is the right path for you.

A mentor at MentorCruise can help you realise your potential and point you in the direction of the best career for you. You can pick through experts and industry leaders to find the perfect fit for your new career.

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