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The world tells us 30 is when we should have things figured out.
But then you arrive at 30 and realize you have a ways to go. If you’re hitting the big 3-0 and trying to start a new career, you could feel a little lost and discouraged because you’re starting fresh a little bit later than you would have hoped.
I’m a firm believer that we grow throughout our entire life and we shouldn’t expect to reach certain milestones at certain ages. It’s just not realistic that the clock will strike on your 30th birthday and you’ll suddenly be living like Carrie Bradshaw.
Give yourself some credit for making it this far. Life is tough!
With all of that said, if you’re looking to start a new career at 30 or looking to make a career change, here are some things to think about:
Don’t Try to Be All Cheap About It
There are career coaches and placement professionals who specialize in helping people find jobs. If you’re trying and failing to get into a new career field, it may be time to call in some professional help.
Sure, a professional may charge a fee for their services. But desperate times call for
desperate productive measures. Does it make sense to look for jobs on your own if someone else can shorten the amount of time it takes you to get said job?
Over the course of my 20’s, I’ve learned that some investments are worth making and it’s not always wise to DIY everything or go the cheapest route.
If someone is going to charge a few hundred dollars to review your resume, prep you for interviews, and introduce you to their network, that’s a small price to pay if it could land you a salaried position.
Flex Your Muscles
In a world where most interactions happen online, the art of meeting people in-person is getting lost on us. Networking in-person can build trust faster than cold emails and calls.
I started volunteering randomly two years ago because, as someone who works from home, I wanted to get more face-to-face interaction with people. That volunteer opportunity almost turned into a full-time offer but I decided to pass.
It’s not too late to volunteer or do some sort of apprenticeship. Rub shoulders with people and let them know that you’re looking to enter into a new field.
Let’s be honest here; A brand new career isn’t going to fall right into your lap. You’re going to have to go and take it. Learn, network, and ask for what you want.
Go Back to School (With a Purpose)
There may be instances where you need to get more education to get into a new career path. If you want to become a nurse, you won’t be able to get around going to nursing school.
For these types of positions, research affordable school options. Always consider the cost of the education versus the funds that you’re going to make. If you’re taking out loans, find out how long it will take you to repay the loans given the salary you’ll make.
Think about general degrees like your MBA carefully and what the purpose behind it is. Are you getting it because everyone else is doing it? Are you getting it because it “seems” like the next logical step?
Be careful here. A general graduate degree that you’re getting without a purpose could get you into debt without the new job.
Look for people doing what you want to do and get to know them. Find out more about their job to decide whether it will be a good fit.
Deciding to venture into a new career path is exciting. The world is your oyster. Try different things out. Get part-time jobs in the new field on the side. Consider building your own business around this new career path. You can also start learning on your own independently.
Coding and IT are examples of career paths where you can potentially teach yourself entry-level knowledge. You can also potentially get certifications to begin your career.
I love the term ‘get scrappy’ because it’s exactly what you have to do to make anything happen. When I switched gears from working in property management to writing for a living, it took a whole lot of scrappiness and a whole lot of guts.
Nobody knew who I was and nobody cared. I did internships, I networked, I went to conferences, and I made friends.
All of the efforts I made came together to put me on the path to the career I currently have. If you want to make a career change in your 30’s, get scrappy!
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