Career Change at 40: A Complete Roadmap

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We understand that in an era where everything seems unstable, the urge or decision to shift your career, even if you are in your 40s, is quite normal now. 

Post-2020 layoffs from smaller business units to the bigger ones have proved that no change or decision is less challenging nowadays, whether it’s the decision to leave a well-paying job in your 20s, not leaving a low-paying job in your 30s or a career shift at 40.

One more reason people tend to change their careers is that many niches that were just considered hobbies a few years back now have a healthy scope to get established, be it fashion or gardening. 

Hence, people are also inclined towards the “Do what you love” philosophy nowadays. Even the statistics prove that every year, 45% of employers who have hit their 40s want to look for new career options.

But you have to make sure that you:

Research well about the scope of the career you want to pursue.

Up-skill yourself to meet the standard or qualification criteria of your chosen career.

Research well about the job description too, to know the basic expectations of a company, both implicitly and explicitly.

As mentioned, a career change at 40 or at any age is not an unusual challenge or risk, but not doing it with a constructive plan in your hands surely is. Just remember, as long as you are passionate about the change, nothing can stop you from taking the leap. Let’s study this further!

WHAT COULD BE THE BEST OPTIONS TO CHANGE CAREER IN YOUR 40s

Here are some career options that can help you make a better decision before you actually quit your job. Until you have a greater or even better plan, you should not leave what is currently in your hands.

Here are the top 6 options that are often adopted as a new career option by most employees:

TEACHER (Teaching):

One of the most suitable jobs post-career change after 40 lets you explore a new environment, and positivity, as well as relief from a heavy workload. One of the best perks of being a teacher is that it gives you the liberty to pursue your hobby or long-lost interest as it only demands 6-7 hours. 

Hence, if you are confused about the best career options to cope with career transition, teaching is one of the alternatives.

Average salary:

The average range of salaries for teachers in India is between 3.10 lakhs to 4.90 lakhs annually. However, it fluctuates sector-wise and subject-wise too.

Skills needed:

Creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, tolerance, and time management.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER :

Post the phase when employees were laid off in bigger numbers, the fear of scarcity and unemployment has laid new interest in owning a small business, even if it’s a bookstore, cake shop, digital marketing agency, or handmade crafts.

Even the audience nowadays is becoming more interested in experimenting with products or services based on their social presence and marketing techniques.

Average salary:

According to Glassdoor, the average monthly income of a small business owner ranges from 38,000 to 77,000, which can fluctuate based on your skills, expertise, and digital visibility.

Basic skills needed:

Time management skills, customer service, social media, marketing, leadership, and communication skills.

CONTENT CREATOR :

When the audience is ready to consume quality content, what are you waiting for? 

Content creation is still an under-discussed topic for those who want to change their career at 40. If you are really passionate about storytelling sharing your experiences or even becoming a fashion influencer, you just need a light, your phone, in-depth research, and that’s all. 

You are ready to reflect on your unique skills and experiences at a highly accessible range.

Average salary:

The range encompasses from 20,000 to 200,000 based on the quality of content, duration of content, and the platform chosen.

Skills needed:

Networking, communication, creative thinking, SEO (search engine optimization), editing, content marketing, and writing.

EVENT PLANNER :

Tired of the order and commands in your previous office culture? Don’t worry, this career option can bring back excitement, adventure, and liberty to your life again, no matter what age you are.

However, it requires much more initial effort compared to the previously described career options, like initial capital, a team, networks, in-depth research, and robust marketing to establish your presence and generate leads.

Average salary:

Although it depends on experience and marketing, various sources indicate that most event planners earn from 5 lakhs to 8 lakhs INR.

Skills needed:

Creative thinking, communication skills, leadership, listening skills, flexibility, and networking.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER :

If you are looking for a career change at 40 but do not want to leave the corporate world, one of the best career options you can go for is human resource management. The plus point is the experience you hold of communicating with different personalities all these years, which even makes you a better fit for it.

