Let’s say you’re hitting your 40s and 50s and are looking to start over in your career. After years of working in the same industry or a similar role, you’re seeking different challenges or a change of pace. However, you’re intimidated by the fact that the job market isn’t as rosy as it used to be. You have to contend with the many younger, energetic jobseekers out there that may be applying for the same roles that you want.
How can you stand out from the crowd and convince employers you’re a better choice for the job than those millennials? Here are some tips:
- Identify Overlaps in Your Current and Desired Career Paths
Today, there are many interdisciplinary fields that simply didn’t exist a decade ago, especially in IT. That’s why recruiters have started to think in terms of a person’s skillset or knowledge, rather than relying on the number of years a person has spent in a specific role. Programming and software development can also be taught through short courses or video tutorials online. If you have the ability to develop, interpret technical plans and convert into codes, you can consider working as a software engineer. This can also help you save for retirement as the salary of a software engineer can get as far as $158K annually.
For example, if you workas a nurse but are tired of the long shifts, you can transition into a healthcare analytics role instead. This role will still make use of the medical knowledge that you have, while allowing you to work easier hours. Another popular second career is teaching, which can make use of all the experiences you’ve accumulated throughout your professional life.
- Highlight the Advantages of Hiring an Older Worker
Many employers shy away from hiring more mature workers due to many misconceptions. They may think that older employees are not as open to using new technology as younger workers, or may not be as driven. They may also shy away from paying bigger wages for an older hire with a few years of experience.
However, there are many advantages to hiring someone outside the millennial age group. As mentioned earlier, you can show your years of experience in other jobs as an asset to the company. You may also have an amount of leadership ability honed through the years that a younger hire may still need to develop. And to assuage an employer’s concerns about the use of technology, you can show how savvy you are by having updated social media profiles or getting additional certifications.
- Check if You Qualify for an RPL
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Australia is a nationally-recognised certification that you can earn based on the skills, knowledge, and work experience you already have. With an RPL, you can get hired for a specific position, even if you may not necessarily have the academic background for that role.
To get an RPL, you only need to submit evidence and pass assessments offered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). This certificate will help you save time, money, and effort by eliminating the need to enrol in university to simply qualify for a post.
- Get Studying
An RPL can only do so much. When you’re transitioning fields, especially in more specialized industries such as architecture or engineering, you may need to go back to school to complete other academic requirements. That said,if you’re worried about the cost of schooling, you can look into securing scholarships or grants from various institutions. These may include government agencies, non-government organizations, and even the university itself.
- Start Volunteering
Another way to get work experience in a different industry is by volunteering at non-profits. For example, if you want to transition to an IT-related career, you can help a charity set up their website or streamline their IT systems. Not only do you gain related work experience, you get to contribute to a noteworthy cause.
These five tips are sure to give you a boost when starting your encore career. So go ahead and send that CV in—you may get the job you’ve always wanted, even at a later stage in your life.