In today’s blog, one of our Career Coaches, Sabrina Alam, gives her top tips on how to change career at 30.
Changing your career can be daunting at any stage of life but definitely can feel more and scary the older you get. Given that you’ve already had some experiences some financial security, built up some experience and knowledge in your current line of work, finding the courage to make the leap to leave the certainty of what you currently know can be scary.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Successful career change is possible at any age. Here what I would advise someone coming to me frustrated with the job they have and wanting a change:
1. Believe it’s possible.
People change careers all the time and it is possible. We have people coming to us wanting this all the time at all stages of life and ages. Nothing in life is easy and changing the direction of your career is like all other goals will take patience, determination and hard work – but is doable. People do it all the time and so can you regardless of your circumstances.
2. Mange the risks
I’m not an advocate of quit your job and jump into something new in some without some forethought and a plan. I’m into slow steady managed change. You have financial commitments, maybe a mortgage, maybe family. You have right now a stable secure reliable income stream from your current career – use that to your advantage. Use this time to really plan & manage the risks involved with career change.
3. Keep working in your current career and get some help to figure out what you’d like to be doing instead.
Do some training/ get some credentials in your new field. Making contacts with the right people who can let you know about opportunities in your new chosen path. These things take time. Even if you work flat out and do all the right things – there is a lead-time involved in change – be realistic about this and manage your expectations accordingly – it will help you stay motivated and committed on your journey.
4. Do your research.
Ok, maybe I’m a little biased here, I do love doing research but its important – in this context. When you’re changing careers – you want to feel confident you’re making the right decision. You want to feel comfortable that 5 years from now you are not going to regret this decision and instead it’s going to be the best decision that you ever made. So you got to get your facts straight about the new directions your about to take – and that it actually will fulfill the things you want and need from your new career. This of course is the next thing I want to mention…
5. Know (with crystal clarity) what you want and need from your new career.
I mean really know what your needs are from a career for it to fulfill you. Balance your focus on emotional and practical needs. Financial security? Good work life balance? Opportunities to travel? Opportunities to learn? Make a difference? Whatever it is – know what are your top 5 must haves in order of importance and exactly what you will see happening in your world at work that will help you know that you’re getting this. This will enable you qualify jobs that will work for you very easily. You’ll be surprised at how many often you will start to see opportunities that you can now be certain will fulfill you.
6. Look for opportunities in your current career (with fresh eyes).
It’s always easier to make a pivot in your current career than a full out dramatic change. A pivot is the equivalent of a 1 step career change where you change only 1 aspect of your career (either your industry or your job activity) rather than both at the same time. In an ideal world you may want to change both (called a 2 step change) but in practical terms a 1 step change the first step of how most career change takes place as it allows career changers to have some experience to leverage when talking to potential employers. Now that you have a clearer recognition of what you need – look at opportunities within your current career to get a bit more of what you want.
7. Proactively seek out help and advice.
It never ceases to amaze me how people are so incredibly generous, helpful, sincerely and willing to help people out that ask for help. It was only after I left the corporate world that I really understood the power of your “network” (or otherwise as I like to call it – the power of “people you know”). When I started my new profession I soon realized that every opportunity that had come my way and opened doors to work opportunities were through the people that knew me or new people I had got to know. Being brave enough to immerse yourself in the new world you want to enter. Start to make new friends, learn new things, be exposed to opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have even known existed. Proactively go out and talk to people, tell them about your situation and the change you want to make. Ask for their advice. You’ll be surprised at the kind of results you’ll start to experience.
Surprise Top Tip: Get the help of a career coach.
Ok, well of course I’m going to say that! But I truly do believe in the power of having a career coach steer you on this journey. Having an expert navigate you in the most effective way through the process of career change will save you months (years) of frustration, mistakes, stress and the resulting loss of income from this.
Having expert guidance can really help cut out the anxiety and confusion your probably feeling about your situation and replace it with confidence about how you need to proceed. Career coaches have experience in helping many people wanting more fulfilling careers and can offer practical guidance on how to make this change easily.
At least get in touch for an initial consultation. An initial consultation is free and will help you have a clearer idea of what you need to move forward and whether we can help you on that journey. We can really get to know what’s going on for you, give you our advise on your particular situation – and how its best for you to proceed.
To learn more about the specific area of coaching that fits you, go to
Leadership and Development,
Career Change Coaching,
Life Coaching and
Coaching for Companies.