Ask Vicki: How do you restart your career late in life?
In this answer on Quora, Monster Career Expert Vicki Salemi breaks down what to do if you want to change careers in your 40s, 50s or beyond.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How do you restart your career late in life?
A. In order to restart your career late in life, take on the same mindset you would have implemented to change career paths earlier in life, too: Stay relevant.
Keep your skills current by registering for courses at your local college, university or online class. Attend industry conferences and follow a variety of thought leaders as well as employers on social media. It’s important to stay sharp. Employers will want to interview you when you’re job-ready, not rusty. They won’t want to have to train you and spend a lot of time as well as money. It’s typically the opposite: They look for new hires to have as little ramp-up time as possible so they can hit the ground running.
If you have been out of the workforce for a while, in addition to staying abreast of trends and getting on top of your game, do things to build your confidence outside of your career. Why does this matter? To ace an interview, you need to not only demonstrate your skill set to the employer, but you also need to showcase your confidence and soft skills, too.
So, if you’re feeling a little trepidatious about re-entering or changing your path in the workforce, do things you enjoy on the side whether it’s volunteering at your local soup kitchen; tutoring elementary school kids on math; doing yoga regularly or another type of exercise; or hosting a dinner party for your friends. Doing things for fun will boost your confidence so you’ll feel better about yourself in general. Then debrief and break down skill sets and responsibilities you’ve gained—did you plan ahead, multi-task or were you organized? These are examples you can communicate in an interview as well, not to mention your boosted confidence will be visible to prospective employers.
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