Make a Strong Midlife Career Change

When I was younger, I figured I would be doing the same type of work at 55 that I did at 25. Though some of the skills I developed as a young adult have transferred, I have changed fields a handful of times. Today, many older workers are facing career changes at an age when they may have predicted they could just slide into retirement. Some of these people are forced to make job changes because of layoffs and downsizing. Others simply want to spend the rest of their working years doing something more fulfilling.

If you choose, or are forced, to make a career change in midlife, you may need to come up with some new job search strategies. I know that the steps I used to find employment a few decades ago do not work as well today as they did back in the 1980’s or 1990’s. The good news is that we have some new job search opportunities that my even work better!
Revamp Your Resume and Cover Letter

In college, I took a business communications class which provided some very helpful tips to help me produce a cover letter and resume. I developed an effective format – for the times. However, the type of cover letter and resume I learned to develop back then is not what younger hiring managers and recruiters look for today. If you do not know how to format an effective resume for today’s job market, you would be prudent to learn or pay somebody to do it for you.

Expand You Network Online

You know the old saying – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. A large and diverse network can make a huge difference when you are looking for new opportunities. In the old days, we might try to expand our networks by attending local professional association meetings.
These days, we can use social networking sites to create massive networks of associates. Some social networking sites are more personal, but they have business networking uses.

• Facebook is an example of a personal social network that can be used for business.

• Other social networking websites, like LinkedIn, are specifically oriented towards business. In my opinion, the key to using Linked effectively is to join some niche oriented groups within the larger site.

• Some social sites and forums are even centered on niche business fields.

I have made business connections on all three of these types of social sites. You cannot just join the sites and expect them to be productive. You must learn how to connect with other people on these sites, establish yourself as a useful community member, and let the right people know what you are looking for.

Flexibility is Key When Making A Midlife Career Change

There are many reasons that older people have trouble making career transitions. Many older workers have decades of valuable work experience and maturity to bring to the interview table. However, we may be a little less flexible or mobile than we were when we were in our thirties or forties. We may also need to be sure that our job skills are current, and if they are not, we might have to get some training or accept a lower salary for a job that will provide that training.

Finding good midlife career change jobs may be tough, but if you can accomplish it, it could be the key to enjoying the remaining years or decades of your working life.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn runs, an online community for Baby Boomers. Consider some good good midlife career change jobs if you would like to make a switch.