Career Change at 35-40

Age 35-40... Burnout happens, priorities shift, you're ready for a change. So what does a career change look like at this stage of life?


on this episode

“I am ready for a career change… Will I have to start over? Do I need to go back to school? Will I have to take a pay cut?”

35-40 is a common age range for career change. Oftentimes you have made it to a high level in your current organization, are feeling burnt out, and are finding your priorities in life are shifting. How can you take the skills and experience you’ve gained over the past 10+ years and translate them into a meaningful career you love?

In this bonus episode, Phillip, HTYC Director of Client Results, discusses the common struggles of 35-40 year old career changers and the solutions our coaches provide to help them transition to their ideal role!

Resources mentioned

  • What career fits you? Join our free 8 Day Mini Course to figure it out! 
  • Career Change Guide – Learn how high-performers discover their ideal career and find meaningful, well-paid work without starting over.

Introduction 00:04

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:28

Okay, it's Scott. But you're not going to hear from me in this episode, because I'm taking some of our HTYC advice, and I'm stepping away from work. And this time for an entire month to be able to spend time with my family, and unplug. So I'm not going to be on this episode, or the next few. I am leaving you in great hands, of the Happen To Your Career podcast team, I know you're gonna love it.

Phillip Migyanko 00:51

Hey, this is Phillip. Director of Client Results here at Happen To Your Career. And as you've heard from Scott, the rest of the team and I, well, we're taking over the podcast for the next few weeks. And if you haven't heard or met me on the podcast before, I've been with Happen To Your Career for a little over three and a half years. And I've really touched almost everything in the business and had the opportunity to interact with thousands of our amazing clients during my time here at Happen To Your Career. So coming out of that spot, wanted to jump on the podcast and share a tiny, tiny part of the data that myself and the team has gathered from working with thousands of great people. So one of the most interesting things that we're finding is from this large group that we work with, that's around the ages of 35 to 40. So today, I wanted to kind of share with you a little bit of the struggles they go with, the hopes that they might have and kind of the solutions that maybe you can try out literally today to get from where you are to the next step, let's get into it.

Phillip Migyanko 01:57

So if you find yourself in the age group of 35 to 40, and maybe you might be stick your hand up and going, "Yep, Philip, that's me." Here are the things you've probably tried before, more than likely from looking at our data, you might have worked with a career coach before, you've more than likely been trying already to do some LinkedIn networking. And it's not really going anywhere, or you've done what everybody does. They look on LinkedIn, they look on Indeed, they look on insert any other job board, and then they just go out there and patrol and they don't find anything or they look for jobs, and they scroll to the bottom where the job requirements are. And they go, "Oh my gosh" and then maybe they applied and maybe they heard something back, but it's like that black hole of like, "Thank you for applying. But we are looking at other candidates now." That kind of stuff. And so within this age group, what we're you're tending to find as well, and again, you might find these things for yourself, you most likely and an individual contributor role, or a director or high level role in which you are approaching or have exceeded 10 plus years of experience. Now, that's not always true. But looking at the high level data, this is what we're tending to find. So what does that mean, most likely, you're experiencing some form of burnout. Now, that can happen. And that can look in so many different ways. And what we see at Happen To Your Career is you've been experiencing some sort of burnout, because you've been doing the same thing, whether you've been in the same organization, or the same industry, or even the same role for a long period of time, and ultimately looking for something different or looking to do something different. And so from what we've found in talking to these individuals is that, of course, they feel stuck. And we're that cognitive distance between what they're doing now and what they're wanting to do. And you're like, "Okay, Phillip. Obviously, that's what we're listening to the podcast for." But generally, they've been in this point of unhappiness for a long period of time. And so you might be thinking, "Okay, cool. This makes sense. We've seen this kind of stuff before." And what's the interesting aspect here is that for this group, that is in this 35 to 40, there's a spot which they've established careers, and really gotten to the point where, you know, they're establishing their company within the industry, within the role or something like that. But on the other side, they are far enough away from retirement in which they typically look at that and they go, "Oh my gosh! I can't keep living this way for another 10 years, or 15 years or 20 years" something like that, but they're looking ahead and they're seeing, usually their boss or supervisor or they're going, "I don't want this for my day to day life." Or this can often happen from things outside their career as well, specifically if they have started a family or not, and you might be in that same spot, maybe you just had your first child, maybe you're about to have your first child, or maybe you've got a pretty established family, but you guys are early on. And so what happens here, it's a change in values. And especially after COVID, where we can see is that the process has accelerated, people's values didn't necessarily change, it's more that you change the order of priorities, meaning what was not as important is now way more important. So what that generally then means is, alright, so what got us is here isn't going to get us there. All of that work and experience that this age group has gotten to where they are, is not going to work to get them to essentially the new spot. So it's not only how do we change, basically, where you're looking to go, but how do we make sure that you are setting up your life in a way that allows you to get closer to your priorities, and essentially, what you're wanting?

