This is the optimum age to change job and pursue career 2.0

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Amy Swales
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When is the best time to change career?

Young enough to have the energy, old enough to have the financial security? When the right idea strikes, when an opportunity presents itself? When it’s come to either you or the boss, so help you God?

There are myriad reasons that a particular time of life might be right for you personally, but now a new study has pinned down an actual age ripe for a job overhaul: 35.

So why are our mid-30s the perfect time to embark on career 2.0? Well, it’s the exact point most of us become significantly unhappier with our jobs.

A survey commissioned by recruitment consultancy Robert Half spoke to more than 2,000 employees and found that 8% of 18-34 year olds were unhappy at work – a figure that doubled for the 35-54 age group, at 16%, and rose to 17% for the over 55s.

It might be to do with feeling valued, according to the Happiness Works survey, with 25% of 35-54 year olds feeling underappreciated at work and 29% of over 55s. Meanwhile, only 15% of 18-34s felt the same.

There’s also the effect of workplace stress to take into consideration. One third (34%) of those aged over 35 found their job stressful, whereas only 25% of 18-34 year olds said they did.

Of course, it’s possible the older one gets, the more likely one is to have more responsibility in the workplace and thus more stress, as well as mortgages and families – both of which are happening increasingly later in life.

Should you have itchy feet for a life overhaul, whether ditching one career for another or completely going off-piste with a new country and totally new lifestyle, check out our careers section for plenty of inspiration.

Want more career tips? Why not attend ‘How to Negotiate a Pay Rise (and extra holiday too) with Step Up Club’. Learn how to negotiate with confidence and get the most out of your career with Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall Fine, founders of Step Up Club. Find out more at: 

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10 -12 November, Olympia London.

Images: iStock / Rex Features


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.