Unhappy in your current job? Bored at work? Interested in a different career path? Looking to be entrepreneur? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are alone. And it is possible to find great success switching careers post-30 years old.

In general, job and career switches are more common than you may think. So, consider these observations from Alison Doyle

“Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career. Many workers spend five years or less in every job, so they devote more time and energy transitioning from one job to another. Job searching and networking, as well as, tracking and adjusting to job market trends, have taken on enhanced importance. Upgrading one’s employment status has become an ongoing process, rather than something you do once or twice during your career.”

To learn more about career opportunities, click one of these posts:


Success Switching Careers Post-30 Years Old

Given the above, more people are now switching jobs and/or careers. And that applies to those who switch after age 30. Yes, we can have success switching careers post-30 years old.

As noted by Rachel Gillett and Richard Feloni for Business Insider:

“Questions about whether you’re on the ‘right’ career path can strike fear into even the most confident person’s heart. But as some of the most successful people prove, you don’t have to have it all figured out from the start. Plenty of highly successful people chose to make major career changes, some even many years into their adult lives.”

Gillett and Feloni discuss NINETEEN highly successful people who switched careers after age 30. Here are 5 of them:

  • Jeff Bezos had a lucrative career in computer science on Wall Street and took on top roles at various financial firms before transitioning to the world of E-commerce and launching Amazon at age 31.”
  • Julia Child worked in advertising, media, and secret intelligence before writing her first cookbook when she was 50, launching her career as a celebrity chef in 1961.”
  • Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at 78. Previously, she was a housekeeper and farm laborer.”
  • Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, was 62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken. Before then, Sanders held several odd jobs including country lawyer, gas station operator, and railroad worker.”
  • Vera Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40. Today she’s one of the world’s premier women’s designers.”

To read about all 19 “late bloomers”, click on the image of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. As of the end of business yesterday, Bezos had a net worth of $97.billion. Not bad. 🙂

Success Switching Careers Post-30 Years Old. Yes Its Doable!
Chip Somodevilla/Getty


29 Replies to “Success Switching Careers Post-30 Years Old”

  1. I do believe it is very common for people to switch careers often, or at least once in their lifetime and believe they can succeed. Both my parents, for example, switched their careers after age 30 as well. I even switched between SO many part time jobs that I had in the past, it’s a very common thing. It is also very interesting to see the change in career paths that the people above switched to.

  2. I feel that the most challenging aspect during college is what you’re going to do for the rest of your life to be successful, however, I feel that even by the end of your college tenure that question doesn’t get fully answered and this post enforces it. A lot of people feel that since they’re still young they have more of a willingness to go outside of their comfort zones to try to pursue a more successful career. My aunt at the age of 32 switched to a career from teaching to being a bank manager mainly because she had the education for a job of that caliber. This is a very interesting aspect in terms of careers and it reinforces the point how ‘it’s funny the way life works’.

  3. Choosing a career you plan to pursue for the rest of your life is a lot of pressure. Many people, including myself, generally think that it’s “impossible” to completely switch careers after 30 years old. I think it would be extremely difficult, because if you’re switching careers, chances are you don’t have much experience in the new field, but there are multiple people your age who have already been through a lot of experience because they’re already past 30. I think it takes a hint of luck to fully succeed in a new career past 30, but I don’t think that’s fair. Not everyone knows what they want to do for the rest of their life, and society should make it easier to be able to switch as they please.

  4. I think we have no more accurate positioning of our career when we graduate right now, including our hobbies, our abilities, and the direction that we want to develop. So, switching careers to be a very common thing, even though after many years, it’s possible to experience it in a different field. For me, I want to try more fields if I was interested in, because in my life, I do not want miss something that would be improve me.

  5. There is a lot of pressure on young people to choose a career even before they enter college. In preparing to go home for the holidays, I know that all of the family I haven’t seen in a while will be asking me what I plan to do with my degree, and my answer is going to be as vague as possible because I’m not really sure. Reading about these individuals who made career changes after 30, I feel that the most important thing to consider when changing careers is self-awareness: first, being aware of what your passions are (so that you transition into a field that you’re happy to work in) and, second, being aware of what your skills are (so skills from your past work experience can be applied to your new field, especially in creative ways — this sets you apart from other potential applicants).

