Changing Careers After 40

Changing Careers After 40

It’s 1980… I’m in Kindergarten. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back just came out in theaters; I’m high on my latest acquisition: The glorious figure that stands guard in the featured photo for this post.

Luke Skywalker - Change Careers After 40
Luke Skywalker, from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, courtesy of 1980 Kenner Toys.

My classroom is abuzz with our latest timed assignment. Draw a picture to answer the question that stopped me dead in my tracks:

“What do YOU want to be when you grow up?”

Uhh… Alex knew he wanted to be a fireman. Todd wanted to be an astronaut. Kari wanted to be veterinarian. Alethea wanted to be a famous singer. Me? I didn’t know. Anxiety created lumps in my throat. I looked around at my tablemates and couldn’t decide! I didn’t WANT to be a “doctor, lawyer or policeman.”

I wanted to be a Jedi like Luke Skywalker!

Fast-forward 40 years… Yes, I have figured out the answer to that question, but it took a lot of trial and error, blood, sweat and tears.

You may not have been blessed in choosing the right career from the beginning. You might wonder if there’s still time. Yes, there’s still time, but it’s important to make an effective plan for the change. It’s necessary to be thoughtful, but you must also be a person of action.

Make a positive career change after 40:

List your strengths and skills.

  • Unless you have a lot of money in the bank or a spouse with a great job, it’s important that your career change be successful. Now isn’t the time in your life to take a flier on something with little chance of success. Your golden years are rapidly approaching.
  • Make a complete list of what you’re good at and what you’re an expert at.

What do you enjoy?

  • The path to success consists of combining what you enjoy with your skills and expertise. Life’s too short to hate your job.

What do you need to learn?

  • Any new career will require new knowledge. Where can you get the training you need? Do you need to go back to school? Take an online course? Take a part-time job in the field? Put in time as an intern?

Whom do you know that can help?

  • You may have a friend, family member, or former employer willing to give you a chance in the career you desire. Assuming you’re at least 40, you’ve met a lot of people over the years. This is one of the advantages you have over the 20-something crowd. Leverage your resources.

Consider becoming an entrepreneur.

  • This may be the only field that actually doesn’t care at all about your age. In the past, entrepreneurship required a brick and mortar store or office. That’s no longer the case. It’s easy to set up a business online at a minimal cost. Entrepreneurship is blind to your age. In fact, that’s what I did (I L-O-V-E it!)

Get your financial house in order.

  • It can take a while to get back to your original income. Do you need to downsize your lifestyle? Do you have sufficient savings to make the leap to a new career?

You CAN change careers after 40.

However, the level of risk increases with your age.

Ensure that you are able to handle the risks. There is still time to enjoy a career that you love!

You may not end up a Jedi, but with effective career coaching, clarity will come and you will reach your goals faster than you thought possible!

Still need help? For more details, learn more about how to work with me.

I offer 3 solutions:

Strategic Job Search Coaching and Mock Interviews: 

Stop spinning your wheels applying for job after job online, using a broad and wide approach. My clients land meetings with decision makers at top employers and get jobs they really want, using a focused approach. It begins with WHO you are and WHERE you want to go. How would YOU answer questions like, “tell me about yourself” or “tell me about the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the past six months.” I understand the interview process and will ensure you are confident and prepared.

? Executive-style resumes, cover letters and thank you letters:

No forms, templates or resume-mill here. You work directly with me. My resumes are custom, attractive, ATS-friendly and full of quantifiable data.

☎ Job Placement Services. 

I serve as an outside recruiter for my coaching clients. Although I may not be the only advocate you have, I can help leverage my network and know how to get a foot in the door to be another voice in your corner, pitching to recruiters and hiring managers alike on your behalf.

Go to and let’s get started right away!

© 2020. Neil Schultz for Career Upgrader, LLC.

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