If you feel you’re ‘over the hill’ and a career change is impossible, then here are some top tips to help you apply your past experience & skills to a new venture
Time for career change?
As 1.00am approached the time for banter was over. The night was clear, the fire pit was homely and the cigars and whisky mellow, and I have to say that us chaps started to come out with some fairly wise reflections on life.
All of us were approaching a certain major age milestone that can only be said whilst coughing into your hand, and one of our wise men confessed that he now feared that he was over the hill. He was unhappy in his career, felt that God had something more in store for him and yet he didn’t know how to make the jump from one job to another and make that much needed career change.
We nodded sympathetically and puffed away, looking for more wisdom to tackle what is probably a common anxiety: Late career change syndrome.
Later career changers
Late career changers have some notable ambassadors who will encourage any one of us who is considering what can feel like the ultimate in bungee jump experiences. Two Titans of the big screen, Harrison Ford and Sylvester Stallone are fine examples of late career changers; Mr Ford was once chippie on film sets and Mr Stallone was a delicatessen counter assistant, whilst Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds, sold paper cups and milkshake mixers until he was 52!
The promises contained in the bible concerning your life are another reason why you need to believe that there will never be a time when you’ll be over the hill:
Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
Top tips if you want make that career change…
So, what are the facts surrounding career change? Stats suggest that the average person will change career approximately five to seven times during their working life. UK government figures (2014) show that more than 34,000 people aged over 50 started an apprenticeship in 2013-14, which might help you to reconsider your present career plight in a more positive light.
Here are some top tips to help you apply your past experience and skills to a new venture:
- Believe in yourself – Be positive and faith-filled and make sure you don’t carry negative mind-sets; otherwise you may never get going!
- Open your eyes – Without doing this, how will you know what’s out there and where your skills can be an asset? The internet is awash with resources to help you make that career change. Check out http://icould.com
- Know your asset base – Assess your skills so that you can confidently “sell” yourself in your CV and at a job interview. The National Career Service website has four assessments that you can take at no charge.
- Find advocates – Make sure your LinkedIn profile has recommendations that tell the world how good you are at your job, which is an amazingly important step in being taken seriously.
- Accept realities – Look at your constraints and assess if these are likely to be permanent or temporary.
- Brainstorm your ideas – Explore your options both on your own and with others, and see which careers enable you to transfer your skills and experience. Search out the deep desires of your heart – talk to others about them and soak your career change plans in prayer.
- Eliminate options – Do your brainstorming ideas and the desires of your heart survive in the face of your constraints? Are there some that need to be put on hold or even eliminated?
- Take your time – You cannot rush this, so make sure to take your perseverance tabs!
- Seek support – You can’t do this alone, so get as much input as you can from close family, friends, mentors, pastors and even a career coach!
God’s promises over your life are eternal, but they do need you to look forward and not back. Finally, keep in mind the words of C. S. Lewis: You’re never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.