It’s one thing to switch paths early in your career. But making a career change at 40 can feel like a bigger leap.
Change, for sure, can be scary and overwhelming. But, as the saying goes, it’s never too late.
Take a look at Vera Wang, Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Alan Rickman, and even Nelson Mandela — these are only a few of the handful of people who’ve successfully made a career change at 40 or after.
Now, if they can do it, so can you.
It’ll require some clever planning and preparation for a smooth transition. The good thing is, if switching careers is inevitable for you at this point in your life, you most likely have the drive, passion, and wisdom to help see it through.
#1: How to Know if You Should Change Your Career at 40
They call it the Great Resignation — the ongoing trend of people quitting their jobs in droves beginning in early 2021. There are many reasons why this is so, according to a 2022 survey by Pew Research Center, with the top ones being:
- 63% of workers say it’s due to low pay
- 63% felt there were no opportunities for advancement
- 57% felt disrespected at work
Go on LinkedIn and it’s hard to miss the countless stories of people getting new jobs or taking on entirely new careers.
Now, maybe you’re feeling stuck in life and this inspires you. Or maybe it makes you feel a little FOMO. Perhaps you’ve involuntarily found yourself in a situation where you’re forced to look for one.
While going on a hunt is one option, you can also consider a career transition. And at 40, how do you know if you even you should?
Thankfully, there’s a way that may just help you answer that question.
The 3 most important questions
There are means goals (superficial goals like “I want to have a big house and a fancy car”) and then, there are end goals (those that give your life meaning).
Vishen, founder of Mindvalley encourages you to ask yourself the three most important questions that’ll help you reflect on goals that ‘spark joy.’ And they’re ones you should absolutely reflect on before switching careers at 40:
- What do you want to experience in life? If money and time weren’t an issue, write down all the things you’d want to experience that would bring you joy. Include everything from traveling to your social and love life to everything on your “I wish I had…” list.
- How do you want to grow and develop yourself? Consider the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of your life — in what ways would you want to grow in each? Write those down.
- How do you want to contribute to the world? This is all about giving back or paying it forward. Maybe you’ve got some unique business ideas that could help solve a problem for humanity or the planet. Or maybe you know of a way to make this world a better place. So think of the legacy you’d want to leave behind and write those down.
Want to explore more about this powerful exercise? Have a listen to this episode on The Mindvalley Podcast.
#2: How to Start a New Career at 40
If the pandemic has given us anything is the opportunity to rethink what is possible in terms of the employment landscape.
“I think a lot of individuals have an amazing and incredible opportunity right now to actually reimagine what is possible by way of their career,” says Melissa Llarena, CEO and founder of Career Outcomes Matter, in a 2021 podcast episode with Jason Marc Campbell, host of Selling With Love (previously known as Superhumans at Work by Mindvalley).
“There are so many untapped ideas out there pertaining to how you can continue to express yourself.”
And now with your list of end goals in hand, what do you need to know about how to change careers at 40?
Here’s what Melissa suggests:
Package yourself effectively
“What’s really important is that personal brand element,” Melissa explains. Even if you’re looking for a career change at 40 with no degree, knowing how to package yourself effectively can be beneficial.
Personal branding is the conscious effort of how you want to be perceived in public — how you want to position yourself so you can elevate your credibility, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and have a larger impact in your industry.
Let’s face it, your identity is not “that Google guy” or “that Mindvalley girl.” So consider who you are away from any corporate entity.
Position yourself in a relevant manner
“It’s the point of differentiation,” says Melissa. What does that mean?
Well, think about it this way: if you’re in a room full of, let’s say, architects, how are you any different than the person next to you? Why should your potential employer hire you? What value can you bring to the company?
Look at how you’re different from your competition and identify what your ‘secret sauce’ is.
Try this: Hire a life coach to help you find your uniqueness in this world.
“Tell me about yourself” can very well be your make-it-or-break-it moment.
It’s about Sales 101, according to Melissa. Sure, it takes courage and confidence. But if you understand the value you bring to the table and know how to sell that to your potential employer, then it can very well help you land that job.
Try this: Learn some coaching skills and practice them to gain self-awareness, confidence, and presence.
#3: Best Careers to Start at 40
Being part of the older workforce is a great age to choose a new career path. The job market may seem more competitive nowadays, but there are still lots of opportunities out there. Moreover, your skills and experiences are an attractive asset to many employers.
So if you’re itching for a new challenge, here are three ideas for new careers at 40:
It’s no secret that we live in an ever-evolving and rapidly growing world of technology. And if you’ve been considering a career in IT, this is a great time to do so.
While this path requires technological know-how, there’s a high demand for those who are familiar with HTML5, CSS3, Elixir, Phoenix.LiveView, and the like. So much so that Forbes listed software developers as one of the 30 fastest-growing jobs for the next 10 years.
Your main responsibilities include:
- Building exciting applications and implementing flows and mock-ups
- Providing solutions, developing, and maintaining websites
- Have the passion and hunger to figure out new technologies and continuously enhance your skills
Sounds interesting? Check out these open positions at Mindvalley.
Marketing is all about getting potential clients interested in your products or services. So if you’re the kind of person who can accept responsibilities easily, communicate well with other people, and do well with constant change, then these are all transferable skills that will allow you to thrive in this aspect of marketing.
You’d be mainly responsible for:
- Implementing the company’s products, campaigns, and promotions
- Facilitate the growth and scale of the products
- Constantly be on the ball for the latest cutting-edge marketing practices to implement into the products’ funnels
Intrigued? There are open positions at Mindvalley you can apply to.
Rather than training clients for a physical body, a Holobody coach — one that uses a holistic approach to health — helps their clients overcome challenges such as smoking or achieving positive health goals.
You’d be helping your clients:
- Identify challenges regarding health
- Shift focus from the challenges to the action steps
- Follow through with the action steps through accountability and follow-up systems
Sounds exciting? You can get a certified Holobody Coach by Mindvalley.
Step Into Your Greatness
Whatever your reasons for making a career change at 40, remember that you have the experience and wisdom. And that makes you an excellent candidate.
If you feel there are gaps in your knowledge, head over to Mindvalley where you can find discover new paths to success. There are numerous programs to level up your growth and skills. What’s more, you can also get coaching certifications, such as the aforementioned Holobody Coach.
Forty is the new 20, as the saying goes. And it’s time to awaken your unstoppable. Welcome in.