How to Change Careers at 30
Are you unhappy with your job? Are you just going through the motions and feel bored? Or were you passed up for a promotion again, and feel you are stuck in a position that will never allow you to advance? Perhaps you have taken on the work of other staff who were laid off or left and now feel stressed and overworked?
To continue in a position that doesn’t offer satisfaction or the appropriate compensation can lead to burnout, even ten years into your chosen career. If you have reached this point in your work life, consider a tech job that can make you happy to go to work again. NuPaths can help you make the change with programs focused on industry certifications.
The first step: Do I have the right skills for a tech career?
While there are a variety of jobs in the technical field, successful tech professionals often share the following characteristics:
- Communicate well—You need good written and verbal skills. You have to be able to provide clear, helpful explanations on highly technical topics to people with different skill levels. Since you also need to keep supervisors, coworkers, and clients informed, developing well-written emails and reports is equally important.
- Can multi-task—As a technology professional, you are often expected to juggle numerous projects. You may be in contact with a wide range of people to find solutions in a timely manner. It helps to be organized and able to keep track of each project, while you meet project deadlines.
- Can problem-solve—Are you the person who is willing to spend many happy hours solving a technology problem when everyone else has given up? It certainly helps if you are able to think logically and creatively so you can analyze technology issues and fix them—and have the perseverance not to tear your hair out in the process. If you enjoy approaching challenges like a puzzle and figuring out where all of the pieces fit, then a career in technology might be for you!
- Like to help others—You may not think of technical jobs as being in the “helping” fields, like teaching, health care professionals, or social work, but a big part of almost every technology job is to help others. It helps to like people when a grumpy co-worker calls you to complain about an ongoing technical issue or when you need to explain new technology to a group of reluctant employees who liked doing things the “old way.” If the satisfaction of meeting reluctance with a smile and a plan to turn the situation around appeals to you, then a career in technology might be a good fit.
- Enjoy technology problem solving—Are you the person everyone goes to when they can’t figure out their new iPhone or how to upload a tricky software package? Is finding technical solutions fun for you—no matter how long it takes you to figure out the problem? Most successful people in tech fields enjoy learning about technology and are excited about developing new technical strategies that improve people’s lives, both at work or at home.
If this sounds like you, you’re ready for the next step.
The second step: What kind of work environment makes me happy?
Begin by thinking about the kind of environment you would really enjoy in your next job. If you’ve worked more than a few years, you already know that getting the job isn’t enough. There are other important factors to consider:
- How much supervision can I tolerate? Some environments require weekly, daily, or even hourly reporting. Others expect you to be a self-starter and evaluate you only when the job is done—which do you prefer?
- Is stability my most important trait? You may have worked with a start-up with an uncertain client base where every paycheck is a pleasant surprise. If you now crave stability and a guaranteed paycheck, be careful what you wish for. For example, if everyone has been in the same job for years and a death is necessary for you to advance, your job may be stable, but opportunities for promotions are very limited.
- Do my values line up with the company’s core values? Is the company just interested in how many extra hours you work each week, the number of clients you bring in, or the sales you make? Or does the company value employees who take time to mentor other employees, who do volunteer work, or who take time to examine work procedures and offer more productive alternatives? Make sure you find that the company’s core values match yours.
- Do company benefits match my lifestyle? Most companies offer benefits that line up with their values. For example, they may offer great raises and promotions but expect you to be on call 24/7. They may offer great trips to exotic locales, but expect you to travel two-thirds of the time.
For example, Google is known to coddle their employees who become part of the Google “family.” In their Pittsburgh office, the company employs chefs to cook delicious lunches and dinners every weekday. Snack stations on each floor offer fresh fruit, drinks, and a variety of snacks. The company even has several playrooms with guitars, chess, and videogame consoles, while hammocks and cushy chairs spread around the office. Great environment unless you don’t really want to hang out with your fellow workers and just want to get the work done so you can get home to your family.
- What kind of people do I like to work with? If everyone in your environment is a sports fanatic but your weekends are spent at the local community theater, you may find forming both work and personal relationships with your coworkers a challenge.
Make sure the work environment and benefits offered match your lifestyle.
The third step: Changing your career in just 6 months with NuPaths.
You feel that a technical career may be the right choice for you. You know what kind of environment will make you happy. You are ready to make a change, but you don’t want to spend the time or expense of getting a new degree that will take years to complete.
NuPaths can help.
Make an appointment with our career support specialist who will help you explore seven potential technology career paths, from digital marketing assistant to technical support specialist. With each program, you’ll complete multiple courses that prepare you to earn industry-recognized IT certifications, take the certification exams, participate in a series of business skills workshops, and complete a related project, all within 6 months.
NuPaths will support you every step of the way. We offer scholarships and other financing options. You may wish to connect with a local workforce development agency to determine your eligibility for educational funding. Workforce development programs are available throughout the United States. Check out careeronestop, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, to find the program in your area.
If you live in Pennsylvania, you can find your local agency on the PA Workforce Development Association website. NuPaths will also connect you with employers for internships, apprenticeships, and full-time job opportunities. During the program, the business skills workshops will include sessions on job search, résumé writing, interviewing, and communication. You’ll learn about the importance of networking to make personal and business connections that can lead to your new career job.
You don’t have to stay in a stale job that no longer makes you happy. Whether you want to earn a higher salary, are looking for increased job security, want a different work environment, or just need a change of pace, one call can start your six-month journey to a high-demand tech career that’ll make you love Monday mornings again!