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Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, February 6 2023

How to Change Career at 40 Safely: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Are you considering a career change at 40? It can be daunting to make such an important decision, but with the right preparation and guidance it is possible. Whether you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current job or just want something new, there are many paths available for those looking to change their careers after 40.

The key steps involve assessing your current situation, researching potential options that suit your skillset and interests, updating your CV accordingly so employers know what makes you stand out from other candidates and networking & connecting with professionals who have already made similar transitions themselves. Finally – don’t forget to take action on these changes. Change takes time and effort; however if approached correctly it could lead to a much more fulfilling working life than before.

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Assess Your Current Situation

It’s important to take stock of your current situation before making any big career changes. Having 20 years of working experience makes you an attractive hire, as you bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that younger candidates may not have. Take some time to reflect on the skills and experiences you have gained over the years, such as problem-solving abilities, communication skills, leadership qualities or technical expertise. Think about how these could be applied in different roles or industries.

You should also consider what kind of job would make you happy. What do you enjoy doing? Are there certain tasks that energise or motivate you? It’s important to think about what kind of environment and culture would suit your needs best – is it a corporate setting with lots of structure and rules or something more relaxed where creativity is encouraged?

Think about why now might be the right time for a change in direction - perhaps there are new opportunities available in other industries due to technological advances, or maybe personal circumstances mean this is the ideal moment for a fresh start. Consider how much money and resources are available for training courses if needed; will retraining help open up new possibilities?

Finally, don't forget to assess your own strengths when considering potential career paths - whether it's resilience during tough times, adaptability when faced with changing situations or simply having an eye for detail - these attributes can all help shape future decisions regarding work options. Taking the time to consider and evaluate your skillset is essential in order to make informed choices about which job opportunities are right for you.

Once you have evaluated your current situation, it's time to start researching potential career paths and discovering the best options for your future.

It's never too late to make a career change. Take the time to reflect on your skills and experiences, think about what kind of job would make you happy, and assess your own strengths. #CareerChangeAt40 #JobSeekers Click to Tweet

Research Your Options

Researching your options is an important step in making a successful career change. It's essential to understand the qualifications and experience required for different roles, as well as how they may affect your lifestyle and finances.

Start by exploring industries that interest you. Research what roles are available within each industry, including job descriptions, salary ranges, and educational requirements. Consider which ones align with your skillset or passions. Make sure to look into potential employers in those industries too - this will help you narrow down the best opportunities for you.

Take some time to think about how a career change would impact your lifestyle and finances – both short-term and long-term – so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to apply for jobs or pursue further education or training. Are there any additional costs associated with transitioning into a new role? What kind of hours will be expected of you? Will relocating be necessary? Answering these questions now can save you from unpleasant surprises later on.

Don't forget to consider non-traditional paths such as freelancing or starting a business if those appeal more than traditional employment options. You'll need to research the legalities involved in setting up either one of these types of work arrangements before taking action though, so make sure that’s part of your plan too.

Finally, remember that researching all aspects of potential careers takes time - but it is worth the effort in order to ensure success down the road.

Researching your options is the key to finding a career that suits you best. Once you have done this, it's time to make sure your CV reflects the changes and puts your best foot forward.

Make sure you research potential career changes thoroughly before taking the plunge. Understand qualifications, experience & lifestyle impacts to ensure success. #careerchange #40andover Click to Tweet

Update Your CV

Updating your CV is an important step in the career change process. It’s essential to make sure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light and highlighting any transferable skills or qualifications that could be beneficial for your new role.

Start by ensuring all of your information is up-to-date, including contact details, job titles, and dates of employment. Make sure to include any relevant certifications or qualifications that may have been acquired since you last updated your CV. If there are gaps in employment history, it can be helpful to explain why they occurred – this will show employers that you are honest about any issues which may have arisen during previous roles.

Next, review the content on each page carefully and ensure everything is accurate and free from typos or grammatical errors. Take some time to think about how best to showcase your experience; focus on what makes you unique as a candidate and highlight any achievements which demonstrate success within past roles. Be concise but detailed when describing responsibilities; use action words such as ‘developed’ or ‘implemented’ where appropriate instead of simply listing tasks completed during each position held previously.

