Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:09 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:04 pm
CobraKai wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:56 am
dm200 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:32 am
I know something about both accounting and IT.

I suspect there may be accounting type careers/jobs that can make good use of your IT background - perhaps in a financial institution - such as auditing. A lot of fraud and similar types of bad things involve both accounting and IT.
I can get a Masters in Accounting by taking 15 classes or so. That would cost a lot less (in time and money) than going for another Bachelors.

Weighing that option vs. self employment on the side vs. getting database certs and focusing on databases. I'd say I enjoy databases more than anything else in the tech field.
CobraKai,

Then, how about getting certified in Oracle Database Administration?

KlangFool
That's a viable option. I haven't done Oracle since college. Maybe start with SQL Server certs and then Oracle.

KlangFool
Posts: 10628
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:21 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:09 pm

My problem is that the things that I am most passionate about aren't really all that marketable.
CobraKai,

How do you know? It may not be marketable in your physical location. But, it may be marketable through the Internet. Explore your options. You cannot lose what you do not have in the first place.

KlangFool

P.S.: I was a sales manager for 4+ years and a product manager for 5+ years.

frugalmama
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:53 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by frugalmama » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:11 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:09 pm
My problem is that the things that I am most passionate about aren't really all that marketable.
Is it that there isn't a market or is it that you haven't figured out how to market them? There is a difference. For example, Jim Carpenter probably had no idea his Wild Birds Unlimited store would take off or even be successful in 1981. He was just passionate about birds. Now the franchise has 300 stores. I'm sure there were a lot of other people interested in birds at that time dreaming of opening bird stores that never did because of the risk hey might incur in leaving secure jobs. Just something to think about. :).

BogleBoogie
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 11:15 am
Location: AK

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by BogleBoogie » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:22 pm

I think it is very possible if you are committed to success. Our President changed careers and went from private sector to a public servant in his 70's! You can do this.

MichCPA
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:06 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by MichCPA » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:28 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:56 am
dm200 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:32 am
I know something about both accounting and IT.

I suspect there may be accounting type careers/jobs that can make good use of your IT background - perhaps in a financial institution - such as auditing. A lot of fraud and similar types of bad things involve both accounting and IT.
I can get a Masters in Accounting by taking 15 classes or so. That would cost a lot less (in time and money) than going for another Bachelors.

Weighing that option vs. self employment on the side vs. getting database certs and focusing on databases. I'd say I enjoy databases more than anything else in the tech field.
I can't compare accounting to IT, but in a vacuum accounting (on the public side) has a bit of an age bias as well. I was not an IT specialist, but most of you staff level people are right out of college and you have regimented 3-5 year steps. Those same steps correspond roughly to outside positions in financial reporting. Again, I can't compare it to what you are coming from, but the "your 35-40 and haven't made partner, why are you here" dynamic does exist. Good profession and you should consider it, but something to think about.

renue74
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by renue74 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:52 pm

I don't really have a ton to contribute...but I'm in my early 40s and in IT....own a small web design agency (4 employees).

Been doing this for about 20 years and sorta burned out last year. I'm in the same boat. I looked at other jobs on Indeed, etc., but you know what the deal is. You're "just comfortable," to where you don't feel any urgency to change. So you keep thinking about it, but not doing anything about it. I've been that way since Xmas 2017. That Xmas was the 1st time I took the whole week off in 23 years of working.

I feel like most younger folks look at jobs as gigs...if it ends in a year or 2, they are fine and move on. Whereas, we've been doing the same thing for the same company for 20 years. So you look for that next safety next of work that you hope will be long term. Where young people don't look at it like that.

Good luck in whatever you do.

dekecarver
Posts: 297
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:24 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by dekecarver » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:56 pm

What ever you do as a second career, just make sure it is something you: want to do, can live with, can make a living at and won't complain about. Otherwise stay with what you are currently doing and make it work. Life is too short not to scratch an itch.

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5750
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by triceratop » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:58 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:09 pm
masonstone wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:29 pm
mega317 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:16 pm
What is "another field"? Lots of graduating medical students are closer to 40 than 30. I don't think age would be much of a factor getting a job in most clinical health care positions. It's not particularly onerous to become an EMT, for example.
This is simply not true, most graduating medical students are in their 20s.
Yup.

But then you add in residency and fellowship and you're back at 30-40.

The earliest you could realistically graduate from residency is 29.
I know of someone who graduated from residency at age 27. Oh, and they had a PhD in an unrelated field too. ;)

But yeah barring outliers, this is basically correct.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

flyingaway
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:59 pm

You could retire from your current job, enroll in a school, and write about your wonderful early retirement story to make some money.

