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18 Career Change Ideas At 40 To Pivot Your Life
Career Change

18 Career Change Ideas At 40 To Pivot Your Life

How does the thought of working at your current job for the rest of your life make you feel? Can you imagine yourself in the current position until retirement? If not, maybe it's time to change your career. Even in your 40s, you can quickly learn new skills and pivot your career. In this article, we teach you how to start the transition, the top skills to learn in the upcoming years to begin your dream career. Let's go!

Nelson Marteleira
September 10, 2022

A career change can be daunting, especially later in life. We've been programmed through life to settle for good pay even though it might not bring happiness or fulfillment. Growing up, we saw our parents do the same job since high school and just suck it up when things used to get complicated.

But times have changed. Many people in their 40s decide to pivot their careers. The average age of career change is 39. And in this article, we'll try to make this transition as easy as possible for you. Here you'll find ways to start your new adventure and 18 great career ideas at 40 based on where you're in life. 

Why do people change their careers later in life?

On average, a person has at least 12 jobs throughout their career. And there are many reasons why people change their careers. 

  • Unfulfilling job — at some point in your life, you realize that you can't waste time working at an unfulfilling job.
  • Low salary — job hopping is the most effective way to increase your income. On average, each position change comes with a 14.8% increase.
  • Poor management — often, jobs and fields have nothing to do with your desire to quit and start something new. Poor management can affect your work satisfaction and make you question your choices.
  • Changing needs — in your forties, you have more responsibilities and needs. You seek comfort and have a different perspective of life satisfaction compared to your 20s.

How to approach career change in your 40s

When you reach your 40s, you're in the middle of your career. If you've been working in the same field or position for most of your life, the change takes time. You need to take it step-by-step to be prepared.

Two professionals man and woman on their 40s deciding on yescareer options
You reached the middle of your career, why not make a career shift?

Set clear goals and expectations

Before making life-changing decisions, think about where you want to be and set a goal. Do you want to start a new career or advance your current one? Or maybe you're just sick of your demanding boss and want to switch companies. When you finish, be clear with yourself, and make a realistic plan on how to achieve it.

Have a safety net

In your 40s, you have more responsibilities than earlier in your career. You're more likely to have a spouse, kids, mortgage, and other financial commitments. And while career change is a great thing, you need to make sure you can do it safely without compromising your and your family's financial security. 

Know the ins and outs of the field

Before you turn in a resignation letter, get to know the new job or field as much as possible. Read about it, network with people who've been doing it for a while, read books, watch YouTube videos, and try to get the best feeling of what it's like to work in your dream field.

Start learning new skills

When you clearly know where you want to shift your career, you can identify the skills you need to succeed. Be prepared to start from scratch, but don't be afraid. After years at your current job, you have plenty of essential skills you can transfer to your next career. Think about how you can adapt those skills. 

One of the essential skills in the current job market is coding. IT jobs pay very well, and there's a great demand for professional programmers, software developers, data analysts, etc. The good news is that it's not that hard to get into those fields. You can easily start a lucrative career in tech with no-code development.

The top skill for upcoming years: no-code development 

No-code is a set of techniques and tools that allow you to build sophisticated tech products like apps, websites, databases, etc., without coding skills. No-code programs are designed for people who want to start a prosperous job in tech, upskill their current careers, or increase their salary without spending years learning to code. 

UpStart Institute created a No-code Foundation program dedicated to people of all ages to help them gain new skills essential for a career change. Even if your next step isn't in tech, knowing how to build a website, app, or create beautiful designs can elevate any career.

Nocode Institute Foundations 7 weeks Program banner
Learn nocode with the Nocode institute Foundations 7 weeks Program

Changing careers in your 40s isn't as challenging as it might seem. Now, you need career change ideas of where to start. We prepared a list of 18 jobs categorized into different types and fields to make your change easier. 

Top 18 career change ideas at 40 to pivot your life

Tech jobs without coding skills

1. Citizen developer

Woman at her home office developing web content with her nocode resources
Citizen Developer makes use of no code and low code skills for several career options

Earning potential: The salary depends on the field you get into, but you can earn up to $172,000 a year.

A citizen developer is an umbrella term for any tech field that people do with low to no-code skills. Data analysts, web developers, software developers, process improvement consultants, etc., earn around six figures without spending years learning a new skill or paying a lot for fancy degrees.

How can you become a citizen developer?

Although you can find a lot of information online on starting a job in the citizen development field, we advise you to take it up a notch and find a course that focuses on your personal needs and learning process. 

No-Code Foundations Program program gathered the best no-code development teachers who, just like you, once were in the same place you’re now. Only in seven weeks you'll learn the main and most important no-code tools and techniques necessary for entering any citizen development field. 

Our teachers focus on the practical part, so from the first lesson, you'll get to know the demands of citizen development careers and the job market. Together you'll build your portfolio to immediately start looking for lucrative employment opportunities.

2. Web developer

Earning potential: you can earn up to $133,790.

Web developers are crucial for any company that wants to stand out and have a functional website. They create and manage websites. But you don't need to learn HTML, CSS, or Java Script for it. No-code development opens many doors to tools that allow you to build stunning websites without learning to code.

3. UI/UX designer

Earning potential: $30,000 to $520,000

UI/UX designers create websites focused on functionality and efficiency. They optimize the browsing experience to improve the buyer’s journey. Companies need UI/UX designers to retain users and convert them to customers.

Job to travel the world

1. Travel blogger

A couple traveling and recording the journey for a blog content
An inspiring way to enjoy life and being paid for it

Earning potential: $30,705 to $86,796.