Phillip Migyanko 05:57

So you might be asking yourself, okay, that makes sense. I feel all those things already. So what essentially stops them? And generally, what stops them is, one, work schedule or mental exhaustion, this comes back again to that burnout aspect again. They are just so drained from their work schedule, or they're mentally exhausted from things both inside and outside of work, that having to kind of put everything on hold, or at least feel like you have to put everything on hold to then focus on this career stuff, it's just another thing on top of the plate. So how do we do this on top of everything else? And what can we basically temporarily say no to, to then focus on this stuff? So what I mean by that is, everyone has really busy lives, and everyone's going through lots of different things. But how do we essentially look at our time and go, "How can I make sure that whatever actions that I take, big or small, that we are essentially putting our priorities, taking our actions to get one step closer every single day?" So work schedules, and mental exhaustion, are a huge one for most, especially for those individuals within that age group that are just starting families, or having toddlers or something like that. Now, another one that we find here is the fear of not enough. Now, we've talked about this one, a ton on the podcast. For those individuals within this age group, they've often put enough of those reps into their work, where they're not wanting to leave something else. I've worked so hard for Indigo to something else. And so they usually think like, "Okay, I've only worked in accounting" for example, "I've only worked at accounting. So how can I do anything outside of accounting and finance?" or something like that. And that fear of like, my skills will translate to something else is one of the first things that stops people. And so you can usually tell this, just from the conversations, or you might be thinking this yourself right now, when people go, you know, "Do I have to go back to school?" But usually you see this when people are generally thinking and they'll say, like, you know, "I have some thoughts on what a nice career might be. And I've always felt I could do this before, I always kind of look at the corner of my eye. And I've always wanted to do this, or that." And it usually comes back to the fear of, like, "Well, people who've been astronauts, well, they that kind of astronaut school, or they have to do this, they have to do that." And I've got clients right now who are very similar in this work, or at least similar feeling this way, where they feel like whatever they're doing now can't translate into the next thing or they are unable to see it. So with that, it goes into the next one, which is fear of starting over. And so again, you've probably heard us talk about this on the podcast so many times, most people, when they get to the spot, they go, "Okay, well, the thing that got me here was I had to work really hard in the industry that I did, or the current organization I was doing or the role that was at and that meant, I'd had to go up and up and up through the organization. And so if I'm going to translate into anything new, then of course, that means I'm going to start over and I'm willing to do that" because the biggest one that we often see, it's this inevitable fear of a pay cut. And so looking at the data, this is a huge factor for most people coming in here. And you've heard this on the podcast already. So the majority of people that we work with do not take a pay cut. And the reason they don't is for a couple of reasons. One is that our coaches are really great and we just don't let people consider options that are below what their minimums are. And two, is we help enable people to ask for what they want, far ahead of the negotiation process. Most people and we've got tons of podcasts that you've heard about negotiation. Negotiation usually starts before you're getting the offer, any other thing like that. So usually, when we're working with people, that's not something we're considering or even putting on the table, unless it's like, "Hey, Phillip. This club is the most amazing thing ever. I've never seen anything like before. And I definitely want to take it, but it pays this much less." If that happens, then we, as coaches, we talk about it. And we really consider those things. And the last one, which is fear that, it will just be the same wherever I go. Meaning, what happens for a lot of individuals in this age group is that they have a lot of trouble seeing what to do outside of what they've already done. So whenever they go look for jobs, whenever they go apply for stuff, it keeps taking them back to the same organizations they were before for the same types of roles before. And so this inevitably keeps taking them back to the same thing that's causing them so much pain already.

