How To Make A Career Change At 35

Statistics show that people aged 35 to 44 change careers up to 2 or 3 times. So if your gut tells you to have a career change at 35, do not feel weirded out. This phenomenon is relatively common.

Pursuing a new career is more than finding a new job or industry. It is more about developing a fresh perspective on life. You may also be yearning for new meaning and purpose.

When you are 35, you are likely old enough to have an extensive professional background. However, you are not yet too old to physically struggle due to strenuous activities. You are mature enough to face tough challenges and keep up with the ever-changing trends.

Reasons to change careers at 35

The desire for a career change at 35 does not come out of the blue. Often, it is an amalgamation of events and sentiments that makes a person decide that they want something more. If you are still doubting yourself, here are some valid reasons you should change careers even later in life:

  1. You start being interested in other things.
  2. You want a better-paying job.
  3. Your current job is no longer challenging.
  4. You look for work flexibility.
  5. Your philosophy and goals in life have changed.
  6. You feel burnt out.
  7. You cannot maintain a healthy work-life balance.

These sentiments are valid. Do not blame yourself for feeling this way or changing your mind.

How to take a new career path at 35

Career development does not always follow a straight path. Even if you are changing careers at 35 and starting anew, it still counts as progress in your professional life. 

Starting a new career at 35 comes with unique challenges. These pointers will help you make the most of your career options:

1. Assess your current job

Never jump into another job without preparing for a career change. One good way to get ready is to examine the status quo first. Assessing what you already have and do before even making a new career choice is crucial. 

Start with your current job. Are you happy with it? If you answered yes, determine what could make you happier. If you are unhappy, pinpoint the things that make you feel that way.

Consider also how changing jobs boosts professional growth. Countless 35-year-olds think that they are irreplaceable since they gained seniority. But unfortunately, the marketplace is constantly changing, and everybody must keep up with modern demands.

Think about the value that your position is giving you. Will you still be able to compete with younger and newly trained professionals after a few years from now?

2. Review your options

After contemplating your present situation, consider your available career options. Do research, too, to expand your perspective on this matter. Once you have a list of potential careers, pick out those most feasible for your situation.

Look at the pros and cons. Determine the opportunity costs of every decision and identify whether they can lead you to a sustainable future.

If this step feels overwhelming, reach out to your trusted family members and friends. Receiving another person’s insight can help you gain a more holistic view of the situation.

Look for opportunities outside your comfort zone, this might mean do not shy away from potential careers overseas. If you’re looking for the right place to start a new life, consider getting hired at a company first, so the transition is easier. But sometimes, you do not need to transfer to another company at all. According to a Harvard Business Review article, employees may no longer find satisfaction in their positions but still love their workplace. Coordinate with your managers if there is a possibility to explore other departments so that you can continue growing without resigning.

3. Update your skills and credentials

Labor market analytics show that the number of required skills per position has increased by 10% per year since 2017. Having numerous years of professional background will not be enough for a successful career change at 35. You must pick up new skills. 

There are many ways to develop your career. With the help of modern technology, you can acquire new skills through webinars and online courses. You can even get certifications as proof of your training. 

It is ideal to prioritize transferable skills during a career change. Here are recommended skills for those switching careers at 35:

  • Analytical skills
  • Collaborative skills
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Intrapersonal skills
  • Networking skills
  • Project management skills
  • Soft skills

It is also crucial to consider the skills most relevant to the new industry you are transferring into. Other careers expect a specific level of technicality from applicants.

4. Give your resume a makeover

The originality of resumes matters a lot. Estimates show that recruiters have an 84% chance of rejecting impersonal applications. Resumes that appear bland and copied directly from proforma samples are more likely headed toward the shredder.

Pay attention to how you present your information. Even if you have the most stellar professional background, hiring managers may not read your resume if it does not have an appealing format.

Many veterans make the mistake of stuffing their resumes. Work experiences make you a more enticing candidate, but you have to be strategic. At best, provide a short previous of your latest positions. Then, you can discuss the rest during the interview.

Research about modern formats, too. Today, resumes are no longer rigid and colorless. Try not to be excessively flashy, but make it a point that your application shows some personality.

5. Expand your network

Companies do not always do a public job search. It may shock many, but 85% of job positions get filled out through networking. Many professionals, especially those with more experience, get better posts through the recommendations of people that know them.

Before leaving your job, expand your network. Get to know more people and reach out to more communities. The easiest way to do this is to find circles that share principles and interests with you. A random acquaintance may be the key person who will introduce you to your dream job.

Do not forget to revisit your older connections, too. It is good to catch up and remember the past, but it is also an opportunity to share networks. Someone on their contact list could help make your career change at 35 successful.

middle age career woman looking at files

Jobs to consider when making a career change at 35

As a 35-year-old professional, there are many careers to choose from. Because of your work experience, skills, and connections, you can expand your job search to career paths not directly aligned with your previous work. Have a look at these eight flexible and worthwhile career choices:

1. Web developer

Being a web developer is one of the most prized careers in the country today. The 2021 estimated value of web development services in the United States is around $40.8 billion. Experts foresee that the value will rise exponentially as demand for web developers increases.

