Three young women sitting on a couch filling out job applications to start new careers at 30.

Starting a New Career at 30: Tips for Career Changers

Choosing to make a career change is a big decision in which a lot of factors need to be considered. However, whether you’ve found an exciting opportunity or just want to see what else is out there, making a career change at 30 also offers a lot of benefits. If you are looking to start a new career at 30, we are here to help you. 

This guide covers tips for switching careers at 30 successfully and the reasons why people are changing careers in their 30s. You will also learn about the best jobs for career changers in the tech industry. In case you are not quite ready to make a career change at 30, we will also cover how to start a new career later in life. 

How to Start a New Career at 30 

Switching careers at 30 is a difficult task, and many people give up before they can reap the benefits of their hard work. However, there are certain steps you can take to make starting a new career at 30 a smoother transition. We’ve curated a step-by-step guide to make the process easier. So if you’re considering making a career change at 30, follow the steps below.

Pinpoint Why Your Switching Careers at 30 

It’s very important to uncover why you don’t want to continue with your current career. This will also help inform which career path you should pursue and how to successfully launch your career in tech or other industries. If you are unsure about what you are looking for in your career, you should consider getting career coaching. 

Evaluate Your Interests, Skills, and Goals

When choosing a new career at 30, you should take your interests and career goals into account. Though your career doesn’t have to be your main passion in life, your work should still interest you enough to keep you engaged. Focus on pursuing a job that will make you more excited to work. In addition, you should also think about the current skills you have that can help you easily transition into a different industry or position.

Develop New Skills 

Once you have a new career in mind, you need to make sure you have the necessary skills to get started in the field. While you may already have some crucial transferable skills, you may also need to develop new skills when switching careers at 30. 

Online courses will give you the flexibility to maintain your current job as you transition. They are also relatively affordable. If you want something more comprehensive than an online course, you can choose to attend an online bootcamp program, which takes students through extensive training to help them become job-ready for the tech industry. 

Update Your Resume 

Even when you are going through a career change at 30, the work experience you’ve gained in your current career is extremely useful. However, you should curate your resume to suit the needs or description of the jobs you want to apply for. This means that your resume may look a bit different for each role you apply for. It might be suitable to make a video resume for specific roles, including creative or customer-facing positions.  

In addition to hard skills, you should also highlight the soft skills you have developed over the course of your career so far. This is especially important because soft skills are more applicable across varying industries and positions in comparison to specific hard skills, making them a strong point for starting a new career at 30. 

Tap Into Your Personal and Professional Networks 

Some of the best jobs for career changers are those that you can get through the network you have built. When you are looking to make a career change at 30, you should leverage your professional and personal networks to see what opportunities are available. 

Though you might not have any direct experience within the industry you want to work in, having someone vouch for you can go a long way. If anything, these contacts can serve as great references for job applications. 

Put Yourself Out There

The last step may be the most essential part of changing careers. Once you’ve chosen your new career path, it is time to put yourself out there. You’ll need to submit applications to various companies and perhaps even apply for positions that you don’t meet all the requirements for. After all, when you are starting a new career at 30, it will be hard to tick all of the boxes. 

Nonetheless, even as a career changer, you can still present yourself as a strong applicant. When trying to change careers at 30, you will need to find a balance between highlighting your expertise in your career thus far and your willingness to learn and take on new roles.

The Top Reasons People Start a New Career at 30 

According to data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median amount of time US workers spend with one employer is just over four years. This means that employees look for new jobs, if not new careers, numerous times over the course of their careers. 

Everyone has their own reasoning for switching careers at 30, but there are some common themes from professionals across industries. Below, we have detailed some of the most common reasons to start a new career at 30. 

Higher Pay

If you have an opportunity for an increased salary or career advancement, that is a great reason to start a new career at 30. If your current role doesn’t pay well enough, your professional life can thrive elsewhere. For example, high-paying entry-level tech jobs are a great opportunity for career changers that want to earn more.

A More Meaningful Career Path

Pursuing a meaningful career will improve your overall quality of life. However, this doesn’t mean your job has to include saving lives. What constitutes a meaningful career is subject to each person, but it should give you satisfaction. If the work you do is valued and makes a difference in your workplace or for clients, that is a meaningful career. 

Advancement Opportunities

If the career you are pursuing lacks advancement opportunities, you don’t have to stay in it forever. Looking for career advancement is one of the top reasons to undergo a career change at 30 because employees don’t like to feel stagnant in their jobs. If there is no opportunity for mobility in your current career, consider a more upward path. 

Work-Life Balance

It is important to have a healthy work-life balance. While some people enjoy fast-paced and demanding work, it is always important to consider your mental and physical health. A well-rounded career should allow for time to pursue personal interests as well as your career goal. If your current position doesn’t offer this, you may want to think about a career switch.

Skill Growth

If you have already mastered your current role, and there is no room for learning within your career path, then it may be time for a career change. There are plenty of opportunities available for you to learn new skills and advance your professional experience. Plus, having a job that fosters learning will help you stay engaged with your work. 

Signs You Might Need a New Job, Not a New Career

Two people sitting at a table conducting an interview.
While a career change at 30 offers many benefits, it isn’t always the right move. 

Some jobs just aren’t the right fit, which may be due to management, company culture, or the project you are working on. However, that doesn’t mean that your current career path isn’t right for you. If you want to change careers at 30, you’ll need to do so for the right reasons. To help you navigate this, below are a few signs that you might just need a new job and not a totally different career. 

