If you’re one of the 33.09 million people in employment in the UK, can you say with complete honesty that your current career fulfils you? Or is it just a necessary evil to pay the bills, keep food on the table, and afford some of the niceties life has to offer?
OK, calling it an ‘evil’ might be a bit harsh... but if your job doesn’t speak to your interests or meet your needs, why not change it? If your immediate answer is ‘I’m too old’, we’re here to argue that it’s never too late to do a job you love.
Why Should I Start A New Career?
Quite simply, the main reason you should consider a career change is because it’s important to do what makes you happy. A report by Gallup found 60% of the workforce around the world is disengaged from their work. Considering we spend around one-third of our lives at work, if your job is making you miserable, there’s no shame in switching to another career path that brings joy back into your professional life.
According to a 2018 survey by Careershifters, 88% of career changers said they were happier after making their move. The survey also found that 75% of career changers reported being more satisfied with their work, and 69% said they were more fulfilled.
The issue many people have with changing jobs is that they feel it isn’t a good look on their resume, but switching lanes is more common than you might think! Did you know the average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life? Around 30% of the workforce changes jobs every 12 months, so there are already plenty of people shopping around for the perfect career fit.
Am I Too Old To Change Careers?
Change can be scary, and for those looking to get high job satisfaction later in life, it can seem like they’ve missed the boat. The thing is, you’re never too old to pursue your dreams, whether you’re looking at a career change at 40, 50 or any age!
The only person who can change your position for the better is you. Should you need some more encouragement, a study by the University of Warwick found that people who changed careers after the age of 40 were more likely to report being happy and satisfied with their lives than those who stayed in the same job. The study also found that career changers were more likely to be engaged in their work and to feel that they were making a difference in the world.
Others Who Found Their Purpose Later In Life
There are also many famous and inspirational people who have taken the plunge and shaken up their careers in the pursuit of happiness.
Check out these examples!
Jamie Oliver - Worked as a Chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in London before he decided to quit his job and start his own cooking show.
Shonda Rhimes – A successful Lawyer before she decided to pursue her dream of writing. She quit her job and wrote the pilot for the medical drama Grey's Anatomy, which became a huge hit. She has since gone on to create several other successful TV shows, including Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - Was a college Football Player before he decided to pursue a career in professional wrestling. He became one of the most successful Wrestlers of all time, and he has since transitioned to a successful film career.
Oprah Winfrey - Worked as a News Anchor before she decided to start her own talk show. The Oprah Winfrey Show went on to become the highest-rated talk show in history.
Terry Crews - The much-loved American Actor, Advocate, and Television Host’s first job in the arts was as a courtroom sketch artist in Flint, Michigan. He received an art scholarship from college before an athletic scholarship which led him to a football career before making his way back to the arts.
Many of these individuals left perfectly good careers to find their dream jobs. So there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same!
Signs You’re Ready For A Career Change
What makes people happy in their careers is entirely dependent on the person. This is why it’s essential for you to think about your long-term goals and what is important to you when deciding if you’re ready for a career change.
Some helpful things to consider are:
Are you no longer happy in your current job? Perhaps the work is too stressful, the pay is too low, or is there a lack of opportunities for growth.
Do you want to pursue a new passion? There might be something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to explore.
Are you looking to improve your work-life balance? Have you recently had children or become a carer for someone, or do you just want more time for yourself and your hobbies? A job that offers more flexibility, part-time hours, or allows you to work from home could be the answer!
Are you facing job loss or redundancy? This can be a difficult time, but it can also be an opportunity to start a new chapter in your career and do something you’re passionate about!
What increases job satisfaction for someone else may differ from you. The traditional aspects like job security, pay, and working conditions all play their part. Though more people are prioritising a career that aligns with their skills and interests, values, and goals.
If you resonate with any of the above, a new job search could be exactly what you need!
Tips For Changing Careers
If a career change is your ticket to higher job satisfaction and finding your purpose, there are things you can do to smooth the transition to another line of work.
Our tips are:
Think about what suits you - A key reason employees feel satisfied with their jobs is that they work in a role that benefits from their transferable skills. What are you good at, and what interests you?
Do your research - Now you know what your skill set and interests are, research jobs that apply to them. You’ll then also know what the entry requirements are to apply.
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile - Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date and reflect your skills and new career goals.
Network - Talk to people who are already working in the field you're interested in, it’ll help you learn what to expect and could lead to job opportunities.
Volunteer - Volunteering is a great way to get experience in a new field and to network with people who could help you land a job.
Get certified - If there are certifications that are required or desired for the new career you're interested in, get them. This will show employers that you're serious about your career change and that you have the skills they're looking for. It’ll also help you start out in a better-paying role in the field.
Find Your Dream Career
If you’re ready to switch careers, our team is here to help you find the course that will put you on the path to your dream job. Whether you have no idea what you want to do or you’re looking for a flexible alternative to getting the qualification you need, we are here to advise.
Alternatively, our blog has all the resources you need to explore different career paths, prepare for informational interviews, and hear from other learners who are studying online to achieve their career goals!