The world has changed. Thank goodness. It was once expected that the career you entered at 22 would be the one you’d retire from at 65. No more. Today law and medical school classes welcome students in their 30s, 40s, and even older. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , Boomers born from 1957 to 1964 “held an average of 12.3 jobs from age 18 to age 52…nearly half of these jobs were held from ages 18 to 24.” In other words, the notion that millennials are major job-switchers may be inaccurate. Younger people change jobs more often. That’s normal. Besides, the oldest members of my cohort are over 40. Although 65 is a long way away, retirement doesn’t mean what it used to. In fact lots of people never retire –– like the sister of To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee who continued to practice real estate law as she passed the century mark.
Age shouldn’t be a deterrent. Advice columnist Dear Abby was asked by a 36-year-old reader who had dropped out of university if entering medical school was worth it since the writer would be 43 years old when they graduated. Abby’s response? “And how old will you be in seven years if you DON’T do it?” With that advice in mind, here are some of the best career change at 40 quizzes.
This is such a fun way to begin your quest. The Princeton Review Career Test offers a series of 24 binary questions, which ask you to choose between possible careers. When you’re done a color will depict your strongest areas and possible paths. Despite its brevity, it’s definitely one of the best career change at 40 quizzes. Plus, the quiz itself is totally free.
As you start making decisions about your future, you’ll want to tackle more involved tests. Tests that examine your personality may be ideal if you find yourself stuck in a job. You want to go back to how you felt as a student, when you were full of hopes and dreams. In fact, I hope you start dreaming big! Few tests are as good at identifying our dreams and core personality as the MBTI. Inspired by psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s work, the test was developed by mother-daughter team Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Test takers are placed into 16 personality types. This can help older people seeking new careers take the first steps in what can be a frightening –– but ultimately rewarding –– journey. For an investment of less than 50 dollars, this test can illuminate who you are and what you really desire.
This is an old school test but it has a new school following. Because it’s focused on your growth as an individual rather than career options, it could be left off of a best career change at 40 quizzes list. I think it offers potentially valuable insight. By age 40 you’ve likely gained immeasurable experience which means quizzes designed for younger folks may not be as helpful. Because it illuminates your communication and leadership skills, it can help you find a new direction.
Because it uses amusing (and easy to understand) icons, MyNextMove is an enjoyable way to discover interests you might not even realize you have. Plus, it asks you to disregard common obstacles to pursuing a career like experience or education. That means it dares you to dream. The price is right –– free!
Created by careers site Glassdoor, this quiz is tailor made for older career changers. Why? Because while most quizzes merely examine whether an occupation is the right choice for you, this one takes a look at how well a job will fit into your life. In other words, you likely have obligations from family to house payments that you didn’t have at 22. Changes are often disruptive but this looks at how well your life would handle say evening law school or an Executive MBA program. Another quiz from the same company, What Is Your Personal Brand?, does just what it says it does –– taking you through a series of questions that will help you identify and hone your brand. This can be an effective tool as you make a career change.
Another easy and free test, this one uses information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To take the test you just slide a dot from low to high as you rate your interest in specific occupations. You can refine this test by focusing on education, salary, and growth potential. At the conclusion it presents seven career categories including ones in communications, managerial, and science along with more specific options like editor.
Pursuing a new career at any age is scary. Deciding to follow your dreams in middle age is even more daunting. You probably feel like you have so much to lose. The good news is, that you have a lot to gain as well by taking one of the best career changes at age 40 quizzes listed above.
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