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TIPS FOR OLDER WORKERS CONSIDERING A CAREER CHANGE

TIPS FOR OLDER WORKERS CONSIDERING A CAREER CHANGE

TIPS FOR OLDER WORKERS CONSIDERING A CAREER CHANGE

One of the unfortunate results of the pandemic is that many American workers will not have the option of returning to their jobs. A number of industries will not be able to hire back a significant number of their employees. The good news is that the unemployment rate is slowly falling, but unfortunately more people are losing their jobs permanently.  Industries such as travel, hospitality, restaurants and casinos continue to announce layoffs. For some people this is a time they will either have to or choose to change careers. But how can you change careers in the middle of a pandemic?

Although the job market is somewhat unpredictable right now, older workers may actually have an advantage in repositioning themselves in the job market. Career changes often rely on “transferrable skills.” Those are skills that you have acquired that can be applied to a job type that is different from your current or most recent job. For example, if you have experience as a paralegal, the detail work and research experience you have may be applicable to other industries, such as the insurance field. The advantage you may have is your many years of experience and your proven track record of reliability. The insurance industry is under extreme pressure due to the number of claims during the pandemic.

There are a number of elements to consider in planning and executing a successful career change. First, be aware that all industries now rely heavily on technology. If you want to enter a certain industry, do some research and determine what tech skills you will need in order to do the required job. At least be proficient in using basic office software. If you are currently not working, this may be the best time to train. Fore example, training for the Microsoft Office Suite is offered at the LinkedIn learning site.

As for Linkedin, it is advisable to have an account at linkedin.com. The site describes its services this way: “Your professional profile includes your technical skill sets, work experience, education, and also your digital presence. Resumes are digitally uploaded. Job opportunities are posted online.” Employers are increasingly using this site to find suitable candidates for open positions. At a minimum, it is a great idea to have your resume posted there. You can post your resume for free but check out the site’s fee schedule for additional services. Click here to watch a video about Linkedin.

 If you have not had to write a resume in a long time, there are a number of helpful online resources. Click here for a site that offers you free templates that will help you create your document.

For many job types, you may need additional training or certifications. The current educational landscape is much broader online than ever before. You may be able to further your training or education virtually, rather than in the classroom. Determine what additional learning you must do before you attempt to make the career change. Arm yourself with knowledge and understanding of your desired industry or job type. When you are able to show a potential employer the positive steps you have taken to affect the career change, you may be a step of head of other applicants. If you are acquainted with someone who is already in your desired industry or job type, consider that person an important resource in your efforts. Ask the person to meet with you to discuss your goal and have smart questions ready. You can learn a lot from someone who already has experience in the field, and as is the case with the other steps you take to make the career change, this one can prove

invaluable. Additionally, your contact may be able to put you in touch with potential employers or others in the industry with whom you can network to help you in your quest.

Obviously, you will have to consider your financial status when you want to change careers. Older workers who have worked in an industry for a long time have usually reached a certain income level that supports their lifestyles. However, if you intend to start over with a new career, can you afford to accept a lower salary if necessary? This may require dipping into your savings and/or making lifestyle changes that can affect not only you, but your family. Also, in making your decision, research the stability of your desired industry to make sure it is on solid footing financially and industrially.

Career changes take patience and effort. With the job market and specific industries currently in a state of flux, you may actually be able to use this time to advance your career in a new direction.

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