4 min

Is it still possible to change careers at the age of 40?

Image de présentation de l'article Is it still possible to change careers at the age of 40?

Does the midlife crisis ring a bell? By the time they reach the age of 40, many people understand that they have reached a milestone in their lives. Thus, becoming aware of their own mortality, this passage of life can sometimes lead to a questioning of one's own life in all areas. And work is no exception either! Indeed, this need to find meaning in your life and to make changes quickly can lead you to want to change jobs. But while retraining is easy for young people, isn't it too late at 40? Well no, don't worry, and we'll explain why in this article!

Are you already in the middle of a career change but don't know how to approach recruiters? Don't panic, discover our tips for writing a cover letter in the event of a career change !

Why change jobs at 40?

There are many reasons why people in their forties may decide to change careers and vary in each case: lack of passion for their job, the feeling of having missed out, their mental or physical health is affected,...

Thus, while some will not dare to act and will remain unhappy, others will start to pay more attention to their health by returning to sport or an artistic activity, some will want to set themselves new professional challenges.

Nevertheless, despite this ferocious appetite for new professional experiences, many people do not dare to take the plunge to stay in their comfort zone and avoid any risk. Still, midlife is arguably the perfect time to change careers.

Why is 40 an ideal age to change careers?

  • The Experience

One of the advantages of changing careers at the age of 40 is that you have already been able to develop many skills. Indeed, you have been able to acquire know-how and soft skills that set you apart on the job market. This means that you have a solid background in the world of work. A major asset to enhance your profile with recruiters!

  • Maturity

Neither too young nor too old, at 40 years old, you have enough perspective on your life, your work and your abilities and therefore possess an undeniable maturity of mind. Indeed, at this age, we generally know each other much better. We know what we want and what we don't want, we recognize our limits and we dare to assert our desires and differences more easily.

At the age of 40, most people also reach an early stage of professional maturity. They have gained enough experience to fully master their subject. However, this can sometimes make them feel like they're going around in circles because they don't have much left to learn from their work. That's why the idea of developing their professional life is gradually germinating in their heads.

As you can see, wanting to reorient yourself at this age is therefore a guarantee of maturity that will not displease recruiters!

  • Energy

Who said that people in their forties were no longer very energetic? Of course, they may not be as dynamic as they were in 20 years old, but they still maintain an excellent physical condition and have energy to spare when it comes to investing in a project that motivates them!

  • Financial stability

Professional retraining often involves significant financial investments (training, business creation, etc.). Thus, it is easier to change your career path at 40 than at 30 because you usually have some savings, sometimes a second regular income (rent) as well as a family and loved ones to support you. This financial security is therefore a very reassuring basis for throwing oneself body and soul into a career change.

Preconceived ideas to get out of your head

There are a lot of prejudices about changing careers at the age of 40, which are likely to slow you down. Here is a short list.

  • Retraining is for young people

Many people don't dare to change jobs because they think that given their somewhat advanced age , it is too late for such a change. However, there is actually no age limit for deciding to change jobs. Indeed, retraining concerns young people aged 25 as well as those aged 30, 40, 50 or even 60! You just need to have the right mindset : feel ready and be motivated. Once you understand this, you'll see that retraining is always possible, no matter your age!

Also tell yourself that it is achievable since other people have passed this milestone before you. Moreover, the majority of retraining generally takes place around the age of 40, after a first professional life.

So, understand that it's not your age itself that limits you, but rather the beliefs you have about your age!

  • The taboo of turning professional in midlife

If you're thinking about changing careers, you may have to deal with some reluctance from those around you. Indeed, the way society looks discourages many forty-year-olds from changing jobs. This is especially true if they are considering giving up a managerial status or a well-paid position.

However, don't think that with these remarks, your loved ones are trying to throw a spanner in the works. On the contrary, it is simply a matter of concern about you. Because yes, the unknown is scary! However, in order to make your career change a reality, you will have to be able to overcome the gaze of others and trust yourself.

In addition, recruiters may also question the fact that you have left the stability that your previous position offered you. However, if you show that you are passionate, that you know what you want and why you are reorienting yourself, you will have no trouble justifying your choices to them!

  • Changing careers necessarily means reducing your salary

It all depends on your current job and the new position you're applying for. If, for example, you're thinking of leaving an executive position to start your own clothing brand, your salary is likely to drop precipitously, at least initially. On the other hand, if you go from animal caretaker to veterinarian for example, your new salary could well swell compared to the old one.

The value of your current skills and those you will acquire during training also plays a big role in the remuneration you will receive for your new job.

Either way, it's important to evaluate the issue so you don't get into trouble !

  • You can only retrain once

There is a belief that it is only possible to change career paths once in a lifetime. After that, we would have burned our quota. Obviously, this idea is totally wrong! You have the right to take the wrong career path and retrain as many times as you want !

As the famous philosopher St. Augustine of Hippo once said, "To err is human, to persist in one's error is diabolical."

So, convinced?

As you can see, professional retraining at the age of 40 is not a failure but rather a new start based on a thoughtful and courageous choice. Once the decision has been made to leave your position, it is necessary to find your new path. To do this, discover our guide to make a successful career change !

You can also try your luck with the many companies with an environmental and societal impact on Meet My Job !

The whole Meet My Job team is here to wish you the best of luck in this new adventure! 🚀

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