If you lost your job after age 50, or you see a bleak future in your current job or industry now may be the time to consider planning a career change.
After you’ve researched a possible new careers after 50, and you find you had little or no experience in the field what do you do?
What job skills are you really good at? Start at this point. Do a complete assessment of all of your job skills and competencies.
Now use LinkedIn.com and other sources, like alumni groups and business associations, to secure informational interviews with others working in the planned career. Keep the interview short, you are not looking for a job, you are looking for information. Learn information about the career, educational requirements, special experience, where the jobs are, specific employers and referrals to others that can help you in your search.
The next step is to make the transition to the possible new career after 50. Become a member of appropriate career associations. Get on committees, do work on events, and become noticed in your planned field.
If you need specific education or certifications make arrangements to get this done. Educational requirements can sometimes be completed through self-study or on-line learning.
Now redo your resume to focus on your career change after 50, to include additional self-study and education, and possible relevant non-profit experience. You now have a better picture of what is required in the new career so it can be highlighted in your cover letter and sourcing possible employers.
For example, if in your planned new career after 50 many of the jobs require working with and managing multi-million dollar budgets and your experience is at the $250,000 level how do you bridge the gap? Highlight your results in saving money, being more efficient, making do with less, getting jobs done on time and under budget, these accomplishments are more important that the amounts of money handled.
If you worked in industry A and you are now looking for a job in industry B, what are similar issues facing each industry? How do you find this out? By using your network, by finding individuals working in industry B through LinkedIn, by researching industry publications and through research on the internet are all some of the sources of the required information.
Another key factor in highlighting your work experience is that the new career required working a high percentage of time doing a particular activity. In you past career you only did this activity occasionally; however you did this over a relatively long period of time. Who has more experience? You who negotiated a variety of real estate leases, one or two a year over 20 years and spent less than 2% of your time or someone who spent 30% of their time over three years doing 5 a year? With knowledge of what is required in the new career you can tailor your resume and respond to interview questions appropriately. Remember, you are selling accomplishments, a steep learning curve, the willingness to resolve new challenges and not your age.
By re-crafting your pitch your years of work experience will now more closely fit the employer’s requirements, your career change after 50 will be successful and by continuing to work your career plan you will now be on your way to a rewarding new career.