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3 Reasons to Switch Careers, Even When You’re ‘Too Old’

You may be thinking that an old dog can't learn new tricks (or find someone to pay them for learning of said tricks), but it simply isn't true. Even if you're an "older" member of the workforce, you can (and maybe should) think about switching careers. New jobs and different responsibilities can lead you to discovering amazing things about your personality, interests, and what makes you actually want to get up in the morning. Now, here are some good reasons to think about switching.

You may be thinking that an old dog can’t learn new tricks (or find someone to pay them for learning of said tricks), but it simply isn’t true. Even if you’re an “older” member of the workforce, you can (and maybe should) think about switching careers. New jobs and different responsibilities can lead you to discovering amazing things about your personality, interests, and what makes you actually want to get up in the morning. Now, here are some good reasons to think about switching.

older worker

(Photo Credit: Capture the Uncapturable/Flickr)

1. Your years of experience are never a liability.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Having faced different jobs, clients, and circumstances is great for your resume, unless you lean on your experiences as the “only way to do things” and refuse to accept new ideas. Talk to recruiters about your “past life” and learn how to spin your resume into a personal narrative that led you to the door of your potential new job. How has your time in sales made you the perfect manufacturing manager? How have your years in the classroom prepared you for a job in publishing? Have answers ready for the questions that HR will inevitably ask, and better yet, get them out of the way in your cover letter in a way that doesn’t snooze on the page.

2. There are resources ideal for changing careers, no matter your age.

AARP points out stories of career change of those over the “traditional” age of job exploration. Some of the entrepreneurs received training or financial aid from government programs or even corporate fellowships. Not all internships are made for college freshmen, you know. Check with your current employer to see what exciting retraining programs they may offer. Why would they want to start from scratch with someone they don’t know, when they could teach you how to run the new software or transition to a new team they’re developing.

3. It could make you happier (even if it scares you a little).

Last year’s American Institute for Economic Research study showed that “almost nine in 10 (87%) of those who said they had changed careers successfully said they were happy or very happy with their change, and 65% said they felt less stress at work.” While it may be stressful, it’s no weirder than any other job search process. While you could take a pay cut (the study showed this happens 31 percent of the time) or a bit of a title drop, the ultimate rewards could be a happier and more fulfilled you. And even if (SIGH) you’re “old” in your mind, you’re really not. And life, they say, is too short to be unhappy, right?

Tell Us What You Think

Are you looking to change careers, even though you’re “old”? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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2 Comments on "3 Reasons to Switch Careers, Even When You’re ‘Too Old’"

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Phil
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That’s not a comment that’s a rant! I’ve had two to three careers, Policing, Health Management and Business Management, I have a Business Degree and A Masters in Health Sciences both studied whilst raising a family and working full time. Currently Studying Project Management. Yep I reckon I could kick into something new as I am pretty bored at present! Not sure about the pay cut. My wife and I would like a new car and another trip to Europe. Our oldest child of four is married and our youngest is off the rank and going to University. My wife… Read more »
Laurie
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After 26 years in media and advertising I “burned out” about 13 years ago and stupidly left the industry I LOVED, advertising. I had worked up to the title position of Media Director at several different advertising ages, but eventually all I did was business-to-business, and it got to be very repetitive and boring. After 2 years in a completely different industry, I couldn’t stand not being involved in marketing any longer so I spent a year working in 3 separate part-time jobs: as a secretary in the development office of a local humane society, as the traffic manager in… Read more »
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