How to make a career change at 30, 40 or 50

Have you got the itch for a career change or job jump? No matter your age or experience, it’s completely possible. Here’s how. 

Woman over 50 red hair smiling


According to the Australian Institute of Business, the average Australian will change jobs 12 times during their working life, with an average of 3.3 years with any given employer.  

Since the dawn of the Great Resignation (otherwise known as The Big Quit), this figure is estimated to have increased. Having lived through a global pandemic, employees are looking for greater satisfaction and flexibility than ever before.  

In fact, new statistics show that almost 10% of the Aussie population quit their jobs between May 2021 and May 2022. That’s a mammoth 1.3 million people!  

So, if you’re feeling the urge to jump ship, you’re not alone. With the right advice, approach and support, a career or job change is completely possible. 

I need a career change, but I don’t know what to do 

Feeling stuck is a common emotion when the urge to change career strikes. You may be worried you’re being selfish as the cost of living continues to rise.  

The good news is, with government funding and part-time online study available, changing your career doesn’t mean sacrificing mortgage repayments.

What job should I do? 

Perhaps you'd like to pursue a path you dreamed of long ago. Or you might not have any idea at all. If you fall in the latter camp, follow these steps to narrow your options:  

  1. Speak with a career advisor about your interests, passions and what you haven’t liked about your previous or current career. They’ll be able to help you brainstorm new ideas based on your likes and dislikes.
  2. Take our course matching quiz to get instant course ideas based on your aspirations and ideas. You’ll be provided with a list of options you can study from home with government funding if you’re eligible.  
  3. Get in touch with an Open Universities Australia student advisor to chat through your options. If you’re ready to take the leap, you can enrol online yourself. Or our student advisors can guide you through the process over the phone.  

Where to get career advice 

There are a number of career advisory organisations available for individuals looking to turn a new leaf. It just takes reaching out. 

A simple Google search of career advisors in your area will provide you with a list of options. Send them an email or better yet pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.  

From there, you’ll want to come prepared. Be ready to discuss where you’ve been, where you’re headed and the highs and lows of past careers. In return, they’ll provide you with a number of ideas. 

Chances are, you’ll leave feeling inspired, invigorated, and ready to take on a whole new working life and career identity.  

Questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about a job jump

  1. Is this a phase or have I been feeling the need to change paths for a while? 
  2. What don’t I like about my current career or role? 
  3. What do I like about my current career or role? 
  4. If I could do anything, what would it be? 
  5. What does an ideal workday look like to me? Am I outdoors? Indoors? Surrounded by people or solitary? Is it shift work or set hours? 
  6. How many weeks, months or years am I willing to invest in upskilling or reskilling?
  7. What is the minimum wage I need to earn from my new career? Am I comfortable earning less than I currently do? (Keep in mind, you may end up earning more!) 

Ready to take the leap towards a brand-new future? Speak with a student advisor today for a friendly chat about your aspirations. They’ll help you compare, choose and enrol in thousands of online courses offered by leading universities. We’ll guide you there.  


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