Advice on Changing Careers at 30 –
It is Totally Achievable

Thinking about changing careers at 30 but nervous about taking a risk?  Or maybe you think it’s too late to consider changing careers at 30 because you have too many financial commitments.  I’m here to tell you it’s never too late!  Life is too short to be stuck in a job or a career that is unsatisfying.

There are five main reasons why you might consider a career change:

  1. Hate your job/work environment.
  2. Want to start your own business.
  3. Boredom/unsatisfying work.
  4. Want to make more money.
  5. Want to do something that you’re passionate about and meaningful.

I left my corporate job for four out of five of the reasons above.  Unlike what you might read on the internet, I didn’t win the lottery nor did I develop some crazy website that generates thousands of dollars a month (sigh…maybe one day!).  How could I?  I could barely find the time to sleep let alone work on my passion.  What I did was take a few calculated steps.


Do You Really Hate Your Job?

Ask yourself that before considering changing careers at 30.  If you have only worked at one place in your industry in your 20s try working at another company.  If it’s available look for a promotion because you could just be bored at the level you’re at.  Don’t judge your career solely by one job.  In my case I worked at three different great firms and I was itching to make another move when it hit me – maybe I don’t actually enjoy my job?

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Smart Moves for Changing Careers at 30

If you’re worried about paying the bills (most of us don’t have a lot of capital saved up in our 20s) quitting your job and taking a leap of faith isn’t an option.  It’s a good idea to test drive your new career or business idea while you’re still earning an income.

You can start taking courses in person or online during the evening and weekend.  Squeeze in study time reading while you commute (obviously only if you take public transportation, not drive) or over your lunch hour to study.  Your workplace might even have a continuing education perks to help fund your personal interests.  Inquire with your HR (human resource) department.

Are you able to test drive your new career/business idea while still working at your current job?  It is more common these days for entrepreneurs to start their business while still working at their day job.  They are often motivated by the discontent of their current situation. 

If you aren’t looking to start your own business but rather looking to work for a new job, are you able to work at your new job on the side?  After completing my yoga teaching certification is was dying to teach but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it full-time.  Yet somehow I managed to squeeze in the extra time to teach late in the evenings and on weekends, while still earning a steady income from my corporate job.


I Want to Change Careers but I Have No Time

This one is pretty common especially if you work at a high stress corporate job.  I came to the point in my career where money no longer mattered – I started to value my time over anything else (something I did not seem to have a lot of lately).  I knew changing careers at 30 was the best option for me.

I was lucky enough to test drive alternative career options during the slow season but as things picked up at work I knew that would be no longer an option.  I ended up leaving my job and taking a bridge job.  A bridge job is not a career job but it’s a job that will allow you take earn enough money to pay bills while you’re able to focus on your career change.

Note:  If you ‘Google’ bridge job the results seem to refer to someone who’s retiring but the principles are the same.

I even took it a step further by decreasing my expenses.  I rented out my condo in the Toronto area (very expensive area to live with high rent) and moved to Montreal where the cost of living is less.  I also cut back my expenses by eliminating my shopping online habit (way too convenient it’s dangerous).

It’s not necessarily an option for everyone but the most determine people always find away to put their dreams into actions.

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Some Other Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Do you live with your partner or have a roommate?  If so, does your partner’s income cover most of the living expenses and are they willing to provide the financial support? 

How about kids or fur children if you have any?  Do you have an emergency fund available in case?

Are you able to replace your current income with your new income?  If not, are you ok with that?

Looking for More Resources?

Check out career books at your local library or check out the several hundreds of blogs out there of people who have done it before you.  There are lots of inspirational stories out there.

Although I haven’t used them personally, I came across a company called Challenge Factory based out of Toronto, Canada.  It offers unique career coaching and mentorship for people of all ages.  There website is full of free articles too.

Click here for more advice about changing careers at 30.