Switching Careers Doesn’t Mean Starting over

When is it too late to change careers? I’m 40 and hate my job. But with almost 20 years invested in my field, I really don’t want to start over with an entry-level position in a new area. How possible is it to switch careers without taking a massive pay cut?​

To read my answer, click here: Switching Careers Doesn’t Mean Starting over

Leave your own answer in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Switching Careers Doesn’t Mean Starting over

  1. It’s not that easy to move to a different position especially if you come from HR. I tried at 33. At 40 it’s impossible. They avoid HR people. They fear our experience and critical eye 🙂 I tried a junior position in software testing hoping my IT background would help. I learned C++ and testing especially for that interview and a friend on the inside told me they rejected me because I was more or less the Team leader’s age and they weren’t comfortable with my 7 year experience in HR. I ended up a freelancer. That’s another possibility. Switching careers at 40 is difficult. I would recommend starting your own business or working as a freelancer project based. The chances are much higher.

  2. I’m not switching per se but trying to step up from admin work to project work. I already have some basic experience and quite a few transferable skills, and luckily, the state career center offered free certification courses. (But that was due to the pandemic, so there’s still the problem of actually GETTING a job in a very dismal market.)

    If your target job isn’t far off from what you were doing, you might not have to go for a whole new degree. Certifications can give you a leg up. You still might have to take a pay cut to get some experience and a new title on your resume, but hopefully, the job market will improve as the pandemic recedes.

  3. Excellent article, rock-solid advice:

    Know who you are and what you want to do.

    Find out what skills, experience, and knowledge you need to get from where you are to where you want to be … and what you need to do to obtain them.

    Without these 2 steps as a beginning point, we’ll simply be running away from something instead of toward something.

    What is it? Something about out of the frying pan, into the fire?

  4. I switched at 40ish. I went from HR Director to a midlevel procurement role. I took a $30k pay cut but I was so burned out on HR that I planned for it an took the hit. Four years later I am in a management role in my new field and am nearly were I was salary wise when I left HR. I think the key was writing a resume and cover letter that highlighted my transferrable skills, plus having the opportunity to do some procurement type work while in HR that I could discuss in the interview. It wasn’t easy and took some time, but it is possible.

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