Career change at 40 Australia: Career change in your 40s – it’s possible!

Last modified 05 February 2024
Career & Development
Career change at 40 Australia: Career change in your 40s – it’s possible!

With a retirement age of almost 70 in Australia, being stuck in a passionless job can feel like a life sentence. Unfortunately, many people believe that they are too old to change careers in Australia, but with the average person changing jobs approximately 13 times in their lifetime, a career change at 40 in Australia is more common than you think.

You’re never too old to change your career. In fact, a 2015 report showed that there were over 181,000 students aged 30-39 and almost 90,000 aged 40-49 currently studying to make a profession change in Australia. And best of all, advances in technology have made it possible for people of all ages to advance their careers.

How can you make the change you’ve always dreamt of and accelerate your career in your 40s? We’ve put together this helpful guide to help you on your new professional journey.

Why should you change your career in your 40s?

More flexible work options

Achieving the right work-life balance can be difficult, especially if you’re stuck in a rigid job role. Due to the recent pandemic, Australian workplaces have had to become more adaptable in order to keep their staff safe. Workers have had a taste of flexibility, and many of them don’t want to return to the 9-5 lifestyle.

A new career can bring better hours and improve your work-life balance. So choose a career that fits in with your lifestyle rather than the other way around.

Read Will a flexible MBA help me maintain a work-life balance?

Reduce stress and burnout

According to Heads Up, 91% of Australian employees believe that it’s important to work in a mentally healthy environment – yet only 52% of workers think that their workplace is mentally healthy.

Working in a job role that is stressful puts team members at risk of burning out. And burnt-out employees are more likely to make a career change at 40 in order to save their failing mental state and avoid any other health issues that come with it.

Advance your career

Some industries have limited career opportunities. And thanks to automation, 2.7 million jobs throughout Australia are at risk of becoming irrelevant.

Fields such as cyber security and programming are growing every day, and plenty of people are jumping ship in order to develop professionally. For many people, their job is more than a paycheck every week. It’s a sense of purpose – which is why career advancement is important to so many Australians.

Read Changing Jobs – How Often is Too Often?

What you need to know before making a career change at 40 in Australia

What career options are available?

Do your research and find out if your new chosen career aligns with your personal life. It’s also important to learn what job opportunities your new industry offers and how long it will take to establish yourself.

By looking deeper into your career options, you can make a decision based on a job role that suits your personality and lifestyle. You can even find a mentor on LinkedIn who can tell you what kind of qualifications you’ll need and introduce you to a new network of people.

Can you transfer your existing skills?

Transferable skills – such as communication, leadership, problem-solving and critical thinking – are not only valuable, but they can be applied to any role in the workforce. So take some time to list your skills, and see if they can be used in your new career choice.

If not, this is the perfect time to retrain or study completely different skills. The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is a registered higher education provider designed to change the career paths of people just like you. We were the first private provider accredited to offer prestigious research degrees such as Master of Management, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

If you’re interested in learning foundational skills across all areas of business, our general MBA offers a comprehensive education in business management and leadership, plus your choice of electives. You can also choose to specialise in one of five key fields: Finance, Entrepreneurial Management, Marketing Management, Human Resource Management, or Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Speak to a Course Advisor and learn more about how our MBA can benefit you.

Fast-Track MBA call to action

How to change your career in your 40s

Step 1: Gain your relevant certification

Roles such as Business Analyst, Chief Financial Officer or human resources positions often require a form of accreditation to certify your skills or specific area of expertise. Not only is gaining the right certification via study the most efficient way of changing your career, but it’s also the most profitable. More often than not, these credentials lead to higher-paying jobs.

Our Fast-Track MBA can result in an increase in annual salary, with our alumni receiving, on average, a $33,000 pay increase since graduating. Check your eligibility for our Fast-Track MBA here.

Step 2: Network with people in your new industry

Going into a new career without any connections can be daunting. So create a support system and start networking. Join a networking group or attend local conferences to expand your network and learn new things.

AIB hosts a series of networking events –  not only for AIB alumni and students but for any working professional interested in career development and growing their network. During these gatherings, attendees will forge new local connections, mingle with like-minded business individuals and grow their professional network.

Find out more about our latest alumni events here.

Step 3: Rework your resume and start applying for jobs

A strategic and compelling resume is important for making a good first impression. Be sure to thoroughly review your resume and update it to enhance your core strengths and include any new credentials – like your MBA. Your MBA is a standout feature you must put on your resume. Even if you haven’t graduated, you can still add ‘MBA in progress’ with your anticipated completion date. Learn how to incorporate my MBA skills into your resume here.

Now that your resume is looking sharp, you can start applying for jobs in your new field. Many companies use online job boards and social media to list their latest openings. So be sure to follow them online and keep an eye out for any newly available roles.

A career change at 40 in Australia is possible with the right advice, education and support. With over 35 years of history, AIB is renowned as one of Australia’s most established private education institutions. Future-focused, fully accessible, and dedicated to continuous improvement, we offer programs that boost your career – like our Fast-Track MBA. Learn more about our courses.

*The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is Australia’s largest provider of MBAs. Source Ready, B. (2023) Domestic Enrolments Surged During COVID After International Students Locked Out, MBA News. Available at: MBA News.

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