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How to Prep for a Late Career Shift

Making a late career shift can be challenging, but it's never too late to pursue your passions and find a job you love. While it can be daunting to contemplate starting over, you can still make a professional pivot. In fact, many highly successful people have changed careers after turning 30, 40, or even 50.

Here are some tips to help employees prepare for a late-career shift:

Own Your Age Enthusiastically

Your age and experience are assets, not liabilities. Embrace your age and the wisdom that comes with it. Highlight your experience and accomplishments in your resume and cover letter. Be proud of what you have achieved and what you can bring to the table.

Identify Multigenerational Connections Within Your Network

Networking is key to finding a new job, especially if you're changing careers. Reach out to people in your network who are in different age groups. They may have connections in industries or fields that you're interested in. Don't be afraid to ask for introductions or advice.

Be Prepared to 10X Your Job Search

Finding a new job can be challenging, especially if you're changing careers. Be prepared to put in more effort than you would for a job search in your current field. Consider taking courses or getting certifications to make yourself more marketable. Be open to entry-level positions or internships that can help you gain experience in your new field.

Perform a Self-Assessment

Before making a career change, it's important to assess your skills, interests, and values. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you enjoy doing? What motivates you? Consider taking a career assessment test or working with a career coach to help you identify potential career paths.

Decide Which Career to Switch To

Once you have identified potential career paths, research them thoroughly. What are the job prospects? What are the salary expectations? What are the required skills and qualifications? Talk to people who work in those fields to get a better understanding of what the job entails.

Tailor Your Application Materials

When applying for jobs in a new field, it's important to tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills. Focus on the skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Be sure to explain how your skills and experiences can be applied to the new field.

Learn the Necessary New Skills

When changing careers, it's important to acquire the necessary new skills. Consider taking courses or getting certifications to help you gain the skills you need. Look for opportunities to gain hands-on experience, such as internships or volunteer work.

Combat Ageism in Your Job Search

Unfortunately, ageism is a real issue in the job market. To combat ageism, emphasize your excitement for the role, express your willingness to both lead and follow and indicate your openness to learning new things. Consider flexible jobs, like part-time roles, and look for positions with smaller companies or startups.

See This as a New Beginning

Changing careers can be a scary and uncertain time, but it's important to see it as a new beginning. Know your value and the wealth of knowledge and experience you bring to the table. Be open to new opportunities and experiences, and don't be afraid to take risks.


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