Please welcome guest blogger Joy Miller to Perfectly Employed! Joy Miller is the founder of MyDegreeGuide.com and specializes in matching students with accredited universities offering online degrees at an accelerated pace.
If you wake up every day wishing that you’d chosen a different career path, it may be time for your life to head in a new direction. Don’t let the fact that you’re over 40 dissuade you from switching careers.
Although a mid-life job change presents challenges, advance planning and preparation can help you navigate the shift.
1. Take a Career Test
The first step to getting out of a career that you don’t want is to figure out what you do want to do.
Career aptitude tests can be quite informative and may provide job ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
Give one of these online assessments a try:
To get the best results, you may have to be honest with yourself about some of your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Explore the Occupations on Your List
Of course, just because a digital quiz suggests a particular career path for you, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best fit for you. Online searches and library reading can help you research several options.
Consider talking to people who are already employed in those fields. You may even be able to shadow some workers to get a feel for what a day on the job is like.
3. Leverage Your Past Work Experience
Beginning a new career after age 40 can feel like you’re starting from scratch. But the truth of the matter is that you already have a good deal of work experience under your belt.
Do your best to capitalize on the strengths that you’ve already developed. Make a list of your strengths and the areas in which you excel. Brainstorm ways that you could put each strength to work in a different setting.
4. Gather Job Information
Once you’ve settled on a field that interests you, it’s time to consider specific roles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website is a great source for gathering information about different types of work. You can look up information about a job’s earning potential, expected growth, required education and general responsibilities.
As you consider salary amounts, keep in mind that you might be starting out at the low end of the pay scale. However, once you invest time and effort into your new career, you’ll eventually start moving toward the other end of the range.
5. Adapt Your Resume for Each Job
Finally, remember that each job that you apply for will be a bit different. So, your resume should shift a bit, too.
Do you have a college degree? What aspects of your education transfer to the new position to which you are applying? Try to find areas of crossover that you can highlight for potential employers.
Next, think about the strengths that you wrote down on your earlier list. Pick out the ones that best apply to each job’s responsibilities. Then, you can be sure to highlight those skills and abilities on that particular version of your resume.
Changing jobs partway through your working years can be nerve-wracking. However, when you approach your job search with the right attitude, you may end up finding a career that keeps you satisfied all the way to retirement.
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