JBTX
Posts: 4231
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by JBTX » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:59 pm

I agree starting in accounting at 40 is unusual. I'd think you'd be better off looking for alternatives in the IT field.
Last edited by JBTX on Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:47 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:21 pm
CobraKai,

How do you know? It may not be marketable in your physical location. But, it may be marketable through the Internet. Explore your options. You cannot lose what you do not have in the first place.

KlangFool

P.S.: I was a sales manager for 4+ years and a product manager for 5+ years.
frugalmama wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:11 pm
CobraKai wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:09 pm
My problem is that the things that I am most passionate about aren't really all that marketable.
Is it that there isn't a market or is it that you haven't figured out how to market them? There is a difference. For example, Jim Carpenter probably had no idea his Wild Birds Unlimited store would take off or even be successful in 1981. He was just passionate about birds. Now the franchise has 300 stores. I'm sure there were a lot of other people interested in birds at that time dreaming of opening bird stores that never did because of the risk hey might incur in leaving secure jobs. Just something to think about. :).
Good points. Making me lean toward the self employment option. Maybe I'll just set aside some time, half of it goes to self study (IT/database stuff) and the other half working on business ventures. That means forgetting about going back to school, which the more I think about it (and read the responses here), the more I am leaning against it.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:50 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:28 pm
I can't compare accounting to IT, but in a vacuum accounting (on the public side) has a bit of an age bias as well. I was not an IT specialist, but most of you staff level people are right out of college and you have regimented 3-5 year steps. Those same steps correspond roughly to outside positions in financial reporting. Again, I can't compare it to what you are coming from, but the "your 35-40 and haven't made partner, why are you here" dynamic does exist. Good profession and you should consider it, but something to think about.
That thought has crossed my mind. Again, I would be older than 40 when looking for entry level work in the field if I were to pursue that option. I am about to remove this option from consideration.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:51 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:52 pm
I don't really have a ton to contribute...but I'm in my early 40s and in IT....own a small web design agency (4 employees).

Been doing this for about 20 years and sorta burned out last year. I'm in the same boat. I looked at other jobs on Indeed, etc., but you know what the deal is. You're "just comfortable," to where you don't feel any urgency to change. So you keep thinking about it, but not doing anything about it. I've been that way since Xmas 2017. That Xmas was the 1st time I took the whole week off in 23 years of working.

I feel like most younger folks look at jobs as gigs...if it ends in a year or 2, they are fine and move on. Whereas, we've been doing the same thing for the same company for 20 years. So you look for that next safety next of work that you hope will be long term. Where young people don't look at it like that.

Good luck in whatever you do.
You are an owner of a company and looking to work for somebody else? That is interesting. I have been considering the opposite.

youdiditr2
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:07 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by youdiditr2 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 am

renue74 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:52 pm
I don't really have a ton to contribute...but I'm in my early 40s and in IT....own a small web design agency (4 employees).

Been doing this for about 20 years and sorta burned out last year. I'm in the same boat. I looked at other jobs on Indeed, etc., but you know what the deal is. You're "just comfortable," to where you don't feel any urgency to change. So you keep thinking about it, but not doing anything about it. I've been that way since Xmas 2017. That Xmas was the 1st time I took the whole week off in 23 years of working.

I feel like most younger folks look at jobs as gigs...if it ends in a year or 2, they are fine and move on. Whereas, we've been doing the same thing for the same company for 20 years. So you look for that next safety next of work that you hope will be long term. Where young people don't look at it like that.

Good luck in whatever you do.
I have been like this for the past 7 years. Mid 40's, thinking of career change, look for job everyday, then realize how much effort it takes. Look at my paycheck and realize it's not worth all the effort, so I dream of a career change, but not going to go through all the efforts and take a 50% paycut.

I pay I get laid off everyday and get a servance so I can be motivated to move on from my comfort zone.

In my 20's, I once had 7 jobs in 2 years. In my 40's, I have been working the same job for 20 years.

sfnerd
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:16 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by sfnerd » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:40 am

I'm an executive in IT / technology. I hire people 50+ y/o all the time. I absolutely love hiring people who are experienced, and I'm always desperate to find more. I don't like hiring unenthusiastic people though, and I don't know anyone who does. So my advice is to either take some time to mentally reset yourself, learn new skills, and fall in love with tech again, or to go find something you do love.

