Reinventing Yourself in Midlife
Maybe you’ve been downsized or perhaps you’re just ready for a fresh career challenge. Get ready for the 21st century working world.
First, a Reality Check
Know thyself, said the great thinker Socrates. And know thy family and the job market too. Before you make any big changes:
- Figure out how long you and your family can live on your severance pay, other income or financial accounts.
- Check out the viability of your new career choice. Is it one that’s in the midst of a hiring boom (nursing) or bust (publishing)?
- A new career might require an advanced degree. Decide if you can afford to take on school loans now. Consider sitting in on a few classes to see if going back to school is for you.
- Check out your new career by doing volunteer work in the field. Or ask someone in your proposed field to arrange an impromptu Take Your Friend to Work Day.
Back to the Future
Whether you’re switching careers or re-entering the workforce, note that the process — like so many things — has moved online. How to get with the program:
- Join LinkedIn, the website of choice for professional networking.
- Create a well-crafted profile geared to potential employers.
- Get out and about by adding your business contacts, golf buddies and book club members to your network and join theirs too.
- Stay in touch with your contacts and ask about potential opportunities.
- Check out the job listings on LinkedIn and add your LinkedIn info to your business card.
- Keep up with organizations you’re interested in through their websites or Twitter. Log on with your alumni association and professional associations too.
- Don’t be shy about using your kids’ contacts, too, especially when breaking into new areas or investigating the latest tech innovations.
- Get the word out to your Facebook Friends.
Be clear about what you can bring to an organization and the best way to communicate that to a prospective boss.
- Research fields of interest to see how your strengths will translate there.