It’s never too late to make a career change and set off on a path towards something you really want to do. While career changes at any age are often stressful, changing your career later in life can be particularly intimidating. The thought of competing with a younger generation dissuades many people from making the jump to a new and exciting career. However, you shouldn’t let such thoughts discourage you. Those applying for jobs later in life actually have several advantages over their younger counterparts—you just need to know how to leverage them properly. Follow these tips for changing careers later in life to make your dream career change.
Utilize your network
One of the benefits of job hunting later in life is that you likely have a larger network of colleagues, friends, and acquaintances built up than younger job hunters. Such connections are often more valuable than relevant work experience when it comes to landing a new job. A good word or a quality letter of recommendation from a reputable member of your network can go a long way.
Upgrade your skills
One of the first steps towards getting a job in a new career field later in life is enhancing or expanding your skillset. Many positions require that you have certain certifications or training to be considered a viable applicant. As such, taking a few courses to enhance your skills and abilities can help you land a job in the new field of your choosing.
Changing careers will likely require you to start from square one and work your way up. In other words, you may have to take an entry-level position and a lower starting salary before working your way up to your ideal job in a new career field. While settling for a lower pay than what you were used to in your previous career is frustrating, it’s important to stay open-minded to achieve your ultimate career goals.
Showcase how your skills translate to your new positionEven if you’re applying to a completely different job than the ones you’ve had in the past, you’ve likely acquired several skillsets that can translate from your old position to your new one. For example, characteristics such as good communication, time management, and organizational skills are admired by virtually all employers. Highlighting how your previous experience has helped you develop the skills and characteristics you need in your new job will help bridge the transition.