My best engineer (out of hundreds) right now is over 60 btw. He loves his work and I hope he doesn't read this forum and retire early, because I'm pretty sure he could retire with a conservative SWR.

renue74
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by renue74 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:25 am

CobraKai wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:51 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:52 pm
I don't really have a ton to contribute...but I'm in my early 40s and in IT....own a small web design agency (4 employees).

Been doing this for about 20 years and sorta burned out last year. I'm in the same boat. I looked at other jobs on Indeed, etc., but you know what the deal is. You're "just comfortable," to where you don't feel any urgency to change. So you keep thinking about it, but not doing anything about it. I've been that way since Xmas 2017. That Xmas was the 1st time I took the whole week off in 23 years of working.

I feel like most younger folks look at jobs as gigs...if it ends in a year or 2, they are fine and move on. Whereas, we've been doing the same thing for the same company for 20 years. So you look for that next safety next of work that you hope will be long term. Where young people don't look at it like that.

Good luck in whatever you do.
You are an owner of a company and looking to work for somebody else? That is interesting. I have been considering the opposite.
Owning a small business...especially with employees, you have a different set of stressors. Dealing with difficult clients, accounting, taxes, benefits, employee issues, project deliverability, future growth planning. The amount of time I spend working and thinking about work, is extraordinary.

At some point, sometimes you just want a change. No matter how others view what you do...they haven't been in your shoes.

smitcat
Posts: 2072
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by smitcat » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:40 am

youdiditr2 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 am
renue74 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:52 pm
I don't really have a ton to contribute...but I'm in my early 40s and in IT....own a small web design agency (4 employees).

Been doing this for about 20 years and sorta burned out last year. I'm in the same boat. I looked at other jobs on Indeed, etc., but you know what the deal is. You're "just comfortable," to where you don't feel any urgency to change. So you keep thinking about it, but not doing anything about it. I've been that way since Xmas 2017. That Xmas was the 1st time I took the whole week off in 23 years of working.

I feel like most younger folks look at jobs as gigs...if it ends in a year or 2, they are fine and move on. Whereas, we've been doing the same thing for the same company for 20 years. So you look for that next safety next of work that you hope will be long term. Where young people don't look at it like that.

Good luck in whatever you do.
I have been like this for the past 7 years. Mid 40's, thinking of career change, look for job everyday, then realize how much effort it takes. Look at my paycheck and realize it's not worth all the effort, so I dream of a career change, but not going to go through all the efforts and take a 50% paycut.

I pay I get laid off everyday and get a servance so I can be motivated to move on from my comfort zone.

In my 20's, I once had 7 jobs in 2 years. In my 40's, I have been working the same job for 20 years.
This is the key and it has been mentioned here a few times - if you are motivated enough to find another path you will. It is really that simple most of the time, the rest will fall into place.

User avatar
queso
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by queso » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:06 am

Subscribed! Another mid-40s career IT guy here too. I really started to feel burned out just in the last year or two and have been having a lot of the same thoughts, but just can't seem to think of anything I can transition to that makes any kind of sense. I'm leaning toward the alternative and just putting the pedal to the metal for 5-6 more years and then retiring or fake retiring a la MMM and doing something completely different without regard to compensation.

GAAP
Posts: 687
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:41 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by GAAP » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:21 am

My wife went into Law School at 39 -- her prior background was veterinary medicine. It's certainly possible -- probably easier if you're leaving tech at that age than the other way around.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:29 am

youdiditr2 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 am
I have been like this for the past 7 years. Mid 40's, thinking of career change, look for job everyday, then realize how much effort it takes. Look at my paycheck and realize it's not worth all the effort, so I dream of a career change, but not going to go through all the efforts and take a 50% paycut.
I know exactly what you mean!
youdiditr2 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 am
I pay I get laid off everyday and get a servance so I can be motivated to move on from my comfort zone.

In my 20's, I once had 7 jobs in 2 years. In my 40's, I have been working the same job for 20 years.
You mean pray you get laid off? Sometimes I wish I had a few months off (I know, be careful what you wish for). Although have been going non-stop without more than a week's vacation for over 10 years. Maybe there is a little bit of burn out.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:31 am

renue74 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:25 am
Owning a small business...especially with employees, you have a different set of stressors. Dealing with difficult clients, accounting, taxes, benefits, employee issues, project deliverability, future growth planning. The amount of time I spend working and thinking about work, is extraordinary.

