Without a doubt, it’s never too late to make a career change – even if you’re making a career change at 40. It doesn’t matter how old you are — you can still change your industry, profession, and skillset. The Great Resignation is upon us, and millions of people are considering changing careers. COVID-19 upended our lives. And for many of us, it changed the way we perceive our future!
- Did you know that 29 percent of people have completely changed their fields after college graduation?
- 39 percent of people suggests a salary increase is the main factor for a career change
- 21 percent of people suggest an interest in a different field is the reason for a career change
- 20 percent of people are looking for upward mobility
- A poll from Gallup suggested that 85 percent of people are unhappy in their jobs, and only 15 percent of people are currently engaged at work
You might be in any of those categories, and that’s okay! Throughout history, there are various famous success stories from people who found success later in life, here are just a few examples.
Notable people who changed careers in later life
1 – Colonel Harland Sanders
You might have heard of Colonel Sanders before; he’s the man who founded KFC! But did you know he didn’t start selling chicken until the age of 40? Furthermore, Colonel Sanders failed in various businesses, including a ferry business and a lamp manufacturing company.
Then, when he started to franchise his chicken restaurant, people rejected his recipe over 1,009 times before someone said yes. By the time KFC started to grow, Colonel Sanders was in his seventies. How’s that for not giving up?
2 – Vera Wang
A famous fashion designer who has dressed some of the best-known people like Michelle Obama, the Kardashian’s, Victoria Beckham, & Mariah Carey — Vera Wang only started her business at 40, when she was getting married. Vera had found a pain point; not being able to find the perfect dress! After some help & encouragement from her father, she started her brand which now employs some 200 people.
Vera’s story is inspiring, considering how her past failures have all led to her current success. She started out with figure skating but didn’t make the Olympics. Then she joined the fashion industry with Vogue. However, once again Vera didn’t land the editor-in-chief position (which Anna Wintour now holds!) Nonetheless, Vera eventually found her path and is now a successful fashion designer in her own right!
3 – Tom Freston
Tom Freston is one of America’s most notorious and respected media moguls. Tom graduated from college and got a job working in advertising. After a few months, he became unsatisfied with the corporate world and decided to travel the world. He ended up starting numerous businesses around the world, including a textiles company in India and Afghanistan.
However, conflict in the Middle East destroyed his business and meant he had to return to the USA in his mid-thirties with no money. Then, Tom read a self-help book that encouraged him to follow his passion, which he learned was the music industry. Two years later, he became a founding member of MTV and the main person behind its global success story in the 80s and 90s.
4 – Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos has been the world’s richest man at various points. He’s built Amazon into a genuinely world-changing business that’s changed retail forever. Nonetheless, Jeff didn’t start out working in E-commerce, nor did he plan to build the world’s biggest internet company at a young age. He started his career working in finance, including various roles on Wall Street.
However, he felt like he wasn’t fulfilling his purpose. Jeff was almost 30 when he decided to create an online bookstore. As we often say — the rest is history, and today Jeff Bezos is worth a staggering $200 billion.
Valuable Transferable skills for a career change at 40
If you’re considering changing careers, you probably already have an excellent array of transferable skills that will enable you to succeed in any area. In fact, did you know you can use skills from bartending, waiting tables, and working on farms in any career path?
Here are some excellent transferable skills you can use for a career change at 40.
1 – Communication skills
Communication skills are one of the most important skills in any industry, and 89 percent of people believe that an effective communication strategy is important in any business. What is your current career, and what other jobs have you completed in the past? You can learn excellent communication skills in careers spanning from hospitality to recruitment.
- More than 80 percent of Americans believe that employee communication is the most important factor for creating trust with employees.
- Sixty-nine percent of businesses list communication skills as the reason they’re confident at hiring people from business schools.
- Businesses lose an average of $62.4 million every year because of poor communication between employees
- According to a recent Harris Poll, 91 percent of employees stated that communication is the most important skill that their leaders lack.
You’ve probably gained communication skills from various prior roles. You can apply this knowledge to your career change at 40.
2 – Industry experience
If you’re seeking a brand new path in your current organization — or you’re transitioning to a new career or organization — demonstrating your relevant expertise is an essential skill in changing careers. Some people often refer to this as “domain expertise.”
Thankfully, industry expertise is one of the most transferable skills. You can simply demonstrate the amount of time that you’ve been in a field and the various projects that you’ve completed in that field.
3 – Leadership skills
You don’t need the experience of being a Fortune 500 CEO to have leadership skills. In fact, if you’ve had any management or leadership skills in any of your previous roles — you can use these as examples when you change careers. You should try to identify specific instances in your previous work experience where you take on the responsibility of a leader.
That doesn’t have to be direct experience in a management role. For example, if you’re a bartender and helped direct your fellow team members to clean up after a shift, that’s an excellent example of leadership.
How to successfully change careers?
Changing careers can be nerve-wracking, right? Let’s face it; you’re going to put yourself right out of your comfort zone. For many people — despite a hatred for their current career — the uncertainty surrounding a career change puts them off a career change at 40.
