The answer to the above question really to an extent depends on who you ask and what industry/company culture they are in. It also to a degree depends on how much you rely solely on others to provide you with a job in the new field. However, most of us in the Western World are certainly going to have to work much longer than our parents and probably even into our seventies. So if you are already thinking that you are ‘too old’ to change career at 40, then you need to remember that you still have 30 more years left to work in an area you don’t enjoy. That’s even longer than you’ve already worked! If this doesn’t act as a motivating factor to get your butt in gear and change now, I don’t know what will!
If you decide to make your chronological age a limit for something, that’s your choice and your judgement. I think your chronological age is completely irrelevant to what you can achieve in both your life and career. It makes sense that the older we get, the more we should challenge ourselves. Many respected authors, artists, politicians and business people only got famous and/or started their career at a later stage in life. However, we live in a society that tends to focus on the young, famous and beautiful (and interestingly most of those are in careers and industries where they probably won’t be around in 5 years time – not a good role model for career choice in my mind).
Research from Kingston University Business School identified that older entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful in business than their younger counterparts. Starting your own business also means that you don’t have to rely solely on others to give you a job.This could be your best bet when it comes to career change at a later stage in life. Portfolio and multiple income stream set-ups are good options too in this sense.
Even if you are not interested in becoming an entrepreneur or portfolio worker, but want continue down the employee trail now could be a good time to change careers. Why? Because the older we get the better our level of self-knowledge and awareness of our strengths and weaknesses tend to become. By really reviewing your career so far and looking at where you truly excelled and enjoyed yourself, you will be able to identify a career that truly fits you based on what you’ve learned form experience. You are also be able to nail down the areas of interests that keep grabbing your attention. This is a major advantage over a 22 year old graduate choosing their first career!
If You Only Do One Thing This Week: Remember that it’s never too late if you start now! Instead of focusing on your belief that you are too old, focus on what your years of life and work experience have taught you about what skills and abilities come naturally to you and what subjects truly interests you. Recall the instances where you enjoyed yourself and excelled. From that point of empowerment you are ready to choose a new career and take on the world!