  6. I feel that people put too much pressure on themselves to choose a career in their early 20s. As soon as you step foot off of your college campus you are supposed to enter your chosen field and be passionate about it. The issue with this is that most people don’t really know what they want until they’ve already secured what they were told was their dream. For example, my cousin went to undergrad for law and even took the LSAT. He applied to LAW school and while he was working at a law firm as an intern, he realized how much he disliked it. Now, he is applying to medical school because after shadowing a few doctors, he realized that this was a field he would much rather enjoy. He told me that the only reason he went into law was because everyone in his life was telling him that it would be a good profession for him, and because he didn’t know what else to do, he went along with it. His unhappiness however, forced him to switch careers in his late 20s.

  7. It is interesting to not the amount of people that switch career later down the line, and how normal that is, almost like switching majors in college. It makes sense if you think about it, how could you know what a day to day career is like if you do not experience it. Word of mouth and others experience is one thing but actually doing the job is another. Stay optimistic that you’ll find the right career, the variety of experience in career can be made into a positive. Instead of a future employer seeing you as some one who is fickle and can not decide on a career assure them you are a multi tool of talents.

  8. I think this is especially relevant as it is proven that the millennial generation switches jobs at a much faster rate and retention rates for companies decline. It does make sense, too, because you only gain more and more experience as you age and grow in your current job. Later in life you have the ability to have an incredibly strong resume, rather than staying with the company that took your weakest resume out of college.

  9. I think most people switch their career in their life once or twice at least. Some people are even age 30. Different job can give us different life style. As far as I am concerned, switch career can make people have variety experience. Maybe a different job is a challenge for us, so it is also a chance to improve ourselves. To try more fields and job can make us good in business.

  10. Because the world is going to be change very fast, more and more people realized that they don’t know or what they want to be. As the more competitive and challenges they will meet that they might to afraid to be fail, so they might like to be change their job as fast as they want. In my opinion, I agree with the author that it is fine to change career if we don’t like to, but before to change job, we need to take a serious thinking, is the change worth or not?

  11. It is extremely comforting to read about the great amount of success people have in finding different careers that they initially did not choose for themselves. Since my junior year of high school, I have felt an enormous pressure and expectation that I should know exactly what I want to do in my professional life. I know I am not the only one who struggles. It has always seemed incredibly silly to me to expect an eighteen year old, unaware of so much in the world – from careers available, to their own personal interests – to know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their life.

  12. For many people, the current job isn’t the best for them, but how to find the best one is a good question. It just like how can we find the best major for our college study and so do our jobs in the future. In my point of view, to find the best one, people should follow their hearts.

  13. In this day and age, it is more common for people to switch careers than ever before regardless of age. Many people back in the day landed their job with their firm and stayed loyal for decades and perhaps even until retirement. Today, job loyalty has decreased significantly and people are more willing to bounce around trying to find the best workplace with the best pay and the best benefits.

  14. One generalization which I think should be pointed out about the career changes reflected in this article is that the 5 individuals did so by following an entrepreneurial path. In today’s world, I would say that people trying to change careers by becoming employed at companies may face an uphill battle. I don’t believe it’s impossible, but there certainly are prejudices which people reviewing resumes may entertain. One possible way out of this might be to engage in networking, or find a particular niche within the industry which could open doors.

  15. It is comforting to see how so many people found success after switching careers. However, the examples given were those who were entrepreneurs. I would like to see the percentages of success of people who switched jobs to similar work to those who completely changed their career field, especially when doing so to an established company.

  16. This post was very comforting because I recently changed majors and I was freaking out having one major and doing one specific thing (accounting) for the rest of my life but after reading this I now know that if I really don’t end up liking it that I am not stuck in it and can change career paths.

  17. After reading the post, I realized that switching jobs is such a common thing in today’s society. “Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career.” amazed me the most. Because of the fast developing of the world, the society would desert and create many jobs at the same time. If you are not satisfied with your currently job then find another one. There are always different choices waiting for you to try. After knowing some success switching career examples from the post, I realized that it is never too late to switch the job.