Finally, consider how transferable skills from previous positions could benefit a potential employer in their industry sector - these should also be included on the CV if applicable. This could range from communication abilities gained through customer service roles to problem solving skills developed while working with technology projects – whatever it may be, make sure it stands out.

Once complete, ask someone else (ideally someone experienced in recruitment) for feedback before submitting applications for jobs. This will help ensure nothing has been missed off the document which might otherwise hold back successful progress towards securing an interview opportunity.

Once you have updated your CV to reflect the skills and experience relevant for the career change, it's time to start connecting with people in the industry who can help you on your journey.

Key Takeaway: Updating your CV is essential when making a career change at 40. Ensure all information is up-to-date, highlight transferable skills and qualifications, use action words to describe responsibilities, and showcase unique achievements. Ask for feedback before submitting applications.

Network & Connect

Networking is a key component of any successful career change. It’s important to tap into your existing network and make new connections that can help you in your job search. Your experience means you will have a much bigger network of people you have worked with before than someone younger, so use it. Reach out to former colleagues, mentors, or even competitors who may be able to provide advice on the industry or open doors for potential opportunities.

You should also look into joining professional organisations related to the field you are looking at transitioning into. This will give you access to like-minded professionals and allow you to build relationships with those who could potentially help in your job search process. Additionally, attending conferences and seminars related to the industry can be beneficial as well; these events offer great networking opportunities where recruiters and hiring managers often attend.

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are invaluable tools when it comes to connecting with people in different industries or roles that interest you. Not only does this platform allow users from all over the world to connect, but it also provides an opportunity for employers and recruiters alike to get an understanding of what kind of skillset one has acquired throughout their career journey thus far, making it easier for them to find suitable candidates for available positions they might have listed online.

Networking and connecting with others in the industry can be a great way to learn more about potential career opportunities. Now, it's time to take action and be patient as you move forward with your career change.

Key Takeaway: Networking is essential when changing careers at 40, so tap into your existing network and join professional organisations related to the field you are looking at transitioning into. Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn for further connection opportunities with potential employers.

Take Action & Be Patient

Once you’ve done all the necessary research and preparation, it’s time to take action. Start by applying for jobs that match your interests and skills. You can also reach out to recruiters or people in your network who may be able to help you find a job. Don't forget about attending interviews as well - this is an important step in finding the right opportunity for you.

However, don't get discouraged if it takes some time before you land a job. The job market can be competitive and there are many factors that go into finding the perfect fit for both employer and employee. Keep applying, keep networking, but most importantly stay patient throughout the process. It's easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a new career path but try not to let frustration get in the way of achieving your goals.

Take advantage of resources such as online courses or professional development programs that will help sharpen your skillset while looking for work. This could give you an edge over other applicants with similar qualifications and experience levels which could lead to more opportunities down the line. Additionally, look into volunteer positions or internships related to what you want do professionally – these experiences can open up doors otherwise closed off due to lack of experience on paper alone.

Finally, make sure you're taking care of yourself during this transition period too. A healthy mind leads to better decision making so don't forget about self-care activities like exercise or meditation; they'll help keep stress levels low while navigating through uncertain times ahead in search of a fulfilling career change.

Key Takeaway: Take action to find a job that matches your interests and skills, stay patient and take advantage of resources like online courses or professional development programs. Don't forget about self-care activities such as exercise or meditation which can help keep stress levels low during this transition period.


Making a career change at 40 can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With the right preparation and research, you can make the transition successfully. Start by assessing your current situation, researching your options, updating your CV, networking and connecting with others in the industry you're interested in transitioning into and taking action. 

Be patient as this process may take some time before you land that dream job or find yourself on a new path. Change career at 40 is possible if you stay focused and dedicated to achieving your goals.

Uncover how to change your career today with our quick assessment quiz even if you don't know where to start - TRY PATHFINDER NOW

Written by

Naomi Rothwell-Boyd


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