Career pivots are becoming more common than ever amid what is being called the Great Resignation. If you’re over the age of 45 and you’re looking to take on a new role or return to the workforce after a break, you may be wondering if it’s possible for you to get another job.
If you’ve been laid off or forced to retire, you may be even more eager to reinvigorate your career. Before we look at some of the steps you can take, let’s be clear on one thing: it is definitely possible to switch careers in mid-life. While hiring managers are often reluctant to hire older individuals, labor market shortages have led employers to bring retirees back into the workforce.
Here are some of the strategies you can try if you want to breathe new life into your career.
Look at All the Options for a Career Change
Not all career pivots are the same. Some people stay in the same field but move on to a different industry. Therefore, as an example, if you worked as a sales executive in the automotive industry, you may seek out a sales position in the publishing industry.
You also have the option of changing careers within the same industry. This could mean switching from working as an accountant in the oil and gas industry to becoming a human resources professional in the same industry. This type of change often requires new certifications or degrees.
Some people opt to enter both a new field and a new industry. This may mean saying goodbye to plumbing or accounting and becoming a tour guide or chef. This type of double-change is often the most challenging, but it can be highly rewarding.
The final option is to become your own boss. Many people over the age of 45 opt to leave the corporate world and become entrepreneurs instead. You can consider starting a business in the field in which you were previously employed, or you can enter a new field entirely.
Seek a New Position in Your Current Organization
Reinventing your career doesn’t always mean moving to a new company or industry or launching your own business. If you are employed but want more pay, better benefits, shorter hours, or more fulfilling work, consider transitioning into another role offered by your existing employer. Network with your colleagues, talk to your manager about your desires, and gain new skills if necessary.
Engage in Lifelong Learning
The need for constant training and retraining can’t be over-emphasized. Regardless of the type of career change you’re considering; you’ll need to ensure your skills and knowledge are consistently up to date. You’ll find it easier to excel in your new role if you know all the relevant best practices and technology.
Give Serious Consideration to Volunteering
Volunteering isn’t just for teenagers or young college graduates. If you need new skills or more experience in a new field, taking on some unpaid duties can go a long way. Furthermore, volunteering can also help you to:
- Expand your network
- Try out a new job or field before you commit
- Boost your confidence
- Give you something to focus on while you search for paid employment
- Increase the likelihood that you’ll be hired at the place you volunteer
Seek Out Mentors
Like volunteering, mentorship can also benefit people over 45. It’s a good idea to learn from someone who is well established in the field or industry you’re looking to get into since they’ll know what hiring managers are looking for. A mentor can also guide you as you seek to achieve your professional goals and provide you with the feedback and accountability you need.
Don’t Give Up
It can be difficult to spend several years or even decades in one field or industry and then pivot into another. However, many older workers are changing jobs and careers in response to both internal and external factors. With the right mindset and a strategic approach, you too can join the ranks of experienced workers shifting to more desirable work.
If you’re an employer, WiseForce Advisors can help you to attract and retain those older workers who can bring a wealth of experience to your organization. Book a consultation today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.