Changing Careers Late In the Game – How to Succeed
According to a recent job-satisfaction survey , nearly 53% of Americans are unhappy with their current jobs. While younger employees are often quick to change careers, older workers usually decide to ‘stick around’ in their industry, at least until retirement. This is due to the belief that it is difficult to switch to a new job field once you reach a certain age, usually around the mid-to-late 40’s.
However, this is far from true. Contrary to what many people believe, it is comparatively easy to change career paths once you near age 50. This is because by this time, you have garnered valuable experience and have the knowledge and business savvy needed to take on a new challenge.
If you’re planning a career change late in the game, here are a few tips to help you make a smooth transition.
Take a Deep, Long Look At Yourself
Before you start looking for prospective new jobs, seek to understand yourself a little bit better. Perhaps you could write down your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and experiences, just to get a clear picture of where you stand. Once you’ve reflected on these characteristics of your personality, you’ll have a better idea of the kinds of jobs you should be applying for.
Ask For Professional Guidance
This is especially important for those who can’t decide on the kind of role or company they are interested in switching to. Employ the services of a career counselor to help you take the plunge into a new adventure. Career counselors are experienced professionals and have helped countless people find their dream jobs.
Scour Your Personal Network
After all these years in the professional world, you’ve probably amassed an impressive collection of contacts. Use them well!
Thanks to social media, it has become easier to communicate with people who you may not have seen in a while. So, send out a message telling the people in your network that you are open to new job opportunities. Even if your friends and contacts aren’t able to find a job that you would like, they can spread the word, and you’ll soon be getting calls from all kinds of employers.
Show Off Your Experience
When you’re switching careers late in the game, experience is your greatest asset, so don’t hide it. Most late career changers are afraid to highlight the long years of experience in their resumes because they don’t want to look old. Still, it is always a good idea to show a potential employer what you have accomplished so far and what you are capable of handling.
Who knows, maybe one of the milestones you’ve highlighted in your experience could be just what an employer is looking for.
Get a Grip on Things and Be Realistic
Maybe it’s time to give up on your dream of being the oldest person to play in the FIFA World Cup. When you’re looking for a career switch later in life, you have to become realistic about what you can and can’t do. Figure out what you’re capable of and try keeping your options narrowed down to some specific career paths. This makes it easier to facilitate change without too much uncertainty.
Focus on Fitness
It’s very important to keep yourself physically and mentally active later in life, to avoid stress and anxiety. You can practice meditation, read books on positivity, or learn a new hobby to keep your mind sharp and free of stress. It is also important to exercise from time to time, as physical activity releases endorphins that keep your stress levels in check. This will help you stay alert, energetic, and driven while you are working on your career switch.
Never Give Up Hope
Maybe the first 10 or even the first 50 applications will come back unanswered, but don’t give up! Keep applying to different kinds of jobs in the fields that you’re interested in, and you’re bound to find work that you’ll like.
Follow these tips if you’re planning to switch careers later on in your life, and the process should be much less cumbersome. Of course, it is still a little tougher than switching careers when you’re young and full of potential, but with a positive outlook, extensive experience, and a whole lot of perseverance, you’ll find what you’re looking for.