Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Thirty-Something, Forty-Something and Changing Careers

We are working with a growing number of professionals who, for one good reason or another, have decided in your thirties and forties that you need a change. Each of you has a different reason for wanting a change. Your flexibility to make a change will depend largely on your family and financial situations. Some of you provide the sole financial support for yourselves or your families. Others share the financial burden. Others are going back to work after a hiatus managing your families. And some of you need flexibility so that you can continue to manage your families. Some of you can relocate and others can't. Notwithstanding these differences, there are some general things you can do to conduct a meaningful job search.
  1. Define and Package Your Story. Define what you want to do. Then package that desire in one paragraph that has an upbeat tone to use when you see people at the store, at social functions and elsewhere to let people know you are looking for a new challenge.
  2. Contact Your Base. Make a list of 100 to 250 people you know including relatives, friends, business colleagues, colleagues of family and friends. Call, email or write a personal note advising them that you are looking for new opportunities and asking them for their help (what/who they know).
  3. Assess Your Opportunities. Be realistic about your opportunities and the market.
  4. Hire Professionals. If you need career counseling, help putting your resume together, or a headhunter to help in your job search, invest in a good professional. It will be worth the investment. Also, make sure you determine how your resume should look for the new industry or position.
  5. Follow Up With Your Base. Follow up with your base. Contact the leads they provide.
  6. Keep Searching. Look in local papers; search key websites and post your resume where appropriate; go on informational interviews.
  7. Think Out Of The Box. Brainstorm with anyone who will take the time. What do you like to do? What are you good at doing? Think about what professions value those qualities and whether those positions might be a fit for you.
  8. Persevere. Be thick-skinned about rejections. Keep a positive attitude. Be flexible. Don't be deterred. Something better is around the next corner. You can do it! Randi

Written by Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC.


© 2006 Resume Boutique LLC. All Rights Reserved.


MM said...

In addition to the other challenges you might face when making a big career change, I sometimes sense that employers are hesitant to consider candidates from outside the employer's geographic area, especially if the employer is not offering a relocation stipend. What is the most effective way to get across to an employer that you are willing to consider a move?

Resume Boutique LLC said...

Dear MM: If you are applying to an ad, you should let the employer know in the first few sentences of your cover letter that you WILL be relocating to that area. In the last paragraph, you should tell the employer that you frequently visit the area and would be pleased to travel there at a mutually convenient time if the company wishes to talk with you about your qualifications. Randi