  18. I am not as astonished as I thought I would be when i read that the average person changes their job 10-15 times. I feel like there are so many opportunities out in the world and that if you are able to switch your career path in order to become happier or more successful, I’d say do it. As a student, I can’t imagine staying in the same career my whole life because i feel like that just isn’t realistic. Our society changes everyday, there are more opportunities for me, but with that being said, if I do enjoy my job then i will for sure stay there.

  19. It can be extremely difficult to switch careers after working in a different industry for years. Also as you get older it it is harder to find job in general. My mother actually switched careers after she was laid off by BMY during the recession. Sometimes the market can shift and some people are no longer needed to work in a specific industry. This article gives hope to people over 30 years old and want to change their careers. The market is every so changing and people can’t hold jobs for more than 10 years. The new workers are going to have to be flexible.

  20. For me, switching career is not that easy as you change your major in the university. It is no easy to imagine how the different career experience would be and what would happen which is not under your consideration. There is no doubt that some people will still have a successful career experience in his life after changing the career several times. But the experience is belongs to only small amount of people. I think we should stay optimistic and find a right job. May be in the future different experience after years will make you change your mind. At that time, be a man and make a right decision.

  21. I read Jeff Bezos’s book recently and found it interesting that he quit his job on wall street to pursue Amazon at a later age, which clearly paid off. Its not easy switching jobs, A lot of studies show that it takes about 3 years to truly feel comfortable with a job and be an expert. If your unhappy with your current job i think its also important to move. The average person works 40 hours a week you might as well work somewhere that you enjoy coming in everyday.

  22. There is definitely a lot of pressure on college-aged individuals with the career search. At about 18 years old, we are asked to figure out what we want to do with our lives and choose a major. After about 4 short years, its then time to go pursue the career that we have been studying toward, and that is where the pressure gets more intense. Most feel that their first job is their last and final job. Choosing a first career is difficult and no one wants the hassle of switching jobs and adjusting to a whole new lifestyle at the same time. As stated in the post, it is rapidly becoming more normal for individuals to switch jobs after about 5 years. This new movement should actually encourage more college students to alleviate the career pressure that they put on themselves. There is always time to switch careers and still enjoy life because nothing is set in stone and more and more people are switching careers later in life.

  23. I watched a TedTalk once where the guy was talking about his children in their 20s and early 30s and how they were less certain about their career paths than he was at their age. He said that a lot of it came down to choices that they have that he didn’t. People are settling down and having children later in life now and as a result they’re more free from familial and financial obligations (even though student loan debt is a killer). For him, it was expected that he get a job and contribute to his marriage and his family with stability where his kids can up and leave from job to job on a whim. On the flip-side he said having so much freedom to go for that perfect dream job actually makes the choices a little overwhelming. Younger generations don’t want to settle or feel stuck so they’re more afraid to commit.

  24. Another very interesting post. My brother in law was just recently thinking about changing careers and he is over 30. It is good to know that you don’t have to be trapped by early decisions about the career you chose. I think having that freedom allows people to think outside the box on what they could be instead of what they have to be. These links could be very useful to him.

  25. My generation hops around a lot in the early years of employment. Its all about growing your skills early on and your experience. After 30, its time to start working for the Job you love!

  26. While I think it’s so important to like your job and really love what you do, sometimes you just have to stick it out if you’re unhappy and that’s the reality of life. While Jeff Bezos might have worked on Wall St. and commanded a hefty salary I’m sure, not all of us can do that. We still have to meet our financial obligations and some of us are living paycheck to paycheck so if we want to switch careers, it may come with a heavy financial sacrifice. This can be a strong deterrent to do so and unfortunately it’s a reality for many.

  27. I do not think that switching careers post 30 years old is a big deal. It is important to enjoy what you do everyday. Plus, a lot of employers nowadays do not care what degree someone has. They only care that someone has a degree. So as long as you’re qualified to work in a position, why not try something out that isn’t in your exact field?

  28. I think change different jobs is a really common thing in our life.Because sometimes we will feel bored by doing something for long time.I do the part time for KFC,library and also wash the car.Changing different jobs can help us learn different areas knowledge.

  29. Super interesting. Especially since the market and jobs are always changing now days do to technology. You better be in law, business, and/or medicine because there will be a job waiting for some one in those fields. Also can’t just say switching career paths is the best most of these people are very strategic people and probably had a plan before doing.

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