Let’s say you thought it through and decided the risks of a career change later in life are worth the benefits. You are willing to sacrifice, as your job is a major part of who you are and what you do. If you aren’t happy as you grow older, you don’t have many years left. Once you get too close to retirement, changing jobs is often almost impossible. Therefore, if the time is now and you want to make it happen, then go for it!
Easier said than done, right? Often people don’t bother changing careers as they grow older because they are concerned it is too difficult or no one will want to hire them. Well, there is some truth there… changing jobs is difficult and so is finding someone to hire you. However, that can be as true when you are twenty and when you are fifty. In some cases, it can be easier when you are older. How’s that you ask? Well, an older mature employee, even if he is “new” to his chosen career, can bring a lifetime of experience with him.
If you do want to make a drastic change in your profession, not just change companies, but actually change careers, there are some tips to consider. These tips are particularly useful to someone making this change later in life.
The first is to evaluate where you want to be and why. This is often the hardest part. If you are older, you don’t have many career years left to wander around and try things. Instead, you need to use your experience to lead you down your next path. Take the time to consider what you want in new job.
After you know where you want to go, if you are older you do have an advantage: your past career, jobs, volunteer work, education, as well as your network. More people know you and know what you can do. Even if the new profession you chose is highly specialized, you will have skills you learned in your previous jobs to draw from.
Instead of drawing on youthful motivation, a person looking for a new career later in life will need to draw from her past and experience. The key with any job hunt is to play up what you have to offer and make it stand out from the rest.