‘Recareering’ later in life can be daunting. The fear of the unknown, financial instability, and starting over can hold us back from pursuing our dreams. But it’s never too late to switch gears and chase after your passions or make a change from a dreary job. Don’t let fear stop you from living the life you’ve always wanted – this could be an ‘exciting’ change, take the leap and embrace the journey ahead.
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It’s Never Too Late
You may have been in your current field for many years and feel comfortable with what you know. It is not impossible to have a career change in your later years, there are millions of people every year that face a similar situation and just because you are no longer in your 20s, does not make it impossible to put the car in gear and change direction. Making a change can be very rewarding, both professionally and personally.
A Change Will Lead to New Opportunities
If you’re feeling stuck in your current job or if you have been retrenched, a change should be viewed as an opportunity to further your career and yourself as a person. Whether you want to stay in your current industry or find a new direction, viewing this as a positive opportunity will help you move forward to reach your goals.
It’s Okay to be Scared
Anytime we venture into the unknown, it can be intimidating. Don’t let this deter you from making a change. Instead, use it as motivation to push yourself to try something new. Life is too short to stay in one place forever – take this opportunity to go after what you want.
Keep these points in mind while preparing yourself for your job search:
Identify Your Strengths and Interests
Firstly, identify your strengths and interests, this will take you a long way in making the best decisions for your future.
There are a few ways to go about identifying your strengths and interests. One way is to take some time to reflect on what you’ve enjoyed doing in previous roles. What fulfilled you in your previous role? What did you excel at? Another way to identify your strengths and interests is to think about what you’re naturally good at. What comes easily to you? What do people often come to you for help with?
Once you’ve identified your strengths and interests, it’s important to match them up with potential career paths. For example, if you’re interested in writing and communications, a role in marketing or public relations could be a good fit. Or, if you have a strength for numbers and analysis, a position in finance might be right for you. The key is to find what you enjoy doing on a daily basis and where you can use your strengths.
Updating Your Resumé and Professional Network
Your resumé will need to reflect your most recent skills and accomplishments. Take some time to sit down and update your resumé, highlighting any new skills or experience you’ve gained since your last job search.
In addition to updating your resumé, you’ll also want to refresh your professional network. The advantage of having worked for so many years is the contacts you would have accumulated, reach out to them and let them know that you’re interested in making a change and see if they have any recommendations or leads for you. Use social media like LinkedIn to find new contacts. Attend industry events or networking happy hours to expand your circle and meet new people who could be helpful in your job search.
Prepare for Interviews
Take time to research common interview questions, practice your responses, and dress for success. You should also take the time to learn about the company you’re interviewing with, so that you can ask informed questions and demonstrate your interest. Make sure to schedule enough time for rest and relaxation leading up to your interview so that you can go in feeling confident and ready to impress.
Negotiate a Fair Salary
It’s important to know your worth and how to negotiate a fair salary. There are a few key points to keep in mind when negotiating your salary:
- Know Your Worth: Understand your skillset and worth in the job market. Research similar positions and salaries in your industry and region to get an idea of what you should be earning. You can find salary guidelines online.
- Be Prepared to Negotiate: Start preparing for the negotiation process. Have a solid number in mind of what you would like to earn, and be prepared to back up your reasoning of why you deserve that salary. Understand the company, and what they are able to offer so that you can realistically negotiate within their range.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away: Respect yourself and what you are worth, don’t sell yourself short. If the company is not willing to meet your salary requirements, don’t be afraid to walk away from the interview. There are many other opportunities out there.
Stay Positive Throughout the Process
With such big changes, it’s natural to feel some anxiety. But try to stay positive and focus on the possibilities. Use these tips to help you stay positive throughout the process:
- Remember that this is an opportunity for growth. Take on the challenge and view it as your own personal opportunity to learn and improve yourself.
- Focus on the positives. It may be a challenge now but you are on a journey. Concentrate on the positives that these changes will bring. What will the benefits be?
- Be flexible and open-minded. Try new things, and go with the flow. If your plans may not always go according to plan, then use plan B. Keep moving forward.
- Seek support from family and friends. Lean on your loved ones for encouragement and reassurance when you’re feeling unsure or anxious about the future.
- Trust yourself. You’ve got this! Change can be scary, but you’re capable of handling whatever comes your way.