• jennyburrow

Worried that your 30s or 40s is "too late" to make a career change?

You've invested time, money and energy into building a successful career.

But what if that career is no longer making you happy? What if your work is draining you rather than fulfilling you, boring you rather than motivating you?

Is 35, 40, 45, too late to make a career change?

This is definitely a common concern for a lot of the people I talk to and work with.

Wouldn’t it be a real waste to throw all that experience and knowledge away, and have to “start again”?

Before you slump off to carry on in a career that's no longer working for you, I’ve got three points I’d love you to consider.

1. Most of us aren't going to retire until our late 60s

In the UK, depending on how old you are now, it’s likely you won’t receive your state pension until you’re 68 at the earliest.

And that aside, in general we’re living longer, healthier lives, and will be more than capable of continuing to be productive and valuable into our 70s.

So that's at least 20 or 30 years of work you've still got ahead of you.


That sounds like a long time to me.

Definitely plenty of time to get curious and have fun exploring some new options and learning some new things.

Definitely more than enough time to create a significant, positive impact in a completely new area.

And definitely far too long to spend stuck doing something you don't enjoy and that sucks all the energy and joy out of you.

2. You’re not throwing it all away, or wasting anything

Now I’ll bet that you’ve said this to yourself, and you may even have heard it from friends and family if you’re brave enough to mention the idea of a career change.

“But you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are, and you’re so good at what you do! It would be a real shame to throw that all away…”

I’m going to be blunt and say that’s b*ll*cks!

Don’t get me wrong, I got very stuck in that thinking for YEARS.

I have a degree and PhD in Maths, plus ten years of experience, wasn’t it a complete waste of all that to move into something different?

I can vividly remember one friend indignantly declaring:

“But you’re really good at Maths!!!”

Others will find it hard to understand why you want to move away from something you’re good at, and experienced and qualified in.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do.

Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you have to do it.

And all that experience is what is going to make you stand out in whatever you move into next.

A lot of my clients are attracted to work with me because of my analytical mind and my background.

And my consultancy experience combined with my coaching skills and qualifications means I’m uniquely positioned to work with companies to better support their employees with career development.

I know you’ve probably heard it too many times before, but you have so many transferable skills. I guarantee it.

You just need to recognise them in yourself, and reframe how you see your career journey to date, and how it will be a massive benefit to anything you move into next.

Then you can confidently tell that story to others, and stand out from the pack because of it, not in spite of it.

"Don't be afraid to start over again. This time you are not starting from scratch, you are starting from experience" Biggs Burke

3. It doesn’t have to be a huge change

When you’re feeling frustrated and unfulfilled in your career it’s very easy to believe it’s going to take a huge change into something completely different for you to feel motivated and excited about work again.

But that’s actually quite far from the truth for most people.

Take the time to do the groundwork, to understand your motivators and strengths.

Get clear on what exactly it is about your current role/career that is and isn’t working for you (check out this blog post for help with that).

You might realise that actually an honest conversation with your manager and a few tweaks to your role could make a huge difference to how you feel.

Or you might realise it’s not the “work” that’s making you frustrated and unhappy, it’s the company you work for, or the industry you’re in.

Or perhaps the opposite: you love the company you work for but your role isn’t playing to your strengths. What would it look like to explore other opportunities in the same company?


If you’d like some support to lay that groundwork, to uncover and move past the unhelpful beliefs that are holding you back, and explore your exciting possibilities for your next career move, I’d love to chat!

You can book a free, no-strings-attached call with me, or send me a message and we can start a conversation via email.

If you’re not quite ready for that, check out my free guide, “Four Steps to Creating Work you Love”, and take those first steps to getting unstuck!

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