Tips to Successfully Advance Your Career in Your 30s

Your 30s are a critical time for your career. With the excitement of your 20s in the rearview mirror, it is time to start making the moves that will allow you to reach your maximum earning potential.

High achievers use their 30s to advance up the ladder and position themselves for their more lucrative 40s and 50s. But how do you advance your career? What can you do in your 30s that will allow you to soar above the clouds?

Engage With Your Career

Engaging with your career may seem like a simple piece of advice, but the fact is the majority of people never engage. Only 34% of the U.S. workforce is said to engage with their work. For everyone else, their jobs are nothing more than a paycheck.

If this is you, forget about career advancement. Promotions and success are not going to pop up when you least expect them.

Consider Going Back to School

Going back to school later in life can give you the knowledge and skills you require to advance up the career ladder. Many larger businesses will not even consider a candidate for promotion if they do not possess a certain type of qualification.

If this requires you to take a masters in architecture or your first undergraduate degree in business accounting, do it.

It is easier than ever to go back to school as an increasing number of schools offer entirely remote courses. Your employer may even cover the costs if you work for a larger company.

See Also: Things to Consider When Going Back to School in Your 30s

Who Do You Know?

The old adage says that it is not about what you know but who you know. Like it or not, successful candidates for promotion are not necessarily the most qualified. Knowing the right people can get you that promotion, even if the competition is more experienced.

That does not imply that you have to take up golf or stick to the rear end of upper management. It just means spending time networking. Go to that business conference. Network with other industry figures online through platforms like LinkedIn.

Widen your net and you never know what might come up.

Be Willing to Switch Companies

Did you know that six in ten millennials say they are willing to switch jobs?

You, too, need to be willing to change jobs if you want to ascend to a higher level. Rather than waiting until someone above you leaves, retires, or dies, look for new opportunities with other companies.

Getting too comfortable can be the death knell for advancement in your 30s.

Change Careers

Are you in a field that is about to be automated? Does your line of work simply offer little opportunity for advancement?

Your 30s may be your last chance to realistically change careers and make a run at that future board position. It may be daunting, but if you believe you have better opportunities elsewhere, your 30s is the time to make a bold move.


Your 20s may be the decade of finding yourself. Make your 30s the time for establishing a strong career path that allows you to achieve your goals. Do not accept that dead-end job with a vague promise of advancement in five years.

James Farner

James Farner is an author who has been writing professionally for eight years. For four of those years, he has been traveling full-time. So far he has visited 63 countries on five continents.

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