Making a Career Change at 35 (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 1, 2022 | Published November 16, 2021

Updated September 1, 2022

Published November 16, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: How to Change Industries or Careers With No Experience

In this video, Jenn, a certified career coach, shares advice for making a career change including the best way to address it on a job application.

Changing careers can be a rewarding experience. 35 can be an ideal age to switch careers because you typically have some job experience but also still have time to obtain more qualifications if necessary. If you're thinking about switching roles, it can help to know how to begin your new career search. In this article, we discuss industries that you can consider for a new career and offer some tips for how to make a career change at 35.

Why start a new career at 35?

These are a few reasons why you may want to consider starting a new career at 35:

  • You're passionate about a new career. If there's a specific career or industry that you're interested in, you may want to switch to a job that makes you excited.

  • You want a challenge. A new career can provide you with more opportunities to gain new skills and try something you've never done before. It can also provide you with new experiences for learning and growth.

  • Your priorities changed. If you find that your priorities are different from when you first started your current career path, you may want to consider changing careers.

  • You want to make a difference. Changing careers can allow you to find a job that helps others or makes a positive difference in the world.

  • You desire more flexibility. If you want to have more freedom to decide when or where you work, a new career may give you the ability to set your own hours, work remotely or schedule free time more easily.

Related: 10 Ways To Retrain for a New Career

Industries to consider when changing careers

Some industries that have many good job opportunities for someone changing their career include:

Mental health

The mental health industry has many meaningful jobs that often have flexible hours and a high amount of job freedom. Mental health professionals usually work many years past the average retirement age, so you can start training at 35 and still have a long career. Here are some potential mental health careers:

  • Therapist

  • School counselor

  • Life coach

  • Social worker

Business

Business careers are often ideal for people who are good with math and enjoy working with people. Many professionals in the business industry started in different job fields. Most financial jobs only require a bachelor's degree and accept a wide range of majors. Here are some examples of business jobs that may make a good career change:

  • Financial analyst

  • Real estate agent

  • Actuary

  • Financial planner

  • Audit clerk

Beauty and wellness

Beauty and wellness industries offer active jobs that don't usually require much additional education. You can perform most beauty and wellness professions with an associate degree or certificate program. If you are interested in health or fitness, your hobbies may count toward job experience. Potential beauty and wellness careers include:

  • Personal trainer

  • Fitness instructor

  • Massage therapist

  • Hairstylist

  • Makeup artist

Health

Many people change careers because they want a job that has a positive effect on others. The health industry offers multiple positions where you can assist people with their well-being and many only require professional certification. These are some potential health careers:

  • Dental assistant

  • Veterinary technician

  • Patient advocate

  • Nurse

  • Medical insurance billing specialist

Technology

Technology is a growing field, and there are often technology jobs available in many different fields. If you have experience with coding languages or computer science, you may qualify for some technology careers without any additional education. These are a few potential jobs in the technology industry:

  • Programmer

  • QA tester

  • Cybersecurity specialist

  • UX designer

  • Graphic artist

Related: 10 Ideas for a Career Change

Tips for changing careers

Here are some suggestions to help you change careers:

Take a self-assessment

Ask yourself questions about what you want to accomplish in your career and what you're interested in to determine what kind of career path you might pursue. Consider taking a career quiz online or making a list of your skills and things you're passionate about. Try to decide if you're looking for a job that you can perform right away or if you may need additional qualifications, such as a license or educational degree.

Research

Try to research jobs that you may be interested in to discover primary duties and educational requirements. Before changing careers, it can be helpful to know what your daily responsibilities might be. Researching potential careers can give you insight into which jobs are right for you and how to enter into a new industry.

Consider going back to school

Obtaining a new educational degree or certificate can improve your chances of successfully changing careers. New careers may require specific education such as a master's degree, a major in a different field or professional certification. There are several options for professionals who want to continue their education, such as short-term certification programs or online classes with flexible hours.

Related: Top Reasons To Go Back to College

Find a mentor

A mentor is a person in your desired career who helps you develop your job skills and apply for jobs. Mentors can offer advice, help you with your resume and introduce you to other people in their field. You may be able to find a mentor through your personal networks, in a different department at your job or by contacting businesses directly.

Consider an adult internship

Adult internships are short-term job experiences for working professionals. They are similar to traditional internships but do not require you to be a college student to apply. Adult internships can help you explore potential career options and gain experience in a new field.

Think about your transferrable skills

Some of your previous job experience may apply to your new career. If you don't know what kind of job to pursue, consider looking into fields that require similar qualifications that you already have, such as writing or technical ability. Some skills, like time management or organization, are applicable to most jobs and are often beneficial to put on your resume.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a good way to gain experience, expand your network and discover careers that may be right for you. Try to find volunteer experiences in your potential new career by checking volunteer boards or asking organizations directly. You may be able to volunteer while working at your current job, allowing you to gain experience while working.

Related: How To Find a Volunteer Opportunity

Consider a lateral career change

Sometimes you can change careers without leaving your field completely. For example, if you work as a programmer for a software company, a technical writing position or a marketer that specializes in technology may be interesting careers for you. Think about some jobs in your industry that you can apply your previous knowledge to but are still different from your current career.

Related: Job Search Tips for Mature Workers

In this video, Virginia, a hiring specialist at Indeed, will guide you through landing a job as a mature worker. Throughout this video, Virginia will discuss the challenges while job searching at an older age and offer tips on overcoming these obstacles.


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