How old is too old to be looking for new work? Traditional Japanese thinking says that people should only be hired for a job once, right after they complete their education, and the company and employee should loyally support each other until retirement. It doesn't always work that way, but Chiebukuro is here to tell you how old's too old when you're thinking about changing jobs.

From what age does looking for new work become difficult?

That's a difficult question. If you're rich in experience and you're trying to change because you want to advance your career, it wouldn't be unusual to change jobs even in your 40s. However, if you don't have much experience nor vision, and you just quit your last job because you didn't like it, or if you lost your job through restructuring, things get a bit more tricky.

It also depends on your field of expertise. If you have the credentials and want to work in an industry like agriculture, nursing, or medicine, where there is a constant shortage of qualified individuals, even a 30-year-old without work experience or a 40-year-old who meets the job requirements might get hired anew.

Outside of fields like that, though, the general consensus is that switching industries is an under-30 game, and even changing jobs within the same field doesn't happen after your late 30's unless you have some special experience or knowledge to sell yourself with.

In North America and Europe, there's a trend towards favoring veterans over novices, regardless of age, but unfortunately in Japan, Korea, and China the hiring emphasis has been on young, fresh workers since postwar times.

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