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Planning a career change at age 40

Many people realise quite late on in life that the job or career change they have done for many years is not really right for them. Deciding on a career change at age 40, or even older, is not that unusual. You can do it, but it does need careful planning.

Why change career at age 40 or older?

Many people decide on their career when very young, 18 or even earlier. They may decide on the basis of what subjects they were good at in school, what their parents did, or simply because of being offered a job and taking it. But later on in life they may realise it is just not right. Or you may have a passion for some hobby, and want to make it into a career. Or perhaps life seems pointless, and you want a job working with people, or maybe helping animals. Whatever the reason, it is quite possible to change career, but you need to think carefully about how to go about it.

What to think about

Will you need training for your new career? If so, will you be able to get a grant to cover the cost of it? In any case, do you have the money to keep yourself while training, even if you don't have to pay for the actual course, and to keep a family if applicable?  How will your mortgage payments and other bills be met? You will probably need to have some money saved, a nest egg to cover you while you are making that career change.

You may also want to look at how likely you are to gt a job in your chosen field, once you are fully trained. Prejudice by employers on the grounds of age is illegal, but it still happens. So try to find out how things are in your chosen career.

Next steps

If you aren't certain what you want to do, it might be worth seeing a career guidance counsellor, just to make sure you are certain about the new change. Then talk to your family, and maybe friends too. They may be shocked, but if you have prepared fully and explain the reasons for the change, hopefully they will be right behind you.

And after that...hand in your notice at the old job, and get started. Good luck!

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