What Age Is Too Late To Start a New Career?

What Age Is Too Late To Start a New Career?

January 25, 2020

If you start working full-time in your early twenties, until a retirement age of 65, you will spend 80,000 hours or more of your life at work. If you work overtime, or start working earlier, or work past age 65, even more hours add up! 

If you ask us, that is too much of your life to spend doing something that you dislike. Yet for many adults in their 30s, 40s, and older, that is exactly the circumstances of Monday to Friday. 

In late 2020, 61% of US adults were interested in switching industries of employment, according to a survey sponsored by Amazon. That survey included those who were unemployed or seeking jobs, as well as those still employed. 

But wait: there’s more. 27% of the respondents to the same survey were concerned their current skills would not stay competitive for the next five years. This means a majority of people want to pull off a midlife career change, but not nearly so many people are thinking they need new skills to do so. 

If you’re worried about what age is too late to start a new career, the answer is that it’s never too late—as long as you have the skills to make the switch. Let’s talk about how to start a new career at any age, and how you know the change you are making is the right one. 

Are There Career-Change Jobs With No Experience?

Midlife career changers are often especially interested in high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. Even if you have a degree, you probably don’t want to get another one, spending four years of time, plus the cost of tuition. At the same time, you need to make enough money to meet your obligations and support your family the same as your existing career does. 

Breaking into a new industry without a degree or training is challenging, but not impossible. Take stock of the existing skills you do possess that are valuable in the new industry. Skills like communication, project management, and work ethic are marketable assets for every job seeker. Remember to make the most of your cover letter as a place to explain your story and why you want to break into the new industry. 

Still, in industries like tech, training is essential to confidently assume an entry-level role. Tech bootcamps and online courses are viable options for career-changers who want to get important skills without completing a degree. 

What Makes for the Best Midlife Career Changes?

The best midlife career changes are the ones that help us feel more excited about going to work every day, while improving the lives of ourselves and our family. Here are some of the reasons to take a chance on a career change. 

  • You Can Love Your Job

A survey by Gallup reveals that 85% of full-time employees worldwide are not excited about or engaged in their jobs. Whether it’s the type of work you do, the opportunities for growth in your workplace, or the culture of your current industry, sometimes a career change is the best way to bring new energy to your professional life. 

  • You Can Be Seen as More Valuable

You might end up amazed by how well your current skill set transfers to a new industry. Tech skills like the ability to code or manage networks are some of the most in-demand skills across departments and job functions. Skills like creativity, persuasion, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are also highly valued—and can be highly compensated. Since you have had more time in the workforce, these skills may be better-developed and easier to demonstrate to a hiring manager. 

  • You Can Launch a Long-Term Career

Just because you have already spent time working in your current industry, doesn’t mean you are sentenced to stay there. Even professionals in their fifties still have almost two decades until retirement. Don’t spend that time suffering in a bad situation. Instead, launch a great second phase of your professional life that will pay off in your happiness and perhaps a better salary or retirement benefits. 

  • You Can Increase Your Pay Potential

Lastly, the opportunity to increase your salary is a compelling reason to consider a career change. Especially for employees in industries like hospitality, retail, or food service, the question of retirement preparedness becomes stressful as we draw closer to that time of life. Pursuing a new, more lucrative, and more stable career is not just a way to improve your immediate circumstances through a higher paycheck, but to prepare better for the future. 

Looking for Career Change Ideas? Tech Might Be for You!

Many career changers are intimidated by the idea of trying to break into the tech industry. But fast-growing areas of expertise in tech like software development and web development, cybersecurity and user experience design are some of the best and most-available career opportunities in the economy today. Plus, the skills necessary to acquire these jobs aren’t outside your reach.

Training for a job in technology  with no experience might require self-directed learning, or enrollment in an immersive, fast-track tech bootcamp like the ones we offer at Eleven Fifty Academy. Within just a  few months of focused, diligent commitment to studying, practicing new skills, and learning through trial and error and problem solving, you can be prepared to launch a new career that will transform your life. 

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