Have you ever been in a point in your life where you felt like saying "Enough! I need a huge change!" ? I have...a few months ago...I will mention the resolution towards the end but until then, the story...
I am HR Business Partner for a multinational company in the IT field. Lots of work, crazy deadlines, pressure, tens of people to work with every day, 10 years in the field, tons of paperwork, legal requirements to fulfill and be very careful about (otherwise huge fines for the company), awful reporting, annoying meetings after hours with partners on a different time zone, 14 interviews/day sometimes when needed, fussy top management with crazy requirements that pressure you but which you can't discuss with others, days when you need to smile to everybody even if you feel like grabbing a gun...
I am also Computer Science graduate still passionate about IT, databases and web design. Two separate fields, IT being the one where I run for cover during my bad HR times. I leave the office to drown myself in web design and online marketing to forget about everything. Until one day when I decided I had enough of HR and looked towards Software testing. I decided I wanted to start fresh and I had the courage and the power to do it.
I started reading all I could find about software testing: Agile, black box, white box, software development life cycle, I grabbed my old SQL books, I searched for tests, for all the online courses I could find, I even ended up with a few diplomas and then I decided I was ready to apply to a new job - a Junior Tester job which required only general testing knowledge and a degree in IT - I had both. I went there for a test, I passed it, they invited me for an interview, they asked me all they could think of and I replied to most of the questions.I refused to lie and change my CV with my current career path hoping that my knowledge and motivation would convince them. Unfortunately no - my 9 years in HR proved them that I am not the suitable candidate. Was knowledge enough? NO. Was the degree enough? NO. Was motivation and determination enough? NO. My past haunted me and got me rejected. I was obviously overqualified and they didn't need me in their team. I was hard to shape on such a different position.
So, is a career change possible at 30+ ? Yes, but awfully hard. And the later, the more difficult. And if you have a clear previous career path and you occupy a top/middle management current position, forget about it.
How can you increase your chances to have a career change at 30+?
- Start your own business. Nobody will tell you at the interview that you are overqualified for the job; this is the best option;
- Go for a specialist position on your new chosen path rather than for a junior one; of course, register for trainings before and be prepared;
- Get prepared - do as many trainings as you can and gain some experience - as much as you can;
- Prepare a CV according to the position you apply for - mention all your old jobs, never lie or conceal information, but don't offer too many details and focus on the items that recommend you for the new position;
- Get some recommendations in the new chosen field (a trainer, a teacher, a colleague working in the field) and place the contact details in your CV;
- Not having a job at the moment of the application helps but it's silly to quit a safe job for a possibility;
- Be confident and determined and if you really want the change, don't give up.
And now, the resolution I promised earlier - I am still in HR with a new member in my team taking some of my tasks and realizing that I actually like my job and don't need a career change. The others rejected me for being overqualified. But this is my story. As for you, do more of what makes you happy and never give up.