At some point, sometimes you just want a change. No matter how others view what you do...they haven't been in your shoes.
That makes sense. If I were to ever go self employed, it would be without employees or very few.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:33 am

queso wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:06 am
Subscribed! Another mid-40s career IT guy here too. I really started to feel burned out just in the last year or two and have been having a lot of the same thoughts, but just can't seem to think of anything I can transition to that makes any kind of sense.
I can relate!
queso wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:06 am
I'm leaning toward the alternative and just putting the pedal to the metal for 5-6 more years and then retiring or fake retiring a la MMM and doing something completely different without regard to compensation.
That's an option too.

10YearPlan
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:58 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by 10YearPlan » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 am

Like some other folks have said, it would be helpful to have something to run to, vs from. Without that passion or spark, it is much more difficult. Also, to me, it sounds like you're just in a rut.

Were I in your shoes, I'd look up some careers that are emerging and see what can apply to your existing skill set-with a twist. For example, business intelligence/data analytics. Companies cannot find the talent they need in this area and the opportunity to make great money is absolutely there. Somebody with your background could probably fill a role like that with relative ease (vs going back to school for a completely new degree). Take a look at a few job posts and see what tools and/or competencies might be required, you might be surprised.

carolinaman
Posts: 3329
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by carolinaman » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:59 am

I spent 44 years in IT. I think the age issue is real and especially true in technology companies. However, many IT people are able to work until retirement age. It seems with your skill set and the fact you are underpaid, you have less risk of this than some of these highly paid techs in technology companies. My last job was IT Director for a large local govt which I retired from after 22 years. We hired a lot of mid career people from the private sector. This was a win/win. We got some good talent at an affordable price, and this enabled them to extend their careers. They got great benefits, better quality of life and decent pay, but no where near competitive with contract firms or high tech companies. I was told by several technology firms that I did not have to offer competitive salaries because of the all the other benefits we offered.

I got a BS in Accounting at age 32. I was already well established in IT. All the major accounting firms made me offers, as an entry level accountant. I was making almost double that salary in my IT career, so I continued in IT and focused upon IT management and I am glad I did.

Given your skill set and situation, I think you would be better served to stay in IT. IT management is also a possibility. Given you breadth of technical skills, this might be a good opportunity for you. IMO, there are more opportunities for you in IT than there would be in accounting, and at better pay since you would be starting over in accounting in your 40s.

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:39 am

10YearPlan wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 am
Like some other folks have said, it would be helpful to have something to run to, vs from. Without that passion or spark, it is much more difficult. Also, to me, it sounds like you're just in a rut.

Were I in your shoes, I'd look up some careers that are emerging and see what can apply to your existing skill set-with a twist. For example, business intelligence/data analytics. Companies cannot find the talent they need in this area and the opportunity to make great money is absolutely there. Somebody with your background could probably fill a role like that with relative ease (vs going back to school for a completely new degree). Take a look at a few job posts and see what tools and/or competencies might be required, you might be surprised.
Funny you mention that. I was actually thinking about this when looking at various Masters degree programs. I do enjoy working with data. The university that I graduated from has an MS in Business Analytics program (although this program would require traveling 90 minutes away every Saturday). If one were to pursue this direction, would there be any value in getting a Masters degree in this area to complement a Bachelors IS degree?

CobraKai
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:41 am

carolinaman wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:59 am
I spent 44 years in IT. I think the age issue is real and especially true in technology companies. However, many IT people are able to work until retirement age. It seems with your skill set and the fact you are underpaid, you have less risk of this than some of these highly paid techs in technology companies. My last job was IT Director for a large local govt which I retired from after 22 years. We hired a lot of mid career people from the private sector. This was a win/win. We got some good talent at an affordable price, and this enabled them to extend their careers. They got great benefits, better quality of life and decent pay, but no where near competitive with contract firms or high tech companies. I was told by several technology firms that I did not have to offer competitive salaries because of the all the other benefits we offered.
There is a silver lining to being underpaid and not maximizing salary with each move and that is not pricing oneself out of the market. Are these system/network admin jobs that you are referring to? Or software development?
carolinaman wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:59 am
I got a BS in Accounting at age 32. I was already well established in IT. All the major accounting firms made me offers, as an entry level accountant. I was making almost double that salary in my IT career, so I continued in IT and focused upon IT management and I am glad I did.

Given your skill set and situation, I think you would be better served to stay in IT. IT management is also a possibility. Given you breadth of technical skills, this might be a good opportunity for you. IMO, there are more opportunities for you in IT than there would be in accounting, and at better pay since you would be starting over in accounting in your 40s.
Interesting! Was that Accounting degree a second degree?

