Ask Vicki: Is it ever too late to make a career change?
In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi tells you what to do when the countdown on your career clock is ticking.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Is it ever too late to make a career change?
A. It’s never too late to change career paths. In fact, countless people change careers, many of them later in life.
Still, you need to weigh your priorities in life to answer the question of whether it’s worth it. For many people, yes, rebooting your career is definitely worth it. The reasons for doing so are as varied as increasing your job satisfaction to propelling your career to new heights where your interests, skills and experiences are best suited. There may be short-term sacrifices in terms of cash flow, but if you’ll be happier in the long term, then by all means you should pursue it.
Often, to make a switch, you’ll need to move laterally or even take a step back. Career paths don’t always go in a neat, straight line. Sometimes you need to zig in order to zag—or in other words, take a role that might be a step back because in the long run it could position you really well for your next step.
You may need to start at an entry-level position, but as long as it’s positioning you with skill sets and experience to further your career in that path, it should be worth it. That said, you still need to make the decision for yourself. Can you afford it financially? I always tell people to make the switch sooner rather than later. Going into an entry-level job now will be an easier pill to swallow than if you switch five or even 10 years from now. Good luck!