There is nothing wrong with changing careers at any point in your life — in fact, there is a lot to be said for it. After years of doing the same thing, the challenge and the excitement can wear off, and it can start to feel as if you’re ready for something new. Statistics show that most people will make a career change five to seven times over the course of their life. Not all of these changes are major, but whether you’re considering changing your whole career, or just shifting from one job to another within the same career category, your mid-30s are a great time to shake things up.
(Photo Credit: jessica.diamond/Flickr)
1. You’re less afraid.
Or at least, you should be! You earned some stripes in your 20s, and it wasn’t always easy. You learned how to persevere through challenges and rise to your own (and others’) high expectations. You’ve accomplished a lot, been through a lot, and you have more confidence in your ability to handle obstacles that get in your way. You can channel these new levels of bravery into starting something new and exciting. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Change is good; try not to fear it.
All of your experiences, combined with some thoughtful self-reflection (another sign of maturity), has helped you to better understand yourself. You know what your strengths are, and you know what you love doing. You have more ideas about what’s important to you in life. Taking all of this into consideration, wouldn’t it be more surprising if you weren’t thinking about changing careers at this point in your life?
3. Your skills and experience have deepened.
With training, education, and experience comes options. Now that you have worked hard for a decade or more, you’ve acquired the building blocks necessary to move on to something new. You’ve proven yourself to be a powerful asset, but you’re also still young enough that new employers won’t worry about you being too set in your ways. Now that new options have revealed themselves to you, and since you have the background to meet greater challenges, the temperature of the water is probably just about right for jumping into something new.
4. Because life is long.
People always say that life is short, and it is. Time passes in a flash. But, in some ways, just the opposite is true. I enjoy thinking about it this way — the days are long, but the years are short. Each day can be filled with a lot of excruciating details, trials, and to-dos. But, then, somehow, another year has flown by. We have to grab hold of our lives firmly in order to steer our direction. We have to maximize those busy days and know that one is going to slide right into the next. Many people want a change, but find it difficult to actually make it happen. Life is long, so you might want to make some professional changes along the way to keep things fresh. Your mid-30s are a great time to start to make sense of the length of time available to us — and really begin to make the most of it.
Tell Us What You Think
How did you know it was the right time to change careers? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.