So you’re 40+, looking for a new job and wondering if you’ve completely lost your mind. Who is going to hire you if they work out your age? What do you have to offer that a 30 year old doesn’t? What careers are even suited to people in their 40s? Yes, you may have a whole load of doubts, but don’t start acting all defeatist.
You’ve heard it before-use your maturity and experience to your advantage. But what does that mean? Is it just a vague, wishy-washy cliché that gets trotted out every so often to convince over 40s that they’re not ‘past it’? Not anymore. Here, we break the cliché down into ten tips for finding a new job at 40 and beyond
Adopt the right mindset
It really does begin in the mind. If you’re not convinced of your own employability, no one else will be either. Banish all fears about being over the hill. Simply refuse to entertain such a mindset and ooze inner confidence and ability instead. Read our article: Rev up your inner confidence and also learn how to get rid of your gremlins: Taming Gremlins aka Tackling Limiting Beliefs
Draw inspiration from all those who only ‘made it’ in later life and who credit their earlier experiences as being instrumental in equipping them for the role they eventually found success in. Get inspiration and discover what you can achieve in your career via the Career Ignition Club.
Ensure your CVs use the latest jargon and drop anything that has lost currency. In some industries the lingo moves on quickly so it’s pointless to use old terminology which is long gone.
Know yourself to sell yourself
Be sure you have a solid awareness of track record, key strengths, career highlights, and sectors where you’re most likely to create interest. Get 100 tips on selling yourself effectively in our eBook: Sell Yourself with Confidence.
Research the ‘way in’ to potential employers
Receptionists are a good way of doing this. They’re only a phone call away and are usually very willing to provide information and help. See our 7 Ways to Research a Company.
Warm up the employer
Telephone potential leads first so as not to send a CV cold. Use the phone call to discuss what the employer is looking for so you can send a CV that’s concise, relevant and doesn’t tell the employer anything that it doesn’t have to.
Use a career guide
A career professional will offer an objective and professional viewpoint, helping to identify jobs suited to your skill set, interests, background and future vision. They will assist in focusing on the target, as opposed to using a ‘scattergun’ approach by pursing too many options simultaneously. Use our Checklist for Identifying a Good Career Guide/Advisor
Get social media savvy
Become familiar with and use online tools like LinkedIn. Read our blog on: Using Social Media to Job Hunt or Great Tips for Making the most of your Linkedin profile
Tell the world what you are doing and want to do. In accordance with the ‘six degrees of separation’ model, you’re bound to be directly or indirectly connected to someone who can help you make things happen. Attend meetings of relevant institutes and have some business cards ready to hand out. Exchange them with anyone who offers you theirs and be proactive in passing them to those you talk with. Read our blog on the top networking mistakes or get more tips in our 135 Networking Career Tips.
Think things through
If you’re planning to change careers (see our Changing Careers section) altogether, it’s important to be realistic. Possible routes into careers for those in their 40s could be via consultancy or pro bono work for a contact within your chosen field. Thoroughly consider your personal position from all relevant angles. Assess your financial situation and other practicalities you’ll have to account for. Be sure you’re not viewing a certain career through rose tinted glasses; talk to those already doing it, research it widely, and develop a genuine passion for it that’s so absolute it’s almost tangible. You will need to completely believe in the goal to ensure others will do too!
It all comes back to belief and confidence. If you think you can, you can and if you think you can’t, you won’t. Whatever your hopes and challenges, embrace your maturity and experience and future employers will appreciate them as advantages too.
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