  • Bad boss or disliking coworkers. As much as having a bad boss or difficult colleagues can be strenuous, it’s important to stand your ground. If the work environment gets too toxic, opt for other job opportunities at other companies. You don’t necessarily need to shift your entire career trajectory because of a bad supervisor or bad experience.
  • Boredom. Though some jobs may become repetitive, don’t let boredom spur your decisions to start a new career at 30. If you need additional challenges to keep you going, you should consider asking for more responsibility. You can also pursue additional educational programs or credentials like a Microsoft certification.
  • Feeling undervalued. If you feel undervalued in your current role, either due to a low salary range or a low level of responsibility, the company you are working for may be the problem. Not feeling valued has more to do with management than it does with your career choice, so consider looking for new employers. 

The Best Tech Jobs for Career Changers at 30

A career in technology might be exactly what you need to be simultaneously successful and fulfilled. There are plenty of career changers seeking opportunities in the tech field. 

Plus, as a high-growth industry, the tech sector is a great choice for switching careers at 30 because there are plenty of job postings. Below, you can learn more about the best jobs for career changers within the tech industry.  

Software Developer

National average salary: $132,930

Job Growth: 25%

Software developers are essential tech professionals with background knowledge in front end and backend development. Companies rely on these experts to successfully design, build, and deploy web applications. This is why all software developers are fluent in multiple programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. If you want to pursue this as a new career at 30, you can get all the skills you need from a coding bootcamp.

Database Administrator 

National average salary: $102,530

Job Growth: 9%

Database administrators are in charge of backing up, restoring, and troubleshooting databases and datasets. They ensure the databases are in line with the company’s needs and requirements. They are also responsible for ensuring safe access to data by users and staff of the company’s datasets.

User Experience (UX) Designer

National average salary: $101,740

Job Growth: 23%

UX designers are professionals in charge of creating the best experience for users when using a website or application. Their skills in graphic design and web technologies allow them to create enjoyable experiences for users who interact with their products. This is an excellent career opportunity for those who wish to start careers in tech, especially because you can quickly gain the necessary skills by attending a UX design bootcamp

Data Scientist 

Average salary: $100,910 

Job Growth: 36%

Data scientists are professionals who retrieve data from multiple sources and provide insights that drive business growth. Through their machine learning techniques and tools, they analyze big data to help business owners arrive at the best decisions. To become a data scientist, you must demonstrate skills in using R, SQL, NumPy, and MatLab. 

Information Technology (IT) Help Desk Assistant 

National average salary: $57,910

Job Growth: 6%

Unlike most IT-related careers, becoming an IT help desk assistant does not require any extensive training. This entry-level position is a great way to get started in the tech industry, but technical knowledge is required. These professionals offer extensive technical support to staff members of an organization.

Tips for Changing Careers Later in Life

If you aren’t ready to change careers at 30, you can also make the jump to a new career later in life. In fact, according to the American Institute for Economic Research, most older professionals are successful when switching careers. These professionals leave their old jobs with transferable skills and connections that help them excel in a new career field. Learn more about changing careers later on in life below. 

How to Start a New Career at 40

While many people may think that changing careers at 40 is extremely difficult, it may be easier than you think. At 40, you likely have a wide range of experience under your belt and, with that, comes a diverse set of both hard and soft skills. In addition, you’ve had time to build a solid network and you also probably have a long list of accomplishments, all of which make a career shift easier. 

If you want to start a new career at 40, you can follow the same steps that were previously laid out in this article. However, you may want to focus a bit more on conveying your years of experience to employers. If you have a family, you may also want to look for career paths that combine well with your obligations in your personal life. 

How to Start a New Career at 50

When it comes to how to change careers at 50, it is not much different than what a 30 or 40-year-old should do. By 50, you have a large list of transferable skills that can help you in a career transition. However, depending on your career aspirations, you may need to learn some new job skills, especially if you want to start working in tech

If you are starting a new career at 50 and you currently hold a senior position, you may have to move to a non-management role. However, even at fifty, it is not too late to make a successful career change. You have plenty of time to not only change careers but to excel in your new role as well. If you developed lasting relationships with anyone in your desired industry, you should consider reaching out to them.

Are You Ready for a Career Change at 30?

A group of young professionals surrounded by papers and two computers collaborating on a project.
Whether you want a higher salary or a more fulfilling job, you can start a new career at 30. 

It’s never too late to pursue a more fulfilling job. Whether you initially chose the wrong career path or simply had a change of heart, you can still make a career change at 30. Moreover, with numerous opportunities in tech and other industries, you will have a much easier time landing a job that is more satisfying and higher-paying than the one you currently have.

If you are not fulfilled, constantly stressed out, and no longer have a definitive purpose in your career, you should consider a career change. Switching careers at 30 can help you earn more and establish a better work-life balance. 

Career Change at 30 FAQ

Can I change jobs at 35 with no degree? 

Even without a degree, you can change jobs at 35, 45, 55 and beyond. With educational resources like online courses and bootcamp programs, you can easily gain professional skills without attending college.  

How can I reinvent my career at 30?

Developing new skills is one of the best ways to reinvent your career at 30. Whether you decide to go back to school, take online courses, or join a bootcamp program, learning new skills can help you unlock higher-paying roles. You can also earn professional certifications to help advance your career. 

How do I decide on a career change?

If you are having trouble deciding on a career change, think about your work-life balance, what kind of salary you want to earn, and what future opportunities your current career offers. If any of these are lacking, changing careers may be a good option. However, if you just have a bad boss or feel bored at work, you may just need to switch companies. 

What kind of career can I start at 30?

There are many different careers that you can start at 30, including teacher, nurse, and therapist. If you want to work in the tech industry, you can become a web developer, software engineer, or data scientist by attending a bootcamp program.  

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