In the 20th century, most people got a job with a company straight out of school and worked their way up the internal ladder until retirement. The world of work in the 21st century could not be more different. So, if you’re considering a career change at 30, you’re not alone.
And why not? We spend so much of our time working, why would we sit out decades in a career we have grown bored or even resentful of? So, if you’ve found yourself browsing jobs on ZipRecruiter more often than you get up enthusiastic to start the work day, it’s time for something to change.
Remember, you’re only 30. You likely have (at least) another 30 years of work ahead of you! You can’t afford not to make a career change if you’re unhappy where you are.
How to Make a Career Change at 30
1. Get on ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter can help you find a job you love. As the number 1 job search site in the United States, it’s helped millions of employees find rewarding careers and connected them with employers.
When you create a profile, ZipRecruiter will take a look at your skills and experience. It will also ask you to specify what type of work you’d like. Once you do this, the platform will start sending you recommended job listings. In addition, it will show you how well you meet the employer’s requirements. So, it’s uniquely equipped to help you make a career change at 30 and help you find a job you have a chance of getting!
2. List (or Rant About!) What You Don’t Like About Your Current Career
But, in order to weed out potential jobs, you need to know what you don’t want. Your first step should be to open a blank document or grab a piece of paper and a pen and list everything you dislike about your current career. Consider:
- Working hours
- Type of work
- Time off
- Whether or not you’re bored or engaged
- How stressful it is
- Whether you feel like you’re making a difference in the world
- The people you work with (colleagues and customers)
Once you know what you don’t want, you’ll be better equipped to find a job that offers what you do want.
3. Research What’s Out There
Whether you have a good idea of what you’d rather be doing or not, take a few hours to get on Google and on ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter has over 9 million active job listings at any time. So, it’s a good idea to click around and see what’s listed in localities and/or industries you like.
Googling “best jobs for ____ Reddit” is also a good way to find a list of jobs real people are doing, rather than the most obvious answers that you’ll usually find listed in the average blog post.
4. Find Out What Gaps You Have in Your Resume
Making a career change at 30 is hard because it often leads us to look at our work history and think of it as completely irrelevant. But good news: it’s not! All your work history will have given you skills you can apply to other occupations.
What you do need to find out is if there are any non-negotiable skills or qualifications you need. For example, you can’t become a realtor without a realtor’s license.
Avoid the temptation to think that you have to go back to school to get anywhere new. In most cases, you don’t. Further education is (unfortunately) an expensive endeavor, so search around for paid opportunities that are a few rungs down the ladder from where you are now.
Consider it this way: would you rather take a pay cut of $3,000-$10,000 a year or get into $30,000+ of debt? The answer won’t be the same for everyone, as it depends on where you’re coming from, where you want to get to, and how much time you’ve already spent in education. Just remember that we often seek extra education to feel qualified. But many employers would be willing to take on someone who is just enthusiastic about getting on the job and to start learning.
5. Rewrite Your Resume
Once you’ve got an idea (or some ideas) for an alternative career, rewrite your resume, even if you don’t plan to start applying yet. This will help you think of your skills (and yourself) in a new light. If you don’t know how to write a resume for a new industry, consider working with a resume writer who can do it for you. They usually charge less than $100 and can be extremely worth the money when it comes time to apply.
6. Bite the Bullet and Apply
Don’t make the mistake of delaying that first real step to making a career change. Too many of us allow years to go by as we sit in comfortable discomfort. The unknown is scary, but spending years in a job you at best find boring is worse.
Enjoy Your New Career!
Start your search on ZipRecruiter (click here to get started) and shortlist some jobs that sound interesting to you. When you find one you’d like to learn more about, apply! Whether or not this first job is really the one to help you make a career change or not, it’s a big sign to yourself that you’re committed to making a change. When you land your first interview, make sure you read our do’s and dont’s in a job interview so you don’t make any mistakes!