Few of us are doing exactly the same thing we were doing five years ago. However, many people over the age of 50 are hesitant about reinventing and rebranding themselves. Maybe it’s because they think they can’t “learn new tricks,” or they fear people won’t take them seriously if they change careers or start a new business. If you’re a mature person who is looking to take a new path in the late stages of your career, rest assured that you can successfully reinvent your brand. Let’s look at some of the steps you should take.
Work on Your Mindset
The challenges that older people face in the job market are well known. However, if you tell yourself that you’ll be discriminated against, you’ll be starting off at a disadvantage. It’s not impossible to find work or launch a successful business if you get your mindset and approach right. Tell yourself that you have the knowledge to be of service to others and your years of experience give you an advantage over younger people. Tell yourself that you have the confidence to handle change. If you want other people to believe that you’re capable, you need to see yourself as capable.
Know Where You Want to Go and How to Get There
Of course, skills are equally as important as mindset. By the age of 50, you have lots of life experience as well career-specific knowledge. You probably also have passions outside of your current job duties. Your personal brand is likely to be linked to one of these spheres.
Maybe you’ve worked as an in-house human resource professional, and now you want to open your own business and advise other companies on HR. Maybe you developed a love for buying and selling art and would like to leave the corporate environment and make money with art.
Whatever the case, you’ll likely need to pick up some additional skills to truly create a new personal brand. That may mean learning to manage a business or taking a class in commercial art. While you may be eager to do something new and exciting, you need to plan properly and invest in yourself.
Highlight What Makes You Different
No matter what you decide to do, there will be competition. This is why you have to lean into those things that set you apart from other people. Those are the things that will make you memorable. Your unique selling point could be anything from your life experiences to your controversial perspectives. It can even include your appearance if you’re in a creative industry.
The term “personal branding” is relatively new, but individuals have always had a brand attached to them. That is, everyone creates some type of impression on others based on their actions, comments, competencies, achievements, and so on. No one has the same background and experiences as you do, and as you reinvent your personal brand, you get to decide which attributes you want to highlight. Just keep in mind that you need to be able to articulate your new brand in a way that people can understand. This leads us to the next point.
Tell People About the Changes You’ve Made
Many people over the age of 50 aren’t used to promoting themselves. They’re accustomed to having their resumes speak on their behalf. However, if you’ve been a journalist or a medical professional for decades, people will continue to think about you that way. Therefore, you need to re-introduce yourself as you go through your new personal branding exercise. Call up relatives, friends, and business contacts and let them know about the training you’ve been undergoing and the projects you’re working on. This will help to ensure that they recommend you to others who need your services in this stage of your career.
Use Social Media
You’ll need to convince people that you’re good at what you do, especially if you’ve gone into a completely new area. Otherwise, potential clients may not be willing to spend their money with you. Some mature people have social media skills that rival digital natives. However, many are still hesitant to fully embrace the various platforms. While you can use several different methods to market yourself, you shouldn’t ignore digital marketing. Find out where your audience is and what type of content they like, and then create it. This may mean displaying your expertise through blogs, podcasts, emails, Instagram posts, or YouTube videos.
View Your Age as An Asset
While there are challenges that come with being 50-plus, there’s no doubt that older people have something unique and valuable to offer to individuals, communities, and businesses. You’ll need to be willing to learn, and you’ll have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, but you can reinvent your brand.
If you’re a business owner or HR professional who wants to cater to 50-plus employees, book a consultation with WiseForce Advisors by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.