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Are you in your 30s and looking for a Career Switch in Singapore? Here’s how.

ZUU Online SG logo ZUU Online SG 4 days ago Sally Fox
a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera © Shutterstock

Your thirties can be a pivotal time in your career where you feel you’re finally hitting your stride, getting noticed and earning top dollar.

For some, however, your thirties are a time when you realize you aren’t quite in the job of your dreams. Maybe there isn’t much hope for progression, or perhaps your industry is in trouble. Or maybe the job just doesn’t give you the purpose or the creative outlet you hoped that it would.

The good news is that careers no longer have to be linear like they were a generation ago. A mid-career switch is a great way to renew your interest in work, increase your sense of purpose and satisfaction in life and maybe even improve your future prospects and salary.

And your thirties is an ideal time to make the move as you are less likely to have as many financial pressures and responsibilities as those in their forties and fifties.

When planning a career switch it is important to consider a few things before taking the leap.

Your goals

First, think about what you hope to achieve out of this career switch. Do you want a more creative role, or a less time-consuming position so that you can spend more time with friends and family? Are you looking to fulfil a sense of purpose in your life or do you want to hone in on a specific hobby or skill you’ve developed in recent years?

Zoning in on exactly what your goals are will help you decide what kind of jobs you should be looking for, and what it is that they can offer you.

Your proposition

Next, consider what it is that you offer the industry you hope to enter. What transferrable skills do you have? Will your existing network come in handy with your new job? Can you undertake some training to make yourself more marketable? There are many schemes in Singapore that offer discounted rates for mid-career re-training to make the switch easier.

Taking the time to regard yourself objectively as a new candidate for the role you want will allow you to appraise your strengths and development areas so that you are prepared for the new job market you are about to enter.

Your industry

It is important to thoroughly research the industry you wish to begin in. Choose a sector that has a bright future, that is employing new talent at a decent rate and that has plenty of scope for growth and development.

Here are five sectors that would make excellent choices for a mid-career switch.


As the population of Singapore ages, the need for people to join the healthcare industry is only going to increase. It’s estimated that 9,000 jobs are going to become available in the next three years alone.

More than any other industry, a career switch into healthcare is sure to require retraining. The good news is that the Singaporean government can help finance this through the Professional Conversion Programme if you choose to enter underpopulated disciplines such as radiography or nursing.

Infocomm and Media

It’s no secret that our digital industries are the fastest growing and most stable, so a career switch into Information Technology is sure to be a strong choice. Whether you fancy yourself as a software developer or can imagine starting up your own social media agency, the roles are plentiful, varied and full of opportunity.

There is a wealth of training available, some of it even online. This means you could complete your studies part-time whilst working out your existing career, easing the financial burden of your career switch. Check Udemy for inspiring short courses on everything from SEO to coding.

Wholesale and Trade

International trade is in Singapore’s blood, and with up to 12% of the nation’s economic output coming from wholesale trade this is a safe bet for any career switcher.

With roles such as analyst, accountant or supply chain manager, there are likely to be plenty of transferrable skills including a head for numbers, a profit-driven approach and strong management and organization abilities. Or if your skills aren’t quite up to par yet, the government offers funding for courses to upskill new workers as well as providing salary support whilst they retrain.

Professional Services

Professional Services cover any sectors that serve other businesses, so this could be architecture, legal, design, advertising, consulting, accounting or engineering.

This is a growing industry and again, is ripe for the use of existing skills from your previous career. The MyCareersFuture portal is a government scheme that allows you to search jobs by skillset, so if you are in need of a career change but still seeking inspiration as to what that might look like for you, this could be a great starting point.

Financial Services

As one of the world’s largest financial hubs, and set to grow by 4% each year, finance jobs in Singapore are a great goal for any career switcher.

As the Tech industry begins to collaborate more and more with the finance industry, there is scope for even more job creation but also room for fulfilling career switches between the two sectors. Best of all, the finance industry has one of the biggest opportunities for growth and the earning potential is huge.


The Maritime industry is facing a global shortage of staff, in 2016 this numbered 16,500 officers but it is predicted that the number will be more like 147,500 by 2025. Roles include maritime engineer officer or ship charterer, so if a career switch beckons, why not consider the Maritime industry.


The wonderful thing about a career in education is that you can use everything you have learned in your career so far to help shape the minds of the future. Whilst there are children there is always going to be a need for teachers who can bring their point of view and expertise to the classroom.

Retraining will be essential, the length and intensity will vary depending on who and what you want to teach. But if you are looking for job satisfaction and a sense of purpose, there are few jobs more rewarding.

Things to Consider

Once you’ve identified your chosen career path, it is important to prepare for the switch. You will likely have to accept a reduction in your salary. Prepare for this by saving whilst in your existing role. Alternatively, explore the option of switching a career within your current employer or working part-time with them whilst you retrain.

The most important thing to bring to a career switch is a humble, inquisitive and positive attitude. Keep in mind that you are taking exciting steps towards your new professional life! Good luck!


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