Careers After 50-don’t make these critical mistakes in You job hunt. Searching for a new career after 50: here are seven mistakes that many job hunters after 50 make in their job search. Making these mistakes is even more damaging if you are changing careers after 50.
1. Your Job Hunt Lacks Focus: You’ve years of work and career experience and you are vague in your job objective and hoping against hope that the employer is clairvoyant and will find you a job in their organization. You don’t identify a specific job target, and of course your job hunt will continue for months longer than necessary.
Spend some time making a detailed self-assessment on your interests, passions and career direction. Now research which careers and jobs match your interests and abilities.
Re-draft your resume and cover letter to reflect you after 50 career and job objectives. Now find out where the desired jobs are and take appropriate actions to get your rewritten resume in front of the recruiters.
2. Jumping the Gun on Writing Your Resume:This is where many job hunters after 50 go wrong. As in number one, without focus on the job search, you’ll just be spinning your wheels and going nowhere. How can you start on a trip without knowing the destination?
It may have been awhile since you engaged in a resume writing exercise so read the latest on the internet, go through a recent book on the subject. Now you’re ready to start writing you resume(s).
Go back to your objectives; match your achievements to the needs of the prospective employers. You may have an interest in several variations of the same career so you need to have that reflected in your resume and cover letter.
If you have a friend who is knowledgeable have them review the drafts of your resume and cover letter. As your job search unfolds spend some time every week learning more about making your written job application materials more effective.
3. Failure to Plan Your Job Search: An effective job search and career change after 50 plan is doing a lot of details on a timely basis, day after day after day.
When you add in the required career, job, employer and industry information that you need to update every day; your job search can be overwhelming. With a lack of an overall job hunting plan your job search will get you no where, or if you get lucky it will take much longer than necessary.
After you’ve resolved your job hunt focus you can now build a robust job search plan. Put your job hunting plan in writing. Plan your daily activities. Plan how much time you’ll work on the job search every day. Keep good records on contacts, drafts of resumes and cover letters, follow-up activities and time every day to do basic and specific research.
Research the prospective employer before you make contact. Have your 20 second speech down pat on what you can do for the employer. Keep your overall job hunt objective in mind on all your contacts.
Review your progress every week and be flexible, update the job search plan as appropriate. Your organization of the job search progress will allow you to get more done in less time and be more productive. Your job hunt momentum will build as you reject what is not working and discover more productive paths to the right job.
4. Saying “Yes” to the First Job Offered: With the unemployment rate in many areas over 10% any job offer is a victory. However, making a mistake can mean a few years down the road you are not better off in a job you hate. Now the job hunt after 50 really has greater meaning and it may be more difficult to make the transition to a better position.
You might try temp or contract work to get some money coming in. If the lack of work is prolonged look to get professional help to gets your job hunting efforts on track.
5. Build Your Network: Sitting in front of your computer all day long is only a small part of an effective job hunt.
Contact people you’ve worked with, old classmates, use informational interviews to gather information of a particular career, attend workshops and seminars, go to conventions, become active in a career related local association, and attend local chamber of commerce events.
Follow-up as appropriate with your new contacts. Help others with their job hunts. Be active, the more people know about the specifics of your job search or career change the more likely you will uncover just the right opportunity.
6. Taking Time Off at the Wrong Time: Your job hunt doesn’t seem to be getting any traction. You’ve got a box full of rejections or no response to many of your calls and emails. Discouragement is edging into your job hunt.
You have a chance to go on a week-long fishing trip. After all it will recharge you batteries and when you come back you can again put a greater effort into your job hunt. Rationalization is great but will not get the job done.
The loss of momentum is critical to your overall job search. And it won’t be a week away from the effort, you’ll shut it down a few days before your leave, and when you come back it will be a few days before everything is humming.
So two weeks or more with no follow-ups, the possibility of a call for an interview while you’re gone, a job announcement where you miss a deadline all work against taking the time off. Take a day off on the weekend it you have to go fishing but your job is to find a job.
7. Attitude is Everything: Becoming discouraged is easy if you chose to listen to family and friends. Associate with those with overall positive attitudes. In you job search plan read motivational books, and listen to positive CD’s as you drive in your car.
Celebrate each milestone in your job search plan. Keep you job hunting activity at the highest level possible and you’ll get ahead of younger job seekers that are not pro-active and are waiting for something good to happen.