Dear CC: I'm 37 and bored to death with my job. But I'm afraid changing careers means starting at the bottom again. Can I make a jump without sliding all the way down the ladder?
Thirty-seven is way too young to be bored to death with anything. Unless you have some overwhelming personal responsibilities, it's time to relook and reload. Careers are rarely a straight line to the top; more often they're a series of hops up, down, and sideways. Show in your cover letter how translatable your skills are. CC has hired college kids based on how they juggled five courses and a work-study job, and stay-at-home moms who deftly managed car pool, colic, and charity work. But it's up to you to sell the recruiter on how to make this work. Worst case: Offer to come in at a reduced rate for the first year.