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Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, February 6 2023

5 Helpful Steps to Take When Starting a New Career at 40

It's never too late to start a new career. Whether you're 25 or 45, making the decision to transition into something different can be both exciting and intimidating. But at 40, there are unique advantages that come with experience and knowledge acquired over time that will help make your job search successful. 

If you’re considering starting a new career at 40, here are five key steps for navigating this important change: Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses; Researching New Career Options; Developing New Skills; Networking for Opportunities; Making the Transition. With these strategies in mind, you'll have all of the tools necessary to begin your journey towards discovering an entirely new path forward.

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Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses

When considering a career change, it is important to take the time to assess your current skillset, interests, and values. Think about what you have achieved in your current career and what you would like to do differently in a new one. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses so that you can focus on areas for improvement when considering a new career path.

Strengths are any abilities or qualities that make you stand out from other job seekers. Examples include technical skills such as coding or accounting, interpersonal skills such as communication or problem-solving, leadership experience, creativity, and more. Consider how these strengths could be applied in different roles within different industries or organisations.

Weaknesses are any areas where there is room for improvement—things that might hinder success if not addressed before making the transition into a new role or industry. Examples include lack of knowledge about certain topics related to the desired position; gaps in education; limited experience with specific tools; poor communication skills; difficulty working with others; etc. It’s important to identify these weaknesses early on so they can be addressed prior to starting the job search process again.

In addition to assessing your own strengths and weaknesses objectively, consider asking those closest to you for their honest feedback—friends, family members who know you well professionally (or even past colleagues). This will help provide an outside perspective which may reveal things about yourself that were previously unknown.

By taking the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, you can gain a better understanding of what career path is best suited for you. This knowledge will help guide your research into new career options that are most likely to be successful.

Are you considering a career change at 40? Take the time to assess your strengths & weaknesses and ask for honest feedback from those closest to you. #CareerChangeAt40 #JobSearchTips Click to Tweet

Researching New Career Options

Researching new career options can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right resources and strategies, you can explore different job roles and industries that align with your interests, values, and skillset.

Online Resources:

Start by researching potential opportunities online. Job boards like Indeed or Monster are great places to look for open positions in various fields. Industry websites such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn offer valuable insight into what types of jobs are available in certain sectors and what qualifications they require. Professional networks like GitHub or Behance showcase portfolios from professionals working in creative fields so you can get an idea of the type of work they do on a daily basis.

Attending networking events is another great way to gain insight into different career paths. These events provide an opportunity to meet industry experts who can share their knowledge about specific job roles and answer any questions you may have. 

Informational interviews are a great way to ask someone currently employed in a field that interests you questions about their experience working there so far, what challenges they faced when transitioning into the role, etc., which will help give you a better understanding of how well-suited it would be for your own career goals.

Informational interviews are one-on-one conversations with people already employed in the field that interests you most. These meetings allow both parties to learn more about each other's experiences within the industry, while providing valuable insights into potential job opportunities available within it as well as advice on how best to transition into those roles successfully if desired.

Researching new career options can help you identify potential paths and opportunities that may be the perfect fit for your unique skillset. Now, let's look at how to develop the necessary skills to pursue those options.

Key Takeaway: Researching new career options can be daunting, but there are resources and strategies to help. Uncover potential opportunities online (e.g. job boards, industry websites) and attend networking events or informational interviews for further insight into different roles available in the field of interest.

Developing New Skills

Developing new skills is essential when transitioning into a new career field. It can help you stand out from the competition and give you an edge in the job market. There are many ways to develop your skills, including taking courses or workshops, participating in online webinars or podcasts, and attending conferences or seminars.

Taking Courses & Workshops:

Consider enrolling in classes that will help you gain knowledge about the industry you’re interested in pursuing. You may be able to find free classes offered by local libraries or community centres that provide basic information on topics such as resume writing, interviewing techniques, and networking strategies. Alternatively, there are also more comprehensive courses available at universities and colleges that cover specific topics related to your desired career path.

Online Webinars & Podcasts:

Utilize free online resources such as webinars and podcasts to learn more about the industry you’re interested in pursuing without having to leave home. These types of resources often provide detailed information on various aspects of a particular field which can be extremely helpful for those who want to stay up-to-date with trends within their chosen profession. 

They offer great opportunities for networking with professionals already working within the industry which could potentially lead to future job opportunities down the line.

Developing new skills is essential to any successful career change. With the right knowledge and connections, networking for opportunities can open up a world of possibilities for your next job.

Key Takeaway: When transitioning into a new career at 40, it is important to develop your skills by taking courses and workshops, participating in online webinars or podcasts, and attending conferences or seminars. This will help you stand out from the competition and give you an edge in the job market.

Networking for Opportunities

Networking is a key part of any successful job search, and it can be especially important when making a career change. By connecting with professionals in the industry you’re interested in, you can gain valuable insight into how to break into the field and potentially find job leads. Here are some tips for networking effectively:

Attend Networking Events:

Attending events such as conferences or seminars related to your desired industry can be an excellent way to meet potential contacts who may have advice or resources that could help you land a job. These events often provide great opportunities for learning more about the industry and getting connected with people who work in it.

Join Professional Organisations:

Joining professional organisations related to your desired field is another great way to network. You’ll get access to members-only resources, including newsletters, online forums, webinars, and other materials that will give you up-to-date information on trends within the industry as well as potential job openings. Plus, many of these organisations offer mentorship programs where experienced professionals mentor new members looking for guidance on their career paths.

Reach Out To People In Your Field:

Don't forget about reaching out directly to people working in your chosen field. Connecting with them through social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter is one option; alternatively, if they're local enough that meeting face-to-face would be feasible (or even just over video chat), take advantage of this opportunity too. Ask questions about their experience in the field—you never know what kind of helpful advice they might have for you.

Networking is an invaluable tool for job seekers, and can be a great way to find out about potential opportunities. Now that you know the basics of networking, let's look at how to make the transition into your new career.

Key Takeaway: Networking is an important part of a successful job search, especially when making a career change. Take advantage of networking events, join professional organisations and reach out to people in your field for advice and resources.

Making the Transition

Once you have identified an opportunity that aligns with your goals, it’s time to create a plan for transitioning into the role. This can involve researching salary expectations, updating your resume and cover letter, preparing for interviews and more.

Research Salary Expectations:

It is important to understand what salaries are typical in the industry or position you are interested in. Research online resources such as Glassdoor or PayScale to get an idea of what employers typically offer for this type of job. You may also want to consider talking with professionals already working in the field who can provide insights on their own experiences.

Update Your Resume & Cover Letter:

Once you know what employers expect from applicants, tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly. Make sure they accurately reflect both your skillset and experience so that potential employers will be able to quickly identify why you would be a great fit for their team.

Prepare For Interviews:

Take some time before each interview to research the company culture and any current projects they may be working on so that you can come prepared with questions about how you could contribute if hired. Also practice common interview questions ahead of time so that when it comes time for the actual meeting, there won’t be any surprises.

Be Patient During The Process:

While transitioning into a new career may seem daunting at first, don't give up. It may take some time before landing a position in your desired field but keep networking and applying until something sticks - eventually all of your hard work will pay off.

Key Takeaway: When transitioning to a new career at 40, it's important to research salary expectations, update your resume and cover letter, prepare for interviews and be patient during the process.


Making the transition to a new career at 40 can be intimidating, but with the right preparation and guidance it is possible. By taking the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, researching potential new career options, developing new skills, and networking for opportunities you can make a successful transition into a fulfilling career that meets your needs. With dedication and hard work you will find yourself in an exciting new role that provides satisfaction both professionally and personally.

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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