Career and Work

A career change after 30: is that possible?

It was certainly the most difficult moment in my life. I had my own company, earned a good salary, had flexible work hours, my business was in expansion and it was a reference to others. I also had bought my own car, was paying for my apartment and me and my husband could travel every year. Yet, something was missing. The thing is, when you experience this feeling after you are 30 you start to question yourself whether this is just a bad moment or if it will persist for a longer period. And it did.

For almost 2 years I was unmotivated and unhappy at my work. I was trying my best to get inspired and get back the excitement I used to have in the beginning, but nothing helped. Everyday I felt like I was not being challenged enough and my potential was being underused. Moreover, I didn’t feel like I was doing something meaningful. It was just a large workload with no meaning behind it. While most of my friends were happy at their professions and enjoying the peak of their careers, I was terrified with the idea that my professional life could not be any more different from this point.

There were times I considered a career change, but to leave my comfort zone was the first barrier I was not ready to overcome. At my work I was a skilled professional. I had more than 7 years of experience, I knew exactly what I was doing and was in the position to teach others. Apart from that, it was very unlikely for me to get a similar salary in an entry position in another area. That meant a career change would also impact my lifestyle. So, no, let’s not think about it! And I immediately ignored these thoughts.

I stayed in my comfortable situation until I got a very good excuse to pull out for some time: I was pregnant. As it usually happens with women when they become mothers, and this was no different with me, my brain shifted and I started to analyse things a bit more differently. Now it was almost unbearable to realize that my demotivation was slowly leading me to stop developing as a person and as a professional. I didn’t want my son to look at me and see an unhappy person and a frustrated professional. So I decided that it was time to make some drastic change and if I was not doing it for myself at first, finally life gave me other reasons to do so.

Due to its significance and various applications, the field that excited me the most was information technology. And there was a second barrier I had to deal with. Because I always saw myself as a social science person, this new match with the technological field seemed a bit nonsense. I tried to recall in which moment I decided (or was decided by me) that I was a social science person. The only guess I have is that I just didn’t have a reference in another field. For some years my family was composed of business people, so this was the reference I had, and probably it contributed to the way I saw myself as well.

This analysis helped me to reshape my self-perception. Although it was clear that I was not very gifted in math, I also knew for sure that training often overcomes any talent. Truth is I would probably have to dedicate more hours of study than others that are talented, but this was the challenge I was eager for. So in the end, studying technology would definitely take me out of my comfort zone and pave my path to a new career which was clear to have lots of growth opportunities.

Having overcome these barriers, I was then lost about how to start my career change. How could I build up skills in a completely unknown field to me? Somehow it felt strange to commence a new university degree and attend classes with 18-20-year-old students. But after conducting some research, I found out that there was a possibility to complete a Master in Information Technology at Griffith even if I did not have a degree in the field of computer science. So, that was it! Now it was time to press the button and put my plans into practice. Building my capacity is the first important step I made for changing my career and I have not regretted it even for a second. Now I am eager to take the next step: my first job in the field. When this happens, I will be glad to share my experience here with you. So stay tuned!


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