Besides the potential of being a remote position, many career shifters are interested in becoming web developers because the pay can be good. Web developers’ annual base salary is around $67,799 with a $3,650 cash bonus.

Web developers are responsible for the technical framework and aesthetics of websites. They collaborate with programmers and graphic designers to maintain websites’ structure and intended functions. Web developers also help generate website traffic, troubleshoot, and supervise updates.

Surprisingly, you do not need a degree to become a web developer. However, the skills necessary for the job may require intensive training. Competitive web developers should be adept in HTML, CSS, Javascript, development tools, APIs, and SEO.

2. Data analyst

Data analyst jobs are types of work brought about by modernization. According to Colorado State University Global, data analysts help businesses succeed by simplifying key performance metrics and supporting owners in picking the best corporate strategies.

Data analysts provide processed reports to integral departments like accounting, human resources, information technology, marketing, research and development, and sales. Their analysis will help predict trends within and outside the company. 

In the United States, the 2022 average yearly compensation for data analysts rests at $78,205. They may also receive additional compensation worth $44,597.

35-year-olds can shift from any career and become data analysts. Companies would prefer graduates of math or computer science-related courses. However, if you obtained training for specific skills, you could still land the position.

Companies looking for data analysts require applicants to possess high-level competency in data cleaning and preparation, data visualization, statistics, R or Python programming, and Structured Query Language (SQL).

Hundreds of thousands of data analyst jobs are available daily on LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor.

3. Copywriter

When changing careers at 35, add “copywriter” as one of your options. Copywriters are content writers specializing in drafting marketing materials for landing pages and cold emails. Companies also employ copywriters to make their social media posts engaging and more likely to make sales.

Unlike typical jobs, copywriters have the option to charge per word, per hour, or by contract stipulations. Average copywriters earn $64,897 annually or $33.28 hourly.

Copywriting does not require any minimum educational background. You can easily pick up copywriting gigs if you have strong writing that is grammatically sound and highly engaging. 

Check Fiverr and Upwork for an unending supply of copywriting jobs.

4. Recruiter

Companies rely on recruiters to simplify and hasten job searches. Recruiters design job descriptions, post job listings, engage with potential hires, and propose changes to recruitment strategies depending on the company’s hiring needs. 

Becoming a recruiter is also attractive for those who want to leave their current career path. The average annual salary for recruiters in the United States is $50,344

No college course specifically trains recruiters. However, most existing recruiters are graduates of business, marketing, and psychology programs. Regardless of academic background, people who are great communicators and organizers may easily transition into this position. 

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed have new recruiter job posts daily. Most employers are from production and customer service companies.

5. Project manager

Project managers act as the “brain” of specific company endeavors. They handle technical and clerical requirements and manage the personnel working on the project. Companies mostly need project managers for construction, IT, and marketing projects.

Project managers have different rates because of the projects they are handling. In 2022, the American standard for an annual project manager salary is $76,911

Companies often assign individuals as project managers when they are adept at specific industries. For example, companies hire experienced civil engineers as project managers for housing developments. If you want to be a project manager, it is easier to aim for one aligned with your current specialty.

Popular job sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed have project manager job listings. It will not take you long to find a handful from different industries.

6. Financial analyst

Financial analysts are data analysts but specialize in companies’ money matters. Their insights are helpful for the drafting of budget plans and capital structures. They also look into trends to advise companies on short-term and long-term goals.

The annual average income of data analysts in the United States is $82,998. They could also earn additional compensation worth $15,455 due to added benefits and bonuses.

There is no standard college degree to become a financial analyst. Companies may accept graduates of any program so long as they display top-tier quantitative skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills.

Find financial analyst job openings on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.

7. Life coach

Life coaches are all-around advisers. They give well-studied tips to clients and help them resolve problems and achieve goals. Life coaches also share resources to foster clients’ continuous education on specific subjects.

There is no college degree for life coaching, too. However, some companies will require you to acquire a life coach certificate. If you do not want to work in a corporate setting, you may choose to be a freelancer.

The average yearly earnings of US-based life coaches may drastically vary by state. The highest paying state, Tennessee, pays their life coaches $59,957.

You can find life coaching jobs at typical job hosting sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. Also, you can join life coach groups on social media platforms to find referrals from peers.

8. Fitness trainer

Are you an ex-athlete, gym buff, or someone who is constantly involved in fitness? Then, it could be easy for you to transition into a fitness coach. This way, you are turning your passion into a source of reliable income.

Fitness trainers lead exercise activities that help others tone their bodies for sports, healing, and other purposes. Fitness trainers are certified professionals who have an expansive knowledge of physical health. 

Fitness trainers in the US have lucrative incomes. Their average annual pay is $80,373. Some earn as much as $180,000. Thanks to advancements in technology, it is becoming increasingly accessible for newbies to make that amount. 

You can find fitness trainer job openings on Glassdoor and Indeed. You can also visit online health and fitness forums specific to your locality.

Never too late to switch careers

If you are waiting for the sign to change careers, look no further. Being 35 or older should not stop you from choosing another job or passion. Whenever your heart is set, take a leap of faith and move on to another adventure. You will never have a successful midlife career change if you do not start somewhere.

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