A new career after 50 is well within your reach. With possible changes in the Social Security retirement age and the financial gyrations to the economy, you may be working until your late 60’s and beyond. So it’s vital that you do your career change planning now so you end up in the right career.
In planning for your new career after 50 you have a whole host of positive things going for you. Many of your job related skills are readily transferable to another career. You have a history of achievements in a variety of difficult situations. Your leadership and team building skills are easily transferable to another career.
Many employers have benefited by hiring the experienced over 50 candidate. They have learned the over 50 new hire is reliable, is easily trained in additional tasks and duties and has the experience not to bail out when the going gets tough.
In any career change planning exercise you first need to analyze your skills and interests. Some like to act more independently, some like to work for smaller employers, some like structure others like to design things based on circumstances, some like to travel and meet and interact with others, some are happy working in a closet, you get the idea.
Write out all the things you want in your dream career as they relate to your interests, possible prospective employers and even where you want to work.
Also, write out a list of your achievements, no matter how minor. Which ones did you derive the most satisfaction? Why? How about what you didn’t like about specific careers? Again, why? You now should start developing an outline of where you want to go in your suggested planned new career after 50.
For example, if you have a burning desire to work independently with a laptop under a palm tree in Tahiti, with a bit of research there will be a career for you. It may not match your financial requirements but if you are determined enough you can make it happen.
Now comes the interesting part of your planning for a new career after 50, the research and gathering of information on the possible careers that fit your basic skills and interests.
What qualifications and experience are necessary to qualify for a job in the planned career? What skills and other qualifications are transferable to the new career? Are there any gaps in your technical skills? How about other educational or certification requirements? Where are the jobs located? Will you need to move? What are the salary ranges? What is the career path? What industries? What employers? Is the career growing? What are the latest developments in the career? How will you find and talk to a number of people now working in the career?
With the internet today you can amass a great deal of information on a variety of careers, reject some and with those you want to focus on start specifically planning to make the career change.
With each new planned career there will usually be skills that you will have to update. This can be accomplished with self-study, seminars and workshops, on-line learning and perhaps formal study at a local college.
Acquiring of required skills and experience may take some time so be patient, as you complete each step add the knowledge to your resume.
Focus your after 50 career change resume on accomplishments with special emphasis on the specific employer’s needs, keep them brief and quantifiable. Likewise, re-draft your job objectives to match each position applied for. Study and practice the skills necessary to write an excellent resume cover letter with the letter tailored to the specific job. Practice and refine your telephone and face-to-face interview skills. Write a memorable thank-you letter after each interview.
Use and build your network of contacts to assist you in finding the right job in your new career. All of these actions will be added to your overall career plan. Stay flexible, you may find a career that seemed so promising, has a number of negatives so you reject it. Keep up your research, usually when one door closes another opens.
Stay positive, build on your attitude and motivation by reading appropriate books, and listen to motivational CD’s on your commute.
Remember in any after 50 career change you have a great deal to offer the prospective employer, you worked hard to qualify for the new career. You are a lifelong learner, have a steep learning curve, are up-to-date on the latest requirements in the career, you are dependable, you work hard and smart, have a varied background and a long list of strengths and skills and are just what the employer is looking for.