I Am Almost 40, Is It Too Late For A New Job?
Q. I have worked for 16 years now. In this duration, I have only worked for two companies, and feel that by not moving more, I have wasted my youth and lost many opportunities. How do I reinvent myself for a new job, and is it too late to consider new opportunities with 40 round the corner?
Working for two employers over 16 years is not a problem; the key question should be around how your career has progressed over that period. If your job has changed once, meaning you have most probably had only one promotion, then you have a reason to worry. So yes, you do have a point,
Staying with one employer for years limits your chances for growth.
Have you ever wondered why many employers recruit externally for managerial roles while there are internal candidates with arguably suitable competencies? They seek diversity in skills and exposure to different environment. You will never get that if you stay put, it is time to move.
But changing employers does not always mean career growth, sometimes more money, but in many cases people make lateral career moves, playing the same roles they had for a little more money, only in a different environment. Most of the people I know who have grown fastest in their career have been bold at changing employers and taking on roles with more responsibilities. Such high career achievers tend not to overstay in roles. Once, they have delivered, they tend to look for the next challenge.
At 40 and with 16 years’ experience, you should be flexing for a pretty senior role. Your motivation for change driven by desire to apply your skills in a challenging role, ability to lead and rally others to deliver their goals, and of course seeking a range of benefits suitable to a middle-aged employee should get you off your comfort zone. At this age, you stop chasing lifestyle benefits like car loans and start valuing a higher pension saving, financing for long-term investments like a mortgage, education benefits if some employers still do that and pushing harder for the C-Suite to actualise your career. So get up, polish your CV, update your LinkedIn profile, and let your network know you are on the lookout for growth.
Set a time line to fulfil this goal and go for it.
Originally posted on the Daily Nation.