We know that many of our readers come to Refreshing a Career because they are changing their careers. We know that Covid- 19 has forced many people down a new career path, both because they have realised a new passion or priority and due to unforeseen circumstances in their current career.
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 correct at the height of their career. Still, the reality is, your life and work experience can carry you through. Starting a new job does not mean starting again from scratch. You can bring with you everything you have learnt throughout your working life.
Be confident in your abilities
This is arguably the most important thing to remember when beginning a new career, especially if you are later in your working life. Being confident will take you a long way and help you to feel comfortable and relaxed in your new role.
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 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 change.
Don’t be embarrassed about asking questions
Just because you are coming from a previous career and therefore have lots of work experience, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. Getting help from others is strength in the workplace, and asking questions confidently is the easiest way to learn.
Learn from any mistakes you made last time
Refreshing your career is the second chance many people dream of, don’t waste it by making the same career mistakes as last time. If you felt like you didn’t challenge yourself enough in your previous role or didn’t have an excellent work-life balance, put actions into play right away to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
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 to forums and social media groups
Similarly to networking, joining social media groups and forums is a great way to ask questions about your career before you start. Having a support network is essential in any role, but they are 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 keep you grounded on the task in front of you.
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.