A career change at 45 is challenging, but certainly not impossible. At this age, most people have financial obligations, and changing jobs means you’ll have to spend time and money to learn new skills. However, if you’re in this situation, this guide to finding a job after 45 can help. Job seekers can leave their current roles and find high-quality potential employers.
If you feel stuck in your current job, changing careers can give you a fresh start. A change of career at 45 can be transformative, gratifying, and lucrative. The majority of midlife career changers are delighted with their new jobs. Below, you will find a step-by-step guide to help you change jobs with ideas for new careers at 45, including options for a tech career change.
Is 45 Too Old to Start a New Career?
No, 45 is not too old to start a new career. The common reasons people want new careers at this age are flexibility, financial incentives, employee perks, a better life-work balance, and fulfillment in the workplace. A 2021 survey from CNBC and gender equity firm Catalyst shows that 50 percent of workers in the US want to change careers.
Starting over at 45 doesn’t have to be intimidating, especially if you have good soft skills like leadership skills and organizational skills. When you start a new career at 45, you probably won’t need to start as an entry-level worker because you already have plenty of work experience.
Signs You Need a Career Change at 45
Changing careers at 45 may feel risky and stressful, but it can also be exciting and rewarding. You might be limiting yourself unnecessarily if you think 45 is too old to start a new career. Below are some of the most common signs that you need to change your current career.
- You avoid talking about your job. If you never want to talk about work or find yourself complaining when you do, you might be in the wrong position or even in the wrong industry.
- You have job burnout. This feeling of physical or emotional tiredness comes with a sense of diminished accomplishment and a feeling that you’re losing your identity.
- Your work tasks and responsibilities just aren’t for you. You might be good at your job, but if you don’t like it, it won’t bring you any fulfillment.
- You are not satisfied with the outcomes or your work. Maybe you chose your current job to please others or took a promotion that came your way, and now you feel stuck and confused.
- Your dream job is realistic. If your professional objective is not only feasible but also sensible based on your interests, skills, and willingness to work, you should go for it.
Best Ideas for New Careers at 45
|Career||Job Outlook||Average Salary||Requirements|
|Sales Manager||5%||$127,490||Bachelor’s degree, previous sales experience|
|Personal Financial Advisor||15%||$94,170||Bachelor’s degree, certification|
|Web Developer||30%||$78,300||Coding bootcamp certificate or degree in computer science, strong portfolio|
|Writer||4%||$69,510||Bachelor’s degree, preferably in English, communications, history, or journalism|
|Real Estate Agent||5%||$48,340||A number of hours of real estate or college courses, licensure exam|
A sales manager’s job duties are to motivate and guide a sales team to achieve its objectives. This includes hiring and training salespeople, setting quotas, reviewing and modifying performance, and developing sales processes. These management skills are highly transferable from other management roles, which makes a sales manager a good career change at 45.
According to PayScale, most sales managers are happy with their jobs and rate their job satisfaction at four out of five stars. Many sales managers say balancing work and their personal life is challenging, but they accept it as part of the job. Many sales managers also must travel regularly.
Personal Financial Advisor
A personal financial advisor’s primary duties are to assess individuals’ financial needs and help them make decisions about investments, taxes, and insurance. Advisors can assist clients in achieving both short and long-term objectives, such as budgeting for education and investing for retirement.
Personal financial advisor is a good idea for a new career at 45 if you have some background in business or finance and like working directly with lots of different people. This role relies heavily on goal-setting skills and organization skills. Being older in this profession is an asset, since people are more likely to take financial advice from advisors who have plenty of life experience.
Most web developers are happy with their jobs, thanks to a high income and work-life balance. Most web developers also have a high annual salary and good medical insurance. Learning web development might seem like an intimidating goal when changing careers at 45, but learning how to code isn’t any harder than learning any other kind of skill.
Writers are responsible for writing, editing, and proofreading text. They also conduct research, collaborate with other experts, promote and share their work, and seek out publishing deals. You can work as a freelance writer or search for a copywriting position at a digital marketing firm.
Writing is a good field for a career change at 45 because, at this point in your career, you’ve probably already had to write some reports, blogs, or newsletters for work. You can use these documents as part of your professional portfolio when finding your first writing job after 45.
Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent’s primary duties are to assist clients in selling houses and finding houses for buyers. They organize open houses and give clients tours of homes they may want to purchase. Real estate brokers help clients through the negotiation process to ensure that they get the best price for their homes.
This is one of the best career changes at 45 jobs because it doesn’t require a lot of education. To become a real estate agent, you’ll need to research your state’s license requirements and prepare for the license exam. If you are an excellent communicator, connect well with different kinds of people, and love browsing real estate listings, this could be a great career for you.
How to Change Your Career at 45: Step-by-Step
Leaving an industry where you have spent a large part of your professional life can be stressful. However, you’re not alone in your desire to change careers at 45. If you are wondering how to change your career at 45, consider these steps to help you make a successful career shift.