10YearPlan
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:58 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by 10YearPlan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:12 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:39 am
10YearPlan wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 am
Like some other folks have said, it would be helpful to have something to run to, vs from. Without that passion or spark, it is much more difficult. Also, to me, it sounds like you're just in a rut.

Were I in your shoes, I'd look up some careers that are emerging and see what can apply to your existing skill set-with a twist. For example, business intelligence/data analytics. Companies cannot find the talent they need in this area and the opportunity to make great money is absolutely there. Somebody with your background could probably fill a role like that with relative ease (vs going back to school for a completely new degree). Take a look at a few job posts and see what tools and/or competencies might be required, you might be surprised.
Funny you mention that. I was actually thinking about this when looking at various Masters degree programs. I do enjoy working with data. The university that I graduated from has an MS in Business Analytics program (although this program would require traveling 90 minutes away every Saturday). If one were to pursue this direction, would there be any value in getting a Masters degree in this area to complement a Bachelors IS degree?
Sorry for not responding sooner. Been super busy at work and home. I would say yes to your question about whether it is worth it. But you can check for yourself by looking at salaries on glassdoor or Indeed (or both) in your area to ensure accuracy. I would also think that the school you are considering can share some data points regarding demand for that major, etc.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18882
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:24 pm

I even know a few folks who have made drastic career changes much later in life.

One mother of about a dozen children was widowed when her youngest was in High School. She got into a new career for many years - then in her 60's became a Catholic nun.

Another acquaintance had a career in finance/business - and also became a Catholic permanent deacon in that time. Then his wife died - and now into his late 50's or early 60's went to a Catholic seminary and became a Catholic priest. Now in his early 70's, he was just named Pastor of a large Catholic church in this area.

azanon
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:34 am
Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by azanon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:45 pm

At 46, I've been considering this myself because of job burnout, and a passion (hobby) for a completely different field. But being about 2/3rds of the way though being eligible for a federal retirement and at GS-13 pay, I just can't financially justify it. It might take me years, if ever, to match my federal career pay in a new field, and I would also lose my benefits (e.g health plan, pension would be delayed until 62).

Is it possible? I guess yes if you insist on doing it. But you might pay a big price to do it, as I would, depending on your circumstances. Sometimes you just make too much or are too vested to be able to justify it from a dollars-and-cents standpoint. I think sometimes you just suck it up, and continue doing a job you don't much care for, serve your time, and then retire.

mrmass
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by mrmass » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:41 pm

I'm mid 50's and in IT not at an IT company though. I work for a financial firm. 75 users. I started doing IT, networking, etc, but that stuff is kinda going away.

I now work with Azure, Azure AD O365 w/emphasis on security. Recently I got a bit energized by learning MS Flow and some Power BI. If you could pivot and get into business apps/BI stuff it might help. Businesses are going crazy with BI stuff, (either Tableau or Power BI)

BTW I work with a total jerk that "jokes" about my age constantly...He was hired by my recently hired boss. I tell the jerk that jokes about my age, that I have a OneNote book with all the dates he's said shit. I call it my bank account if they ice me.

Long story short, IMO consider learning security, BI, Power Apps. It might energize you. Good luck.

prairieman
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by prairieman » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:24 pm

Not an IT guy but I changed from an academic job to a government job at 42. It didn’t “just happen”, either. I became publicly outspoken and, at 37, began switching my research and teaching emphasis gradually in the direction I wanted to go with my life. Opportunity came knocking finally at age 42.

azanon
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:34 am
Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by azanon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:10 pm

mrmass wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:41 pm
BTW I work with a total jerk that "jokes" about my age constantly...He was hired by my recently hired boss. I tell the jerk that jokes about my age, that I have a OneNote book with all the dates he's said shit. I call it my bank account if they ice me.
For every instance where 180 days has passed, just cross a line through it. That way you can keep track of which instances are now worthless for reporting.

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1312
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by friar1610 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:29 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:24 pm
I even know a few folks who have made drastic career changes much later in life.

One mother of about a dozen children was widowed when her youngest was in High School. She got into a new career for many years - then in her 60's became a Catholic nun.

Another acquaintance had a career in finance/business - and also became a Catholic permanent deacon in that time. Then his wife died - and now into his late 50's or early 60's went to a Catholic seminary and became a Catholic priest. Now in his early 70's, he was just named Pastor of a large Catholic church in this area.
Two stories along those lines with military overtones:

- College classmate who was in Army ROTC. Did 20 years as an infantry officer, retired as a LTCOL and then became a Catholic priest. Recently went on retired status in his diocese.

