Turning 40 – 3 careers and 3 things to consider when looking for a new job

Next year is my ‘big 4-0’ – those that have been following our earlier blogs will know that my marvelous business partner, Mishel is also reaching the big 3-0 in 2015. There will be a party and of course you are all invited. Free drinks limited to the first 5 people.

I have two kids, a mortgage and a career. I am now officially your average 40 year old man!

If like me, you feel like you have already worked a lifetime, please note: in the UK we shall be claiming our state pension at 65/68, in working years we are not half way there.

The chances are you have hit a ceiling.

Our careers tend to move rapidly in the first 10 years primarily because our early training will take us from trainee/ amateur to professional – a massive leap. We are then ready to build on this foundation in our 20/30s.

By 40, it will slow.

With most businesses operating as a pyramid, with a small number of directors on top and layers of employees underneath, the roles open to your career progression will have narrowed.

Should you want to move up don’t pin your hopes on your current employer. It’s worth browsing what’s out there.

On average we have 3 careers in our lifetime!

That’s not jobs – careers!

By 40, a number of you will have already accomplished a significant amount in your chosen field. You may have reached Director/Board or Senior level and are now wondering what will keep you challenged for the next 25 years?

1. Is it time for your second/third career?

Have you held back on chasing a new career whilst your job was progressing/ kids were young/ the mortgage was a factor?

You have done the groundwork. Taking a little time out to pursue a new career or venture will not damage your current one. Go into it with the right mindset. This could be the start of something wonderful or the reality might not match the dream.

The big question is – would you regret not trying?

There is a time limit on this. Each industry will differ, ask around (employers, recruiters etc).

2. Is it time to go it alone?

Be risk adverse but still take the risk! Work out what you can afford to invest in this change and how much time this equates to and stick to it.

Please be realistic though. Whether you have partnered or appointed people to take on other key roles within your business (new business, finance etc), you will not only sleep easier but are also more likely to succeed, if you have a good handle on every aspect of the business.


Find yourself a mentor, ideally someone that does not operate in the same market that can bring fresh ideas and impartial opinions to your new company.

Now get yourself a savvy Accountant.
NB: When we started Truffle the first people we spoke to were our Accountants, they were integral in our set-up, handheld and advised us through every process, tax benefit etc and continue to be our biggest supporters (as they should be!).

3. Is it time to take a break?

You are now reaching the ‘burn out’ years!

It might sound self-indulgent but having spent the past 20 years climbing the ladder and with half your working career ahead of you, maybe it’s time to take a break.

Of course money is likely to be a factor however a mere month or two investing into your own personal ambitions and/or family will refuel you. You may even be lucky enough to work for a company that offers sabbaticals, make the most of that! If they don’t, the right employer will recognise that to retain you as a valuable member of staff, a couple of months fulfilling other ambitions will only benefit them in the long run.

If you have reached your career crossroad then this time will give you the distance from your current role to make plans for the future.

You may feel it’s time to hone your career further, broaden your skill set or challenge yourself with an MA.

Should you want to experience a total life change then why not look at http://www.thecareerbreaksite.com for some inspiration.

Life now begins at 40! Enjoy.