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How to Choose a New Career at 40

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Making a career switch in your late thirties or forties is very much possible. Here are a few tips on how to choose a new career in your 40s.
There are many people who are caught in an unpleasant job situation. They drag themselves to work, only to return unsatisfied at the end of the day. If you have just begun your career, you may switch your job or pursue higher education or sign up for training in your area of interest. In short, you have multitudinous opportunities waiting for you to explore.
However, same cannot be said about people who have spend a good twenty years in their career and are considering a job change in their late thirties or forties. However, career change in your 40s may not be as smooth as in your twenties. Hence, it is worthwhile to consider what are the situations that might force you to take this crucial step.

Why to Look for a Career Change at 40

When you entered your professional life, you might have given enough thought regarding why you want to make a career in your chosen profession only. You might have enjoyed your career for a few years. However, many a time, your interest just diminishes or the work environment becomes non-conducive for your growth.
For some people the attractive job profile may become boring and repetitive after a few years, while many people decide to switch their jobs owing to increased household responsibilities. There may be some other reasons why one wants to switch their career.
However, identifying the cause behind your dissatisfaction is very much important, so that you can direct your job search appropriately. There is no point in landing a similar job profile only to give it up a few days later.

How to Choose a New Career at 40

Now that you know why you need a job change in your 40s, the rest should be relatively easy. After working in your chosen profession for a considerable amount of time, you must have learned about your areas of interest and shortcomings. A good exercise before you go job hunting is to list your skills and expertise along with those jobs that you love doing.
Also, list jobs that you dislike altogether. This will enable you to streamline your job search. If you are planning to choose a new career in the same field your skills and experience may come in handy. However, if you decide to take up a career in an entirely new field you might have to start from a scratch.
In that case, educate yourself regarding what are the skills and qualifications required for your new career. You may have to enroll for a course or complete a vocational training. You can search for a job in the desired field only after you acquire the requisite skills and qualifications.
Although, this may take quite a few years, it will certainly make your career change a smooth affair. As you will have to live on little or no income during this period, make sure you have enough savings to cover your expenses during this time.
The next step is to scout classified pages of newspapers in order to find jobs that interest you. You can also use Internet for advanced job search in your 40s. You may also look for opportunities through the network of friends and family.
You might get discouraging advice from people around you when you decide to give up a secure job and take up something challenging. However, do not take their advice to heart as there are many people who take up an entirely new career in their forties and make a successful living out of it.
If you trust your instincts, and are willing to train yourself for a new career, you should indeed go for it.