Now that we’ve entered 2018 it’s the time of year that many people start thinking about improving their careers. After 50 this might mean upgrading from your current job, moving into a more passion-driven career or semi-retirement job, or returning to work after voluntary retirement or unemployment.
Here’s the good news: this is the best time of year to find a job or launch a new career. Here are five tips to reboot your career.
Figure out what you want
So you want a new job, but do you know exactly what you’re are you looking for? At the beginning of a job search process, it’s important to hone in on exactly the types of opportunities you’re looking for by thinking about your passions, likes/dislikes, skills, and needs. What kind of company or organization do you want to work for? What activities do you like doing at work? How many hours per week do you want to work? These types of questions will help you figure out what roles will be most satisfying so you can adjust your search to focus on those jobs. Also, it’s always a good idea to discuss these things with your friends and family.
Know your story and be consistent
A large part of getting a new job is convincing a prospective employer that your “story” lines up with their vision of the future employee for the role. You have to convince them that you’re the right person for the job by showing passion for the role, knowledge of the company and industry, and relevant skills and experience. Your personal story should be supported by your resume and LinkedIn profile and you must stay consistent in your communications throughout the hiring process from what you write in the cover letter to what you say during interviews.
Use multiple approaches to find jobs
Company websites, job boards, LinkedIn connections, networking, conferences, job fairs…where do you start? You can find lots of advice on how to use each of these avenues to find your dream job, however, the bottom line is that you should determine which combination is best for finding the type of jobs that you are seeking in your area. You can do this by researching the industries and types of roles you’re interested in and by talking to people in your desired field. Try using different approaches to figure out what works and don’t be afraid to discuss your search with friends and former coworkers – you never know who will have a lead on a prime job opportunity.
Recognize job searching is difficult and ageism exists
A lot of over 50 job seekers haven’t searched for a job in a while and get discouraged when success doesn’t materialize right away. The fact is: job searching is hard for everybody and it’s rare to get one of the first jobs you apply for, no matter what your age. At that same time, you must face the fact that ageism does exist and it’s something you may have to overcome. Don’t get discouraged, don’t get bitter, and emphasize your strengths and the benefits of hiring an experienced employee.
Stay motivated and establish a routine
The single biggest point of failure for most over 50 job seekers is persistence. Many times, searching for a job requires tons of energy over an extended period of time and it’s easy to get discouraged. This is normal! Sustaining a job search is difficult and the best way to overcome this problem is by establishing a routine for your job search efforts. Maybe you devote two hours every Sunday, or one night during the work week, or even one hour every other day, but no matter what you chose make sure it’s a pattern you can stick to. A little planning and repetition can make all the difference in sustaining your search and achieving the result you deserve.
Editor’s Notes: Justin Ridgely is the Founder of Reboot Careers (rebootcareers.com), a platform built specifically for experienced job seekers. Justin and the team at Reboot Careers believe that while the many new career-focused technology products can be helpful, these tools have been almost solely built for young job seekers. In contrast, Reboot Careers‘ goal is to help us over-50 professionals surmount the many challenges of today’s job market by providing critical career-focused services, tools, and support.
Reboot Careers has launched with a focus on job matching, review, and tracking, but there are big plans for additional features and platform expansion. The company is committed to building out its platform to connect job seekers, career changers, career returners, and semi-retired workers with companies that will hire and value them. If you work at a company that eschews ageism and wants to hire experienced, knowledgeable over-50 professionals, please reach out directly. We are also proud to share that Reboot Careers, headquartered in New York City, is a veteran-owned business.