You’ve finally summoned up the courage to make that career change. What next? Career change when you’re over forty can be quite a daunting prospect which can sometimes lead to mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
- Assume they have to start at the bottom
One of the thing many of us often feel is that if we are to change careers we will have to start at the bottom as we don’t have experience in the career we’ve chosen. This can also be a big inhibiting reason for not changing careers in the first place. There a number of career choices open to people seeking career change which don’t require starting at the bottom such as social media managers, digital marketing expert or blogger to name but a few. These are all relatively new careers that didn’t exist years ago but don’t require several years experience to get started.
- Think they can only use their existing skills
Just because you are changing careers doesn’t mean you have to start at the bottom. Looking at what you want to do next may just mean identifying new skills that might be needed to enhance your existing skills. When job searching, try to think laterally, are there things needed in your new career that require similar skills? One of the most commonly sought after skills is organisational skills. This tends to be needed regardless of the job you work in.
Find out more about the job by reading the job description and seeing how many of your skills transfer to a new job.
- Age discrimination will prevent them from getting a new job
It would be naïve to suggest that age discrimination doesn’t exist. It does. The trick is to know how to get round it. What types of jobs are you looking for? Maybe you’ve always work in a sector that is typically seen as a young sector such as PR. It might be time to adapt. A very real example of this can been seen when we look into the world of sport. Most footballers have to retire in their mid to late 30s. Some of them stay in the profession by becoming coaches or sports commentators. This can often apply when you have expertise in a particular field perhaps you can stay in the same profession but instead of being at the coalface you become a consultant or advisor to several organisations who would gladly pay for your expertise
- Not assessing your skills and fit for your new roles
One of the most demoralising things about job search can sometime be applying for job after job and not getting anywhere. One of the most common reasons for this occurs is that people sometimes apply for jobs without carrying out a full assessment of their skills to see how well they match up with what the employer is looking for. A good way to address this is by conducting a personal SWOT. This stands for
S – STRENGHTS
W – WEAKNESSES
O – OPPORTUNITIES
T – THREATS
This is a very powerful exercise that is well worth doing as it helps you position yourself when it comes to applying for jobs so that you can emphasise what you are good at and work on the areas that you may need to develop in order to move into the career of your dreams
- Applying for jobs without determining their fit
We all have personal values which guide our working and personal lives. However, it’s easy to forget to take this into account when looking for a new job or changing careers. As well as knowing what our strengths are, it’s also important to understand our values. Without this understanding, you could be applying to work within a company or organisation with corporate values that are at odds with your personal values and belief. Even if you are offered a job in such a company, you might find you don’t enjoy working there and could soon find yourself looking for your next career move
Changing jobs or careers is an important decision and one that you want to get right in the shortest time possible.