Making a career change is a huge stressor. Suddenly you’re giving up your salary, your comfort zone, and your stable job to enter into a world that you have no knowledge of and no experience in. And if you’re later in life, say in your 40’s or 50’s, it can be even scarier. You may not have the energy or potential career span that a much younger career changer may have. But if you’re unhappy where you are, your company just fell apart, or you were let go, you may not have a choice. Here’s a guide to changing careers after your 40’s.
Remember that when you move into a new career, you’ll need to pad your resume with some new skills and abilities. You might need to acquire some training, education, and direction to take your first step. And don’t forget that a new career might mean an entry-level salary, so be prepared for the possibility of a drop in income.
Keep your skills fresh
Technology is important in any industry, so make it a priority as you’re preparing to leap into a new career. Software changes, trends evolve, and even new communication apps pop up. If you need to freshen your tech skills, check out YouTube or some online course providers, such as Lynda.com, Udemy, and Coursera. And if you have no idea what tech skills you need to update, examine the job descriptions you’re interested in and take note of the requirements.
Fresh up your look
In other words, don’t look your age as you go applying for jobs. Try to look vibrant, youthful, and energetic. It doesn’t take much, just some trendy clothes, hip new glasses, and stylish haircut, or a fashionable bag. And speaking of fresh new looks, try to minimize the dates on your resume and other paperwork. Don’t encourage people to do the math and figure out your age; just let them see your skills and talents.
Use your network
One of the benefits of being an older jobseeker means that you’ve had more time to get to know people, so you have a pretty established network. Now’s the time to use it. Figure out who you know inside the companies you want to work for. Take them out to lunch, let them know what you’re looking for, and ask how they can help. Ask if they can hook you up with a mentor, so you have someone to point you in the right direction. And remember to return the favor after they’ve helped you out.
Think about moving toward an industry that’s projected to grow in the next decade. Home health aides, computer software engineers, medical assistants, and self-enrichment education teachers are some of the fastest-growing jobs for workers over 50.
SSi People Staffing can help you find a rewarding career. For help finding a challenging job for you, contact our team today.