How To Navigate A Career Change (At Any Age)

Share this post

Making a career change can feel like a bold move. Even if you’re feeling unhappy or burnt-out in your current role, shifting gears to an entirely new industry can feel like starting from scratch.

The stakes can feel even higher as we progress in our careers. With decades of experience under our belt, switching to a new industry in our 40s, 50s or beyond might seem reckless or downright impossible.

Research from the US reveals that while workers are most likely to make a career change in their early 20s (21%), it is possible to switch up our careers at any age. The same research also revealed that with better pay (47%), less stress (39%) and better work-life balance (37%) were the top three factors driving career changes.

But with the right tools and support, you can make a successful career change at any point in your working life. Plus, more women are making a career change in 2022 than ever before.

The latest stats from Deloitte’s Women @ Work 2022 global report revealed that women are more likely to be on the lookout for a new role (compared to this time last year). In fact, over half of the women surveyed want to leave their employer in the next two years, with 56% rating their sense of job satisfaction as poor or very poor.

Ready to shake things up and pursue your passion? Let’s reveal everything you need to know about navigating a career change at any age.

What signs indicate you might be ready for a career change?

The first step to making a change is to understand when your current job might not be working for you. While going through challenging or busy periods at work is common, a sustained lack of purpose, passion and motivation is not.

Here are four key warning signs that can indicate you’re ready to change your career path:

  • You’re feeling unmotivated or unsatisfied at work: do you find yourself dragging yourself into the office (or your WFH set up) each day? Do you struggle to feel excited or passionate about your tasks? If you’re feeling a persistent lack of motivation or feel like you’re no longer connected to your career path, it could be time to consider other options.
  • You’re not learning new skills: the best jobs will continue to challenge you and give you opportunities to learn new things. However, if you feel like you’ve stagnated in your career and can’t see an opportunity to progress, you might be ready for a change.
  • You’re experiencing burnout: most jobs come with some level of pressure or stress. But if you’re experiencing chronic or prolonged periods of unmanageable stress, you may find yourself feeling physically and mentally exhausted and unable to find joy in your life (both inside and outside of the office).
  • You’re craving a different career path: if you can’t shake the feeling that you’d rather be doing something else, that can be a clear indication that you should consider pursuing a different career path.

Ultimately if you’re experiencing persistent feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction that can’t be fixed by moving to a new company, it might be time to consider making a career change.

3 things to consider before making a career change

Before you hand in your resignation letter, it’s important to really consider what you want to gain out of making a career change. To help you make a purposeful and proactive decision, here are three things to consider before making a career pivot:

  • Understand your transferable skills: one of the best ways to answer the question, ‘what should I do next?’ is to get clear on your current skills. Write down everything you excel at or love doing and see how these skills could be transferred to other professions or industries.
  • Explore your new role requirements: once you’ve landed on a new industry or career path, do your research to figure out what you need to do to land a job. From extra qualifications to a portfolio of work, get clear on what you can do to best prepare yourself for your transition.
  • Create a savings buffer: the best career changes are made with a financial safety net. If possible, give yourself a runway to make your career move happen (such as saving up three months’ of living expenses).

How to successfully navigate a career pivot

Now, onto the most important: making your career change happen. Whether you’re in your 30s or 60s, these key steps will help you make a seamless transition from your current job to your dream career path.

Tap into your professional network

One of the best ways to discover new opportunities is to reach out to your existing network. Whether you message past coworkers on LinkedIn or reach out to mentors for advice, lean on your professional connections to help you navigate this transition.

You never know what roles you might learn about or what career wisdom you might gain along the way through these conversations.

Upskill and boost your professional skills

In some cases, you might need to sharpen your skills or invest in training courses to help you make your career change happen. Look for affordable online courses that can help you refine your skillset and boost your employability in your new career path.

Refresh your resume

One of the best ways to catch the eye of hiring managers and recruiters is to ensure your CV and resume reflect the kind of jobs you’re applying for. By reframing your resume to highlight the skills and experience most relevant to your new industry, you’ll put yourself in the best position of being noticed for the right reasons.

When it comes to navigating a career change, tapping into your network, coming up with a plan and sharpening your skills are all practical ways to help you successfully move through this transition. No matter what point you’re at in your career, finding a role that lights you up is what will help you to find passion and purpose at work.

Subscribe to our mailing list and get the freshest stories from Stella

"*" indicates required fields

Recent articles

Hello there, you are currently on our Australian website. Click here to head over to our UK Website.

Get a quick quote...

ln less than one minute!