We know that many of our readers come to Refreshing a Career because they are changing their careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people down a new career path, both because they have realised a new passion or priority, but also due to unforeseen circumstances in their current careers.
We wanted to put together a guide specifically for those coming to this new career slightly later in their lives. It can be highly challenging feeling like you have to compete with young graduates who have come straight out of university or people who are currently at the height of their careers. Still, the reality is that your life and work experience can carry you through. Starting a new job does not mean starting again from scratch. You have a host of transferable skills that you have learnt throughout your working life.
Top Tips for Starting a New Career Later in Life:
Whether the decision to change careers was yours or it was made for you, here is our advice on finding a job if you are an older jobseeker. Also take a look at our jobs for ex-plumbers, jobs for ex airline pilots, jobs for ex cabin crew, jobs for ex engineers, jobs for ex nurses, jobs for former chefs, or jobs for former journalists.
Be Confident in Your Abilities
This is arguably the most important thing to remember when beginning a new career, especially if you find yourself looking later in your working life. Being confident will take you a long way and help you feel comfortable and relaxed in your new role. Also, make sure to update your cv accordingly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use the Knowledge and Skills From Your Previous Career
Even though the actual tasks you will be doing might be very different, don’t be afraid to use the methods and ideas you used in your previous role. You might discover that there’s more crossover than you originally anticipated!
Tell Your New Colleagues About Your Previous Career
You shouldn’t feel like you can’t share details of your previous career in your new job. Many people find it beneficial in the transition period to speak out about their old job and show others why they decided to switch careers later in life. Don’t forget, there are many advantages of being an older worker.
Don’t Be Embarrassed About Asking Questions
Just because you are coming from a previous career and have plenty of work experience, doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. An incredibly valuable skill is knowing what you don’t know. Getting help from others is a strength in the workplace, and asking questions confidently is the easiest way to learn.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Refreshing your career is the second chance many people dream of. Don’t waste it by making the same career mistakes as last time. Perhaps you felt like you didn’t challenge yourself enough in your previous role or didn’t have an excellent work/life balance. Take action from the get-go to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Invest Time in Researching Your New Career
A straightforward way to boost your confidence is to spend some time researching your new career before starting. Find out what the job will entail, how you can prepare, and where the role might lead you later on down the line. Remember, knowledge is power!
Network With People in the Same Industry
If you are interested in finding out more about your industry in general and meeting other people who work in it, you can try networking with others. This will also help you to feel welcomed and a part of a new working community. Try LinkedIn for an easy way to meet other professionals.
Sign Up for Forums and Social Media Groups
Similarly to networking, joining social media groups and forums is a great way to ask questions about your new career before you start. Having a support network is essential in any role, but they are even more significant for people starting a new job.
Define Your Goals
Going into your new role with precise short-term and long-term goals will ensure you stay focused and thrive as best as you can. Having dreams can help to counteract feelings of being overwhelmed or lost in a new environment and can help you concentrate on the task in front of you. Carefully consider the career you are interested in. There are great jobs for over 60s to choose from, if you set your goals clearly.
Refresh Your IT Skills if You Need To
For many people starting a career later in life, one of the biggest hurdles is using technology. This is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and it is made worse by trying to hide or ignore the problem. If this is you, consider getting some extra IT help before you start. There is a whole range of free courses available online that can help you to refresh your skills in all areas, not just in IT.
In today’s world, changing careers later in life is much easier and more common than it used to be. That being said there are amazing benefits of changing a career. If you find yourself wanting more from your career or if you’ve recently been made redundant, do your research and make a change. Refreshing a Career is packed with help and advice for career changers. Be sure to check out our live job board for up-to-date information on career change jobs in your area.