Career Change in early 30s

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 - career change, career coaching, career management, career planning

Career Change

Secretary of Change: Inchoate Fear Resolution
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wonderlane

Ben asks: I am 32 and I started a career in recruitment about 10 years ago, the past 3 years I have moved in to inhouse recruitment and have about 3 years experience within HR. Due to the economic downturn my role has been made part-time which has given me the opportunity to retrain in a different direction. I am however in the classic trap where I am on a decent salary and if I move in to a different field I am aware that a may have to take a huge drop. I am looking for inspiration of what I could re-train in or a direction I could move in to but feel that I am just going round in circles. I am trying to figure out a different direction perhaps combining my existing experience

In answer:
The key issues when changing careers, are (a) motivation (the why), and (b) the explanation (the commitment). Both answer the third question for the employer, which is: risk.

It would seem from the way you have written your question – and asking such questions in forums is good, as you can make what others may see as mistakes – is that the change was brought about by the fact you went part time, over a long term career ambition. You also don’t state what you want to do, just that you want to do something else.

Career change is wholly possible – particularly before the age of 45 – if you bare in mind the question of what you really want to do, and ideally test that area and then show some commitment to it; and then know how you explain the change to future employers.

Your situation sounds ideal for a career advisory service or a career coach, but you can sit down with three pieces of paper and do this yourself with the help of some friends:

  • Sheet1:Vision – write down where you want to be in 10years: personal life, finances, family, etc – oh, and the last thing to write on that sheet are professional life/work!
  • Sheet2: Now – write down what you like/dislike about your current situation/life: use a SWOT analysis
  • Sheet3: Plan – write down how you get from sheet2 to sheet1 – the plan, with some thoughts on why

Now go and chat to three friends – at least one a women, they are more perceptive and direct – and take into account their input. Then modify the three sheets of paper, and chat to them again – your friends will give you the most honest feedback.

I want to give you a thought here: if your true calling in life paid less but made you happy, would you do it? Anyone can be a millionaire these days at whatever they do: the classic slogan I always quote is the one from a Welsh drain cleaning machine, which had written on the side “We are No.1 at No.2’s!” Run by a millionaire, he was the happiest and cleanest bloke you ever met – not surprising really, as he loved his work.

If you do what you enjoy and are best at, the money will always come; if you do what you do because of the money, the money will always be eventually be flowing away, and you will be unhappy.

Good Luck!

If you need an interview winning solution, sign-up for our Professional CV service

Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “Career Change in early 30s”

  1. James Says:

    I loved reading it. I require to read more on this issue…I am admiring the time and effort you put in your blog, because it is plainly one great place where I can find lot of useful info..

Recent Posts



Review on