Yes, You Can Switch Careers After 40

It’s Never Too Late To Find Your Dream Job

Have you reached a mid-level position after decades of hard work and still feel dissatisfied with your job? You’re not alone. The term “Great Resignation” describes the high rate at which workers have quit their jobs globally since the spring of 2021, as vaccinations have eased the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic amid low unemployment and strong labor demand…but that’s not really what’s happening. 

These workers haven’t just dropped out of the labor market entirely. In most cases, they are choosing to change employers, roles or even entirely change careers. This desire for change may have been inspired by drastic changes imposed by lockdowns and work-from-home scenarios, which altered workers’ perceptions of their former job, lifestyle, and overall sense of life-work balance, but it creates entirely new challenges. Perhaps you’re completely burned out at your old job and don’t know why, but need a change? Or you’ve elevated into a management role through previous work experience, or just want a management role, but don’t have a management degree?

These are real issues for employees who are mid-way through their career, aged 40 to 50, or even above 50. At this stage in your life, changing jobs and careers creates special challenges. Making the next half of your life happier and more fulfilled, creating the right life-work balance scenario, and making optimal and intentional career decisions become even more important than when you are just starting out.

There are a couple of steps you can take to make a mid-life career switch go more smoothly. The first is making sure that you’re looking for the right kind of job in the first place, which is especially useful if you’re dissatisfied with your current job and don’t really know why. 

An insight tool like Winslow (Insert weblink here for Winslow on JammTrain site) will help you gain a greater understanding of where you fit and where your strengths and opportunities lie. The Winslow Assessment survey really opens your eyes to see whether you were aligned to your previous role and if not, identify areas of opportunity to find a new direction or career pathway.

Another step is making sure you’re qualified for the next step in your career, which is especially useful if you’ve advanced into a management role without a formal management degree. There are other ways to receive nationally recognised qualifications that will validate your current skills and knowledge, however, thereby setting you on a career path to a new job and career choice that will be a good fit.

Accreditation programs that recognise competencies and results achieved though a process known as “Recognition of Prior Learning” (RPL), and while they typically require you to go into a classroom and complete assignments and take exams, there are other options for mid-level employees with significant work experience. We work with people who already have those skills and complete the accreditation through various types of workplace evidence like a business plan.

Rather than wasting time studying things you already know well, you can use evidence from your workplace to ‘prove’ you have the skills and knowledge. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a way of gaining a nationally recognised qualification without study, exams or assignments. The added benefit is that RPL shows that you not only understand the theory, but you have been able to put this into place in the real world.

So if you’ve have been thinking about the next role, either in a new company or a career or perhaps a promotion within your existing company, but lack formal qualifications, there are other ways to demonstrate that you have attained the necessarily skills and experience. 

Or if you’re dissatisfied with your current career and need help identifying a new direction, an analysis tool like Winslow, which we use at JammTrain, can help put you on the right track for a new career path. It’s never too late to find a job and career that make you feel happy and fulfilled, regardless of your age and experience level. It’s never too late to find your dream job or career!

Cambell Elton


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