Summary: If you’re realizing that your career path isn’t what you hoped it’d be, you still have time to adjust the sails and change directions.
Question: At age 42, I just completed my associate’s degree in business, and am back in college working on my bachelor’s/M.B.A. Although I already have a great job as an account executive, I think not having my M.B.A. could hinder me if I decided to change jobs or even careers. It probably seems strange that I am still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up but can you offer any advice?
Answer: Deciding “what I want to be when I grow up” requires ongoing assessment and usually generates a series of evolving responses. So it actually is a good thing that, at age 42, you are still asking.
Experience and demonstrated results tend to be more valued than degrees. However, if you are interested in pursuing higher-level managerial and leadership positions, particularly with a new employer, an M.B.A. may be a prerequisite. Continue working on your bachelor’s degree but allow your career to continue to play out before making a decision on the best time and the best type of program for you.
To determine the course that will suit your situation, try to get more definition around your aspirations, the role you would like to move into, as well as the type of company. Use your current position to seek new skill-building assignments, rotate for a limited time into other parts of the business and work with new managers and individual contributors through cross-functional team projects. Exposure to a variety of work settings, varied business functions, and diverse managerial styles will provide greater clarity on your desired direction.
See How to Change Careers for more information.You're Never Too Old to Choose a New Path by Andrew Ostler