Phillip Migyanko 10:57

So talk about feeling stuck, they feel like they are in a spot where "How can I ever escape this stuff that I hate?" And so really, it's more about that. And it's more about how do we help them see beyond that and see where the transferable things are beyond that. So kind of going over those fears where most people get stuck, you know, it's the work schedule, the mental exhaustion, just the inability to dedicate the time or mental bandwidth to this work. Two, is the fear of not enough. How can I translate my skills, my experience, my work over to something else, and not going to have to go back to school, blah, blah, blah, all those kinds of things. Three, is fear of starting over, this usually comes from a pay cut, or having to start over in the organization, things like that. And four is fear that it will just be the same wherever I go, that feeling that the inevitable has happened, I'm just going to be one of those people woe is me, I cannot get out of this horrible job, horrible organization, horrible industry, whatever that might be. You might be asking yourself at this point. Okay, so you've gone through the data that makes sense, I might be feeling those things already. Or I'm not necessarily in that age group, but I'm feeling that as well. So what can you do? What makes the next step? What most of these individuals need help with, or you might find yourself needing help here is how to navigate through the fog and to find the right path that brings you closer to this alignment and feeling alive feeling. So for many individuals, this often means finding a company or group of people that allows them to utilize their strengths, that's aligned with their values, and supports their life and other areas. Meaning it allows you to spend more time with the people that you want, have the quality of life that you want, really supports the values of the person who you are, and the person that you want to be. Now, all that stuff seems great. And what I know, just like I mentioned from being here at Happen To Your Career at this point, for three and a half years is that that is very difficult to do alone. It can happen, you could definitely do it alone, but mostly, it's extremely difficult. So first thing you can do, if you haven't already, check out our eight day free mini course. One of the great things about it, it starts to really ask you the questions about what do you really like to do? What do you really love to do? What do you not like to do? And what are the differences between both? And how do we decide how to move forward? Essentially, these are all little micro decisions that we have to make. And we have to break them up between smaller and smaller bits, to get closer to the life that you want. So one of the great things about that eight day mini course is that that's essentially what it has to do. It has to start looking at what brings you joy. And if you're having a lot of trouble with that, the next thing I recommend is, if you haven't checked it already, we have our wonderful career changer guide. And that's basically it breaks down the entire process of what it looks like to work with us at Happen To Your Career. It breaks it up into our nine stages of meaningful work. Basically, in a nutshell, the biggest ones are, let's get really clear on what you want and get a really good idea of what it looks like from an ideal career profile sense. Let's go and test that out in real life with experiments, with conversations, things like that to be able to test that out. And then let's go and make sure we were asking for what we want directly within resumes, within interviews with negotiation, things like that. If all of that seems really overwhelming, or you got to that eight day course, if you got to that career changer guide, and it's like, "I just really need to talk to another human being. I need to talk to this team or I feel like I'm getting stuck." Talk to Cindy, send the email to Scott or myself, my email is and you can even put 'Conversation' in the title and send an email right to me, we'll get you help. On that note, glad to be taken over the podcast for a bit. This is probably, again, not the last time you'll see me and have a great rest of your day.

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