Author Topic: Age 31, Career Change?  (Read 1843 times)

cbr shadow

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Age 31, Career Change?
« on: March 31, 2015, 03:21:27 PM »
I'm 31 years old and have an Industrial Technology Degree from a state school in IL. I work as a "Design Engineer" using AutoCAD and Revit and make ~$50k/yr plus benefits.
I'm considering a career change, but I'm really not sure what to get into. I don't feel like my current path is necessarily worth sticking with since the pay isn't very high and I don't have a passion for it. I do like parts of it, but the work isn't especially interesting to me. With the somewhat low pay and somewhat uninteresting field, I don't feel compelled to stick with what I'm doing.

My wife makes almost 3x what I make (Software Sales) which gives me some ability to take a bit of risk in trying something new without putting us in financial strain.

I think the first question will be "What are you good at?". I've had SOME exposure to sales and did really well (worked at GNC in college and hit sales records for our store, became a store manager within a year) but this was just retail. I'm also attracted to sales because I do really well dealing with people - I'm often asked by friends to negotiate for them on Craigslist deals or vehicle purchases. I don't really have professional experience doing this though.

Our goal is to become financially independent, which at our current rate will happen in 8-10 years.

The last part of this equation.. My wife and I are in Australia for the next 18 months for a work contract through her job. I'm working for my US company remotely during this time. This probably limits my ability to apply for US jobs, but hopefully I can use my time here in AUS to prepare in some way for the career change when I get back to the US in 18 months.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

rocketpj

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Re: Age 31, Career Change?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 03:27:10 PM »
Can you do your work as a consultant?  Often that pays more, and if you have a high earning spouse that can help offset the higher risk.


cbr shadow

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Re: Age 31, Career Change?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 04:55:21 PM »
Thanks for the response.  I think I could do the work as a consultant/freelancer, but the field that I'm in and my skills are pretty specific and only about half of my skills would be valuable to another company.

Yankuba

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Re: Age 31, Career Change?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 07:03:45 PM »
What about kids? If you have kids you can be a SAHD. No sense changing careers if babies are on the horizon and your wife makes all the money. If you don't want kids then go online and look at graduate programs and see what interests you and work from there.

GizmoTX

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Re: Age 31, Career Change?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 07:10:13 PM »
Technical sales is all about solving problems. Not that many can do it because you need technical skills to be able to see solutions. You may need additional exposure to a company's product line but not an additional degree.

bzzzt

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Re: Age 31, Career Change?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 09:34:35 PM »
Possibly not career change but responsibility change. My brother is graduating from an IL state school this year with a starting offer higher than what you're making. His degree sounds similar to yours, but he's actually turned the handles on machines through internships to give him more practical experience. He can draw, machine, and process control in addition to other duties. That would be hard working remotely, but it might be something to look into if you plan on planting roots somewhere. Knowledge diversification is a great thing.

I'm not in the same field, but I don't worry about stability at the company I work for because I know there are other employers who need XYZ and I know it. Niches can be boom or bust, but I'd rather know 90% of something that 10% of the people in my field understand than be an expert on something that everyone can learn to the 90% level and only have that.