- A USN Catholic chaplain. Had done 20 years and retired as a Chief Petty Officer. Was widowed somewhere along the line, entered the seminary and, after ordination, returned to the Navy as a chaplain.
Friar1610

User avatar
market timer
Posts: 5968
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by market timer » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:07 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:21 pm
OP, are there opportunities to shift your career at your current company?
In my experience, this is the most efficient way to change careers. The is especially true mid-career, when any job you'll apply for will will require relevant prior work experience.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3870
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:13 pm

I am in my late 40s and have worked in IT almost all my adult life. I would say stay the course if possible. Of course you can change fields and pursue other things. Some people get high school diplomas when they are 80. From a practical and financial perspective though, when you account for the time and $$$ spent on education or starting at a lower salary if you can even get a job in another field, I don't know that it will pay off. If you are at a company where they often hire internally from other areas and are lenient on experience/education, if you can make a move to another area, then I would say that isn't a bad option.

simas
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:50 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by simas » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:18 pm

gunn_show wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:00 pm
i'm all for career planning and looking ahead, but this sounds like thoughts based mostly on assumptions and hearsay.
This. the tone of your posts sounds off as very self defeating, depressed, and I fear by such attitude you are creating your own destiny ... you also come off as very inflexible 'i would not do this, do that, etc' . No one needs for you to wear 40 pieces of flair but at least don't sabotage yourself (and then blame aging, or some other things where you did you to yourself by proving little value, being hard to work with and being depressing to be around with).

at the same time you write you enjoy working with data - and you are concerned about employment??!! it is a very rapidly growing field in every category from DBA, to data architecture, to solution architecture, to machine learnings , to analytics, etc. I run DBA teams for the last 15 years and could not ever get enough of the talent and see great competition for people. same in the data/database developer fields, plenty of work and a lot of comp if that is your thing.


I went from corporate to self employed , liked some things, did not like others, overall a great experience. I am in the same field as you (data)

michaeljc70
Posts: 3870
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:32 pm

After reading some of the posts, I thought I'd chime in a little more. I've worked in IT 25+ years. If you are techinical, a lot of emphasis is placed on how long you have used tool XYZ version 18.0. It doesn't matter if 18.0 and 17.0 are virtually the same. It doesn't matter if you have 20 years experience in software development. They can hire some guy that has 2 year experience that is half your age for less money. This isn't entirely unique to IT, but probably IT is the worst case scenario. It makes ageism much more easy/acceptable IMHO.

To be clear, most of my life I have worked as a contractor, so the standards are probably higher. I was trying to explain it to a realtor friend who just didn't get it. I said it would be like someone selling a house saying I want a realtor that has sold 3 bungalows in a 3 block radius in the last 12 months. The idea being that your experience selling bungalows in other areas is irrelevant and selling other types of homes is irrelevant.

I've done fine. But I've tended to be hired over and over again by the same people/companies that know my work. I see job listings paying 30-40% less than I made 20 years ago doing "senior" level work. Crazy.

smectym
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by smectym » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:42 pm

CobraKai,

Yes it can be done. Have you considered law? Law schools don’t blink at age 40. Assuming you score well on the LSAT, and therefore can get into a highly ranked law school, it’s worth considering as a viable career path.

While what you say about “ageism” in IT and elsewhere certainly contains a significant kernel of truth it’s just one factor in a many-factored and multi-dimensional socioeconomic grid and things are evolving all the time. If you want to switch, you should.

Smectym

AlphaLess
Posts: 1044
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:38 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Is it possible to change one's career in their 40s?

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:47 pm

A potentially good career to go into is some public service job that:
- offers pensions,
- does not result in the pension disqualifying you from social security.

Seem like a lot of pension plans have rules that you can really leverage.

Pension payout rules go something like this:
- need X years of service (or more importantly, pension payout grows with more years of service, with some minimum M required to get in),
- need to wait to a certain age to get pension eligible (this is usually 55, 58, 60, 62, 65, etc),
- pension formula depends on trailing T years of average (in some cases, getting a late 'BANG' in your pay can dramatically increase your pension).

Here is the arbitrage:
- starting such a job at 22 vs, say 42, might be beneficial,
- while you still need to put the years in, you can hit a sweet spot, due to the pension eligibility age.

Anyway, just a thought.
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

Post Reply