You can also opt for a freelancing career as an HR professional, which will help you manage your time more effectively and explore new opportunities.

Average salary:

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for an HR professional in India is 10,33,000 INR.

Skills needed:

Multi-tasking, leadership, team building, listening skills, risk management, change management, and financial management.

CAREER COUNSELOR :

No matter how much competition exists in this field, there are still many aspirants who want to get advice from experienced professionals rather than big institutes. Hence, this can be a plus point for you too, as you carry the experience they search for.

All you have to do is build a strong portfolio and a personal brand to reach out to the audience who want to savor your life experiences and get the best choice for their career.

Average salary:

According to various sources, the average salary of a career counsellor ranges between 3-4 lakhs INR.

Skills needed:

Problem-solving skills, empathy, analytical skills, data confidentiality, mentorship, communication skills, and awareness about trends.

TIPS TO MANAGE THE CHANGE :

EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT AND FUTURE FINANCIAL POSITION

A career shift, however normal, still has the potential to bring obstacles along the way that could give you a financial shock. Hence, it is very important to analyse your current financial position as well as your future goals.

You should study the effect of a career shift at 40 on your finances and how much your assets have the potential to save you from any unforeseen losses.

CREATE NETWORKS

When you are 40 and want to explore an entirely new field, the first obstacle that might come your way is limited or no networks to help you learn about the latest trends, best company suggestions, or referrals. Hence, you must surf Google to know the best platforms, as well as local groups that can support your growth and help you get your first deal done or interview, cracked.

Creating networks also provides a space to share bad experiences, lessons, or things to unlearn, making your career shift journey much more relaxing and easy.

RETRIEVE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Do not forget to retrieve all the employee benefits a company provides for its employees. Sometimes, due to negligence or miscommunication, retrieving these benefits becomes a tough or hectic job.

But do not forget to verify all the promised benefits and ask the company for the same.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

One of the most important points to remember is not to rush for a new job. Give yourself enough time to learn new things, absorb the market, participate in communities related to your new career, and focus on mental health or hobbies.

Your mind, which is accustomed to a single environment for the past 20 years, needs to recharge and find its creativity and enthusiasm again.

MAKE SPACE FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE AND THOUGHTS

Once you have left your job, it is now important to practice constructive thinking to reboot your mind. Create a space, be it on social media platforms or blogging platforms, where you can write or record your experiences and make the most out of your past 19-20 years of contributions to a company’s growth.

This exercise not only benefits your mental health but also helps you collect and acknowledge your years of hard work, experience, potential, and achievements.

FAQs RELATED TO CAREER CHANGE

  • HOW CAN A PERSON BE RELEVANT TO CURRENT INDUSTRY TRENDS?

There are many ways to stay aware of professional industry trends, such as diversifying networks, subscribing to newsletters or social media campaigns, attending webinars/seminars, pursuing online courses, and taking advantage of free resources like YouTube videos, Telegram channels, or educational influencers.

  • WHAT IS THE FIRST THING TO DO AFTER DECIDING TO SHIFT YOUR CAREER?

There is a long to-do list, including learning new skills, updating your resume, and improving your LinkedIn profile. However, the first step is to conduct in-depth research about all the options you have in mind with respect to your personal goals, like family and marriage.

It is important to seek advice from experts or your network and conduct manual research by surfing the internet.

  • WILL IT BE A GOOD CHOICE TO QUIT A JOB IN YOUR 40S AND BECOME A FREELANCER?

Yes, it is undoubtedly a rational choice to consider freelancing. The plus point is that your experience and network will ensure you won’t struggle for gigs. All you need is thorough research about the niche you want to pursue, creating a portfolio and personal brand, and setting a foolproof plan to generate leads.

So, that is how you can have a convenient journey after your career transition. All you have to remember is to stay updated with trends and never rely on incomplete information.

[ONE TO ONE CAREER CHANGE ADVICE]

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