Travel bloggers travel the world and write about it, photograph or film new locations. They get paid for their actual work, but on top of that, many receive sponsorships like paid vacations, free accommodation, and other perks.

2. Photographer

Earning potential: Senior roles can earn around $60,000 per year

If your hobby is photography, you can start a new career in the field or build a side hustle. Depending on the specialization, photographers travel to different locations, meet interesting people, and monetize their skills and creativity.

3.Content creator

Earning potential: $45,320 to $140,000

Content can be videos, photographs, articles, web copy, etc. You can monetize your skills on platforms like Medium, YouTube, Skillshare, etc. Content creators can use affiliate marketing and sponsorships to increase their earnings.

Jobs that don't require being around people

If you’re tired of dealing with annoying colleagues, these jobs are great for introverts and people who are better at working solo.

1. Ghostwriter

Woman's hand on laptop keyboard writing web content
Do you have a knack for writing? Newsletters, story telling, reports, blogs...?

Earning potential: $31,715 to $52,149

Ghostwriters write content such as blogs, books, social media posts, etc., for others. Many people posting online don't write themselves but hire others to do so. You might not get the recognition but earn a solid salary in return.

2. Artist

Earning potential: $71,583 on average.

If you're good at creating art, you can monetize it. And with the growing popularity of digital marketplaces, you might not even need to spend too much time around people. You can create your own store or open an account and sell NFTs on the blockchain.

3. Musician

Earning potential: $63,419 on average.

If you're a talented musician, you can earn from your skills. Although to advance your career, you might need to perform for real audiences, you can sell your music online on music streaming platforms, host live shows, or sell your beats for commercials, shows, radios, etc.

Investment opportunities

Your 40s are a great time to invest. You should have more significant capital, allowing you to invest larger amounts to gain more. 

1. Investment in stocks and funds

Woman analyzing data from spread sheets
Funds investment, a great way to have an oxygen bubble for any financial inconvenience

Earning potential: $21,025 to $560,998.

Stock investors invest in individual stocks or funds. They earn money from dividends. Investing in funds can be a great idea to protect your money from inflation in the long term. But if you have time to investigate markets and actively invest, you can grow your capital more significantly.

2. Real estate

Earning potential: $61,920 on average in the USA.

You can invest your capital in real estate and earn money from renting it. While your earnings depend on the location, type of real estate, and the number of properties, you can start small and increase. You don't need to buy a large apartment in the city center to make money. Many owners begin by buying smaller properties such as empty land or houses outside the city.

3. Crowdfunding

Earning potential: 10-17% return.

Crowdfunding is a short-term investment method. You invest in projects and companies, and after the project is launched, and if it succeeds, you receive your money with around 12% return. It can be a way to build up a second income stream or invest more. However, it's riskier than traditional stock investments.

Scaling up your current career

If you like what you do but want to advance your career, we have some suggestions that can help you transform your career without changing the field.

1. Online consultant

Tech woman on her home office during an online consultancy
Be the master of your time and earning potencial

When you work in your field for a long time, you can advance your career by becoming a consultant. Consultants can charge higher rates while working fewer hours. This means you can become self-employed and break the salary ceiling.

2. Online course creator

Online courses are a great passive income. You only need to create a course and promote it. The course will eventually snowball if you're good at what you do and know how to reach the right audience. 

3. Mentor

Depending on your field, you can help others succeed by mentoring them. For example, marketers can mentor people or companies that want to boost their marketing efforts. 

Open a small business

If you're done working for somebody else, you can become a small business owner and be your own boss. Business ideas are countless, but we picked the three most common ones.

1. A shop owner 

Happy shop owner holding a welcome we are open sign
Open your own space, choose an e-commerce option or maybe even a drop shipping boutique

Earning potential: Around 50k.

You can make your own products or find vendors and suppliers and start selling. You can also open up an online store or do dropshipping. While it might take time to accelerate your business, you can become a small retail business owner.

2. Open a beauty salon

Earning potential: On average, $74,691.

If you want to become an esthetician, hairdresser, or enter any other beauty field, you can open your own practice. Eventually, you can increase your business, start renting spots for other specialists and grow your clientele.

3. Coaching business

Earning potential: A business coach's salary is $85,879, on average. 

Do you want to work online while running a successful business? Online coaching businesses are booming. You can coach people on the things that matter to you to help them build their own business. After years in your job, you know the ins and outs so you can help people find their way.

How to accelerate your career in your 40s with Nocode Institute

Nocode institute Foundations 7 weeks Program banner
Make a shift in your career in 7 weeks with the Nocode Institute Foundations Program

Now you know that the job market is open for people of all ages. It's never too late to learn new skills to change a career, upskill your current job, or increase your value and salary in the job market.

But we want to help you go one step further. Nocode Institute, together with experienced teachers, created a special 7-week No-Code Foundations Program to help you learn the top skill for the upcoming years. No-code development is one super skill that can boost your career to the next level. No additional degrees, expensive learning material, or years spent learning are necessary. 

In just 7 weeks, you'll have a small portfolio of digital products and be on the way to creating more. By the end of the course, you'll be able to build websites, databases, web apps, and more. With no-code development, you'll find a lucrative job, earn more in your current position, change your unfulfilling job, or even start your own business. So, say hello to your new 6 figure career.

Are you ready to change your life?

Learn more about No-Code Foundations Program.

Nelson Marteleira

Nelson is the co-founder NoCode Institute. He is an experienced NoCode specialist and developer with a solid portfolio. Nelson helps bring ideas to reality.

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