1. Evaluate Your Skills
Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and look for ways you can make the most of them. If you’re having trouble with this step, you might want to consult a career coach. It’s important to figure out how to connect your existing skills to your interests and career goals. The best way to start a new career at 45 isn’t to start from scratch, but to repurpose your existing skills.
When it comes to making a midlife career move, focus on the transferable skills you already have as you consider new career options. These will include soft skills like organization, teamwork, creativity, and leadership. Consider other jobs where these abilities could come into play. If you are not sure where your strengths lie, take our free tech career quiz to help guide you.
2. Develop New Skills
When seeking a new career, you should be open to learning new skills and participating in on-the-job training. Don’t let one missing skill deter you from pursuing your dream job. Make an action plan to deal with any gaps in your experience or skillset. When you find a job post that appeals to you, carefully consider the qualities, requirements, and experience the post calls for.
If the job calls for a specific qualification, there are various ways you can get one. These include short courses, additional training, self-study learning, and online bootcamps. If you’re interested in breaking into a new job market because it comes with a high average salary, you should be conscious of the demands and additional strain that the job may place on you.
3. Prepare Your Finances
Changing careers at 45 is daunting because it usually means taking a pay cut in the short term. Creating a safety net before you take the plunge can help. Put some money aside and create a financial buffer so you won’t be as stressed when the time comes to change careers.
If you’re 45, it might feel riskier to change jobs because you likely have a lot of financial responsibilities. To avoid extra pressure, make a list of your expenses and determine how much money you’ll need to cover them. You might also want to assess your lifestyle and determine what your priorities are.
4. Make Use of Your Network
According to a LinkedIn global survey, nearly 80 percent of workers believe networking is critical to career success. One of the best ways to change careers at 45 is to reach out through professional contacts to land your first job in a new field.
Talk to previous business associates, bosses you still get along with, and acquaintances you’ve met in your past roles. Find out what companies are recruiting, learn about the work culture, and decide whether your talents and expertise would be relevant to the company.
5. Present Your Age as an Advantage
When applying for a new job, you should focus on all of the positive aspects of your previous positions, explain what you can add to the company, and be proactive. Don’t be afraid to pull from your life experience and soft skills. Communication skills can be a particular advantage when switching careers at a later stage of life.
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers aged 40 and up under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Although age discrimination still happens in the workplace, there is no legal requirement to reveal your age on your resume. Concentrate on your previous roles and use your experience to your advantage.
How to Find a New Career at 45 With No Degree
The need for a degree deters many people who want to change careers at 45. Although reskilling can be daunting, some rewarding jobs require less than six months of training. There are also jobs that don’t require a degree at all. Below are some tips on how to build a new career at 45 with no degree.
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- Arrange informational interviews. These are interactions with people in your ideal career who can help you acquire information on prospective occupations before you leap into one.
- Define your transferable skills. Match your skills with the skills required for your target job. You’ll notice how much overlap there is, particularly among the in-demand soft skills.
- Fill in your skill gaps. Don’t be discouraged if your existing skillset falls short of the new job’s criteria. In some industries, closing that gap can be done in a relatively short time frame.
- Get some experience. Gaining relevant work experience will strengthen your chances of launching a new career. Try freelancing or volunteering to add some experience to your resume.
- Keep upskilling. Building a new career at 45 with no degree doesn’t mean ignoring education completely. Look for community college classes or coding bootcamps that can help you improve your skills.
Is It Too Late to Make a Career Change at 45?
It is not too late to make a career change at 45. At 45 you have a wealth of skills that you learned from years of work experience that can be applied in a wide range of new fields. Many midlife career changers are able to successfully transition to a new job. Pursuing a new career at 45 can be fulfilling and rewarding.
Before making a decision, you should analyze your skills, connect your existing skills to your work interests, and fill in the skill gaps with education. Keep in mind that many high-paying careers don’t require a degree. Plus, there are various online resources, courses, bootcamps, and self-study websites that can help you reskill in no time.
Career Change at 45 FAQ
Some of the best jobs for a 45-year-old woman are real estate agent and web developer. Web development is a good career for women over 45 because there are lots of coding bootcamp scholarships for women to help them retrain. Real estate agent is a good job for a 45-year-old woman because of the western cultural stereotype that women know more about homemaking.
Is it too late to change careers at 40?
You don’t have to stay in the same career for your entire professional life, and it certainly is not too late to change careers at 40. Before quitting the job you have, take some time to evaluate your skills and goals and plan for the next step. At 40, you have a lot of professional work experience that you can apply to different fields and industries.
Is taking a career break at 45 a good idea?
Taking a career break at 45 will be challenging to come back from. Changing careers at 45 is hard enough without having to explain a gap in your resume. However, if you need to take a career break to take care of a family member, most potential employers are usually willing to overlook time out of the workforce.
What careers can teachers change to?
Teachers have a great understanding of how to present information in a useful way and how to connect with an audience. This makes them excellent storytellers for companies. Teachers can change to any career, but they will likely succeed in careers like copywriting, digital marketing, UX/UI design, and front end web development.
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