Over 30 Career Path?
Once one hits the over-thirty mark in age, he might recognize the youthful faces gracing the team photos of big companies and wonder, “am I too old to start a career?” So long as one has the right education, no general career is totally out of reach; however, the job market for the wiser ones among us may feel slightly narrow.
It might take a little time and effort to get into the works of being a local politician such as a city or county commissioner, but if you have passion about your community, your experience could pay off as a career option. You have to be involved in your community to get into this career path, but this career path isn’t one that favors the recent college graduate. In fact, if you have yet to finish college and you are in your thirties, you still have time on your side. Look into getting a degree in public administration while doing some work for your community. Network while you learn, and you’ll have a path that could lead you toward really enjoying your future job.
You can become a teacher if you already have a college degree; you just need to finish the certification required for you to teach. Bridge the gap between your education and your personal wisdom to help you begin a new career as an educator. You don’t have to take the public education route. You can tutor children, teach adults basic literacy, or train community members to do a craft. If you are considering a job as a teacher in the school system, you may consider becoming a substitute teacher. Substituting may help you with getting some of field-work experience you’ll need toward earning a teacher’s certification. In general, you’ll start out at a lower career depth than people your age who have been teaching since graduating college in their early twenties. On the positive side, being a “teacher” is not always associated with very young people, so you can “get in” this career path without feeling as though you’re the oldest person on the job.
Write for magazines, online publications, and local publications to begin developing a repertoire of publishing experience. You can hone your writing skills at any age, and being older than most college graduates doesn’t have to show up in your writer’s biography. One of the biggest hurdles of starting a new career past the age of thirty is not having the same experience as your peers; however, writing is one of those fields that is pretty open to cross-over career people. As a writer, you’re mainly working for yourself, so while many publications are looking for something specific, the “employer” isn’t necessarily looking for a new trainee who just graduated college.
You do have some time to do some market research, develop a business plan, and capture the capital needed to start a business. Your age has less to do with the success of a business than your business acumen. Take some classes on management and accounting, then find a business mentor to help you develop a goal path to start a business. Find the mentor even before you have the capital needed to start your business, because you might be able to set a clear enough path to acquire the capital if you have a clear path.
Thoughts on the Career Hurdles for People Over Thirty
If you are just beginning a new career after thirty, as in, you’re just finishing your degree, you may suddenly feel as though your entire life is moving way too quickly. You may feel that you’re squeezed into competing against people your age or younger who have years of experience and perhaps a traditional college education (many adults opt for online education). The list of career options I’ve chosen to present represent career options that don’t necessarily give the perception of “youth.” In fact, I thought about writing on this topic after viewing the staff pictures of people at the Huffington Post. They all look under twenty-five years of age.
Applying for an entry level position with a great company could wax intimidating when most of the new employees are recent college graduates. That doesn’t mean you’re done for it. You could still go for your dream job. Don’t let the personal fear of being shunned for your age keep you from going after what you wish you went for in your youth. Yes, college loans are a bit risky when you have less time to develop a career than had you finished college before you turned thirty, but if you have a passion, that passion will benefit your life–maybe even financially–in non-quantitative ways.
Perhaps we think of all the famous people and great minds and realize that most of them gained notoriety before that pivotal age. For most people, the correlation between life-goals and age has less to do with societal perceptions of age or the ability to achieve greatness after a certain age than it does with having to deal with life in the real world. Is it possible that we all just think, “Gee, they all look under twenty-five. I must be too old?” Maybe many of us think the same thing and so we don’t try. We don’t see 40-year-olds in the newbie crowd because they’ve either advanced or thought the same thing: too old.
We may be prioritizing new family responsibilities over career ambitions, which is perfectly respectable; however, we can keep in mind that when we are interested–and ready–in becoming a botanist, or a magazine editor, or a chiropractor, being over thirty is not an impediment. If you have the passion for something, your age may help you. Who knows?