The COVID-19 pandemic created so many changes in our world. While it’s hard to see the silver lining in something that caused so much pain and discord, there are some things the pandemic shifted that could be for the better. For example, it pushed the popularity of remote work. Now, both businesses and employees are benefitting from that.
It also forced many people to take a look at their careers. So many people lost their jobs during the pandemic. Others resigned to stay home with children. Whether the above happened to you or the pandemic simply caused you to think more about what you want out of life, it’s important to know that it’s never too late for a career change.
If you’re a middle-aged woman considering a career change for the first time, it’s important to approach it the right way. Let’s take a look at a few of those approaches, so you can make the most of this switch and find success in a new professional landscape.
1. Own Your Value
“I’m too old.”
“I’m not experienced enough.”
“What if I can’t keep up with the technology?”
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, it’s self-doubt trying to keep you from reaching for a new career path. Instead of second-guessing yourself, focus on your worth. You know what you can bring to a company, so make sure you let others know through your resume, cover letters, and interviews. You’re more likely to stand out from other candidates if you have confidence in yourself and understand your value.
2. Share Your Story
As you step into a new career in the middle of your life, you’ll have something many younger applications won’t—a story to tell. Even if you’re approaching a brand new industry, you can tell your personal and professional stories to a potential employer. Let them know how you got where you are today and why you want to switch careers. You might not have experience in a specific industry, but you have life experience. Plus, chances are, wherever you worked before helped you hone in on certain skills that can be used almost anywhere.
3. Learn Relevant Skills
While being confident in the skills you already have is important, that doesn’t mean you should be stuck in your ways. Now is a perfect time to learn a new skill, especially if you’re interested in a specific career. Take classes, go back to school, or consider online courses that can help you learn something new that will make it easier to stand out when you start applying for jobs.
It’s easier than ever to learn things quickly, even when you’re working another job or taking care of your family. Don’t let the idea of picking up a new skill keep you from going after the career you really want.
4. Consider Your Passions
As you consider a new career, a good rule of thumb is to look into things you love and things you’re passionate about. Don’t just switch careers because you think something is more suitable for your age or even because you’re comfortable with certain industries. Make a list of things you’re passionate about and careers that could help you foster those passions. That should be the driving force behind the change.
5. Try Different Things
There’s no rule that says you have to stick with a new job forever after giving it a go. It’s okay to try different things before you find a career that sticks. While that doesn’t mean you should go job-hopping, it does mean you can be upfront and open with potential employers. See if they would consider hiring you on a temporary basis. That way, you can both determine if you’re a good fit for the position. If not, you can move on and try something different.
Age is just a number, and it shouldn’t be something that deters you from approaching a midlife career change. No matter your reason, keep these ideas in mind to slip into an industry you’re passionate about, so you can start a fresh career path that will last many years.