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Career Doctor
At 37, am I too old to switch careers?
posted on Friday, 25 March 2011 14:34

I am now 37 and have been working in the import/export industry for 10 years. Before that, I worked in the hotel industry for two years after completing my economics studies abroad.

Although my present job is stable, I am starting to wonder if I should stay in this field. As you know, the import/export industry in Hong Kong is diminishing, as many buyers now prefer to deal directly with Mainland suppliers. Also, I work at a small company, the livelihood of which depends on just a few accounts. Accordingly, I feel that now might be a good time to switch career paths.

I love learning and spend some of my leisure time studying finance at HKUSPACE. As a result I am now a qualified as a stock dealer. To further expand my knowledge, I am now pursuing a CFA qualification.

I sent a large number of resumes to financial institutions for positions in equity research, sales support and financial journalism. The feedback, however, was disappointing. The only interviews I could get were for frontline positions, making the stock broker FX dealer positions my only option. As far as I know, the basic salary of broker is not high, and some even require the meeting of sales targets.

I got married two years ago but do no have any plans to have children, and thus will not have any heavy financial burdens.

However, I am already 37 and am also a little introverted.

Am I too old to start in financial field? Is it worth my trying for the above posts?

Would much appreciate your guidance.

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Career Doctor  
Posted Monday, 28 March 2011 05:16 PM

If you’ve read my other replies, you would know that it’s never too late to pursue what you want in life. Just know that it won’t be easy, and that you'll likey encounter a lot of hurdles and obstacles.

As a banking-and-finance-focused head hunter, I can tell you that the only job you are eligible for is a sales role. Those research, sales support or financial journalist jobs you so fancy can never be attained without the requisite knowledge and experience.

Even if you do manage to get your foot in the door, you’ll still need to start from scratch, since most of your previous work experience will be irrelevant.

A broker’s basic salary might be low, but they don’t live on basics. They make money on commissions, and, of course, they do have targets to meet, as do all sales people.

When you’re new to the job and need to build up client base and network, you wouldn’t prbably won’t get much of an income,.

If you’re looking for guarantee or assurance, I'm sorry to say that there's no such thing. All achievements involve risk, particularly the great ones. Your future lies in your own hands and no one else’s.

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