People usually don’t want to change their careers for the following reasons:
- They’re afraid of relocating
- They’re whether they’ll enjoy the new industry
- The potential for failure scares them
- The thought of meeting a new team feels uncomfortable
- They don’t want to take a temporary pay cut
- They lack self-confidence
These reasons are highly unfortunate. As we showed earlier in the article, your first career isn’t always the right path. You might need to change or pivot to find your success, and even if it feels uncomfortable — it could be the best thing you ever do. Other people love changing careers for the following reasons:
- It can offer a stronger financial future
- Better opportunities
- It’ll bring new people into your life
- A career change at 40 can take you worldwide
- It can give you a new sense of purpose
That said, we’re going to give you some tips on successfully changing careers. We understand why you might feel apprehensive. But, if you listen to these tips, you’ll have a far more successful transition.
1 – Find proper guidance
There are many ways you can find proper guidance on a career change. Of course, in the 1980s, people didn’t have half of the things that we do today. You should go on Google and look for reviews on career paths and companies. Today, we have the luxury of Glassdoor and its excellent insights into company culture in different industries.
What’s more, contacting companies has never been more straightforward. You can directly email HR teams or find important people through LinkedIn. There are many blogs and articles online that give a thorough insight into different career paths and their pros and cons.
Alternatively, you can try an internship. Although internships are becoming competitive to find, they’re always an incredible insight into company culture and different industries without fully committing to that career.
2 – Get a supportive network
Whether we like it or not — the people around us have an enormous impact on our lives. After all, Jim Rohn famously stated that we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time around. Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons why people don’t change careers — even if it’s the best move — is a lack of support from people around them.
Unfortunately, in many instances, your family and friends might not support a career change. That’s never an easy thing to deal with. Nevertheless, even if your family doesn’t support you, it’s entirely possible to build a team of people that will help you.
You can network with people in the industry, enroll in a course where you’ll meet like-minded people changing careers, and join in-person and virtual groups that enable you to discuss career changes. Microsoft predicts that because of the Great Resignation, 41 percent of people are considering quitting their jobs.
Remember, you’re not alone.
3 – Understand “your why”
Simon Sinek became one of the world’s most notable self-help gurus because he focused on the question of your why. Unfortunately, many people don’t know why they’re doing things and ultimately lack self-awareness. If that’s you, you’ll find it more challenging to push yourself into a career change at 40.
In simple terms, your why is knowing your purpose and why you want to do something. Are you looking for a career change at 40 because you want better financial rewards, more flexibility, or fresh challenges? You’ll get all of those from a career in tech sales. Nevertheless, it all begins with your why.
After all, why would you get out of your comfort zone and change your life if you don’t know why you’re doing it? With any significant change in life, you’ll find struggles and challenges at the beginning. Knowing your why will propel your past those challenges.
4 – Update your resume
Updating your resume is one of the best ways you can accelerate your career growth. You should ensure that you use excellent resume language, don’t use generalizations, be very specific, and tell your story throughout your resume.
The top resume mistakes are spelling errors, grammar errors, missing your contact information, using too much passive voice, having a poorly organized structure, having long pages, and not using paragraphs. Furthermore, you should avoid using first-person language, slang, jargon, references to age and gender, and abbreviations.
Many people fail to use a call to action at the end of their resume. But, unfortunately, that’s the perfect chance to get the employer to make that call and invite you to interview. We have a comprehensive resume guide to help you deliver the best possible resume to your dream employers.
Best career choices for you
The tech industry offers excellent opportunities for both men and women. It’s quickly becoming a more diverse industry, and there are far more female CEOs and leaders in today’s tech world. The diversity index of the U.S tech workforce stands at 57 against an overall average score of 56 in the U.S.
A career in tech sales remains one of the best options for men and women. Did you think that you need coding experience to work in tech sales? Not at all. Anyone can work in tech sales, irrespective of your background, gender, or previous skills.
Furthermore, the industry is genuinely global, and there are opportunities all across the United States. You can find careers in New York City, Miami, and Toronto. In 2021 alone, there will be 245,500 new tech jobs in the United States, and over 12.4 million Americans will be working in the tech industry in 2021.
The tech industry is booming. For example, cyber security has a projected growth rate of 31%, the fastest among tech jobs over the next decade. So if you’re looking for a life of superb career choices, you shouldn’t look further than the ever-growing tech space, which experts suggest will be worth $5 trillion by the end of 2021.
You can have a look at our job board. We have thousands of jobs in the tech industry all across the United States. It will show the vast opportunity available from the tech industry.
Join the booming tech industry now with guidance from Uvaro
Having a career change at 40 doesn’t need to be stressful because we can help you along the way. Our official Career Change Guide is a life-changing resource as you begin your transition. Many of our graduates had a career change at 40, and they’ve never looked back since!
We can’t wait to help you kick-start your career in tech sales! Apply for Uvaro today.