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How to Change Careers at 30

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Around 30, many of us are still in the first decade of our working lives, either free from or just starting to take on life’s responsibilities. By now, you’ve probably gone through a few jobs and gotten a better idea of who you are as a worker and what you’re looking for in a career.

If you’re unhappy at work, read this article first. If you’ve decided to go, here is some advice to get you started:

Value Your Values

“Doing what you love” doesn’t have to entail fine arts degrees and parental handouts. Sometimes it’s as simple as leaving a job you hate and enjoying aspects of a job that at least suits you. Rather than applying for the first opening you see online, consider what your values are and whether prospective employers share those values. Will you get a chance to learn something at your new job? Expanding your skillset is always worthwhile, even if the pay or job title is unspectacular. In a similar vein, if you’re no longer learning anything at your current post (through no lack of effort on your part), it’s time to move on.

Adapt to This Age

Your parents have always given you good advice, but some no longer apply in the 21st century. Whether you’re a Millennial (born in 1981 or onwards) or just on the tail end of Generation X (1960s to 1980), you belong to a working world that is increasingly shaped by the Millennials or Generation Y. For example, be open to telecommuting – flexibility doesn’t make a job less of a “real” job. The percentage of the population with higher education is also on the rise. If you haven’t completed college, or never got around to it after high school, take this chance to improve yourself and increase your leverage in the career world. Don’t let outdated notions about age keep you from post-secondary education. (In fact, only think about your age when you update your interview and office wardrobe.)

Take Your Time

Once you leave your 20’s, you may feel the pressure to move out, get married, have children, be done with school once and for all, and/or settle down at a job, if you haven’t already. These are the five traditional “transition to adulthood” markers. According to the NY Times, an (uncited) Canadian study shows that the average 30-year-old in 2001 has completed only as many milestones as the average 25-year-old in his/her parents’ time. Thirty is the new 25! Regardless of age, don’t rush into anything, but don’t be so caught up with “making the next one count” that you never find that next job.

Whether you stay with one company or hold 30 different titles over the next 30 years, you’re not just adding experiences, skills, and achievements to your resume: All those jobs contribute to your growth as a worker and an adult. Don’t forget to leave each job on a positive note, and learn to appreciate each new opportunity that comes your way.

Pick the Right Career

When you finally decide that now is the time to go back to school, make sure you pick a career that you will not only enjoy, but also has good prospects for employment after graduation. Sprott Shaw College has 130+ programs designed to get you working including; Practical Nursing, Early Childhood Education, Legal Assistant, Accounting and Payroll Administrator and Advanced Business Management.

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