By the time you’re in your 30s, you would’ve already acquired close to or even more than a decade of work experience. You might have proven yourself to be an incredibly competent employee.
Jumping into unknown territory simply isn’t an option. Or is it?
If there’s one thing our alma maters’ career offices underprepared you for is the possibility of regretting your career decision. Changing careers when you are this far in can definitely seem challenging. But it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, we will be sharing more about how you can make a career change in Singapore. Even at 30.
Why do people want to make a midlife career change?
1) They’re underpaid at their job
A study by the Econometics Lab at the University of California at Berkley revealed that only 20% of Americans surveyed were paid the median salary.
Back on our shores, the numbers don’t look great either.
In 2014, 61% of Singaporeans surveyed by jobsDB said they were underpaid and overworked. This number has risen to 64%, according to the 2021 HR Workmonitor survey conducted by Randstad. Employees are feeling insufficiently rewarded and under-compensated, and it’s no surprise that more people want a career switch to seek better opportunities.
2) They were overlooked for a promotion
Having accumulated this number of years of experience and not being considered for a managerial role is a huge slap to the face. This can cause a significant amount of unhappiness and affect your mental and emotional well-being.
It should come to no one’s surprise then that employees will consider changing careers when they feel that their hard work has not been appreciated.
3) You simply lost interest in what you do
Too much of something is never a good thing. And the same can be applied to our work.
At this age, you would probably have already accumulated many years of experience. And sometimes, a big part of this went to working late nights and even on weekends. Many of us started strong but ended up getting too burnt out by the work.
Couple that with the monotony of doing a few variants of the same task over and over again, and you get a recipe for an exhausted individual devoid of passion for their work
7 steps you should take if you want to change careers at 30
1) Think carefully about what you want
Switching careers is a huge decision to make. Just because you are jaded doesn’t mean that you genuinely want to quit.
While it applies to some people, not everyone genuinely loses all interest in their work after experiencing burnout. Sometimes, all you need is time away from what you do.
Go travel. Journal. Speak to friends and family.
Take time off for yourself to rest, reflect and recharge. It’s not uncommon for people to find joy in what they do again after taking a break. We all just need a moment to ourselves sometimes.
If you’ve done this and still feel like your heart is not in the right place, then here are some other things you can do.
2) Start listing down transferable skills
When you’ve finally decided to leave an industry, it can be tough to push for a similar salary that you were so used to receiving. After all, it is only fair for the hiring company to pay according to experience.
But not all hope is lost.
While certain skills are things that you probably will need to learn as you apply for jobs across industries, others skills are transferable. Think leadership, account management, presentation, and general data analysis.
List these down and clearly state the results you’ve achieved with your soft skills. You’ll be surprised at how valued they are.
3) Take reskilling courses
YouTube and Google are great resources for you to learn new skills and identify talking points to use during interviews. But you’ll still need something more concrete to show your potential employers. Something that will help them develop faith in your ability to perform in a whole new role.
This is where reskilling courses come into play. Whereas upskilling involves learning new competencies to help you perform better in your existing role, reskilling involves developing expertise in a whole new domain.
Look up some of the in-demand technical skills you should learn to stay relevant as a start. If you’re interested in joining the tech industry, then look for relevant reskilling courses and sign up. Accredited course certifications can help give your potential employer more confidence in your ability to perform.
4) Take up side hustles
Taking up side hustles to do the work you’re interested in is a good way to practice what you’ve learnt.
Freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are great channels for you to find freelance work. Here, your focus should be on finding work instead of making money. You’ll need all the practice you can get. The lessons learnt from your freelance work can also be used for talking points during your interviews.
Employers would be pleased to know that they’re speaking with someone who is so proactive in their professional development.
5) Update your resume
Whatever you’ve come up with should be explicitly stated in your updated resume.
Also, just because you are changing careers, it doesn’t mean that your hard skills and knowledge have become irrelevant. If you are switching roles and companies but within the same industry, then whatever you’ve learned is still going to be super relevant to your new employer.
When writing your resume, be sure to be super explicit about the results you’ve achieved. This is needed to showcase your competencies to your potential employers.
6) Update your LinkedIn profile
Many people seem to forget about their online presence once they’ve updated their resumes.
Your LinkedIn profile is an online resume for you to showcase your work experience. When writing your profile, follow the same rules and focus on the results you’ve achieved.
Another thing people seem to forget is that LinkedIn is a search engine in and of itself. Recruiters can use LinkedIn’s hiring tool to automatically search for profiles based on keywords they’re looking for.
Say I’m hiring an SEO Specialist. Which of the following job titles on someone’s LinkedIn profile will catch the algorithm’s attention:
- Marketing Executive
- Marketing Executive (SEO & Content)
If you’re not too sure how you can optimise your profile, you can always hire a LinkedIn profile writer to help out with that.
7) Network with people in the industry you want to join
The power of networking is undeniable.
85% of those surveyed by Hubspot said they found their jobs through networking. That said, you should always network with a purpose. Always set clear goals you wish to achieve through your networking sessions. The insights you gain from these sessions can help you lay out the next steps in your job hunt.
To find networking opportunities, you can look to social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook Events. The simpler alternative is to reach out to your friends and connections to ask if they know anyone in the field you wish to work in and set up a coffee chat for you.
Take that leap of faith and make that career switch in your 30s
All these tips would be for nothing if you do not find the courage to take that first step.
Yes, making that career switch in your 30s is daunting, especially in a country like Singapore where the cost of living is so high.
But as we’ve said, your years of experience are not a sunk cost. You don’t have to stay at a job devoid of passion and joy. Just remember that you are a highly skilled professional. So just follow the steps and have faith.
About Vertical Institute
Vertical Institute prepares individuals for the jobs of tomorrow. We specialise in teaching in-demand skills, building the next generation of changemakers and inventors through our world-class tech courses and certifications.
Singaporeans and PRs can receive up to 90% IBF Subsidy off their course fees with Vertical Institute. The remaining fees can be claimable with SkillsFuture Credits or NTUC UTAP.