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The Secret to Changing Your Career After 20 Years

May 31st, 2015

July 5th Candidates

Everyone knows about the anxiety of not having a job. What gets talked about much less is the anxiety of feeling trapped in a job. Professionals who have worked in one position, company or field for 20 years or more often feel like it’s impossible to make a career change after so long doing the same thing. As a result, they come to hate what they do. The good news is that a career change is possible at any stage – if you prepare in advance and handle the transition intelligently. Use these strategies to make a bold leap into something new.

Stay Current and Relevant

Employers are often unconsciously biased against older job seekers because they assume their skills and technological fluency are reaching an expiration date. Show potential employers that you can still make an impact by learning the technologies of today and tomorrow, picking up new trainings, certifications or degrees, and follow along closely with the issues and ideas that affect your industry.

Freshen Up Your Look

Several decades into your career, it’s easy to become complacent about your professional appearance. But if you look like an employee from another era, employers will be a lot less enthusiastic to offer you a job. You don’t have to make drastic changes, just make sure your professional image establishes you as someone modern and vibrant.

Take Advantage of Your Network

This is one area where you actually have a leg up on younger job seekers. Since you have likely built up an extensive professional network over the years, turn to those contacts when you’re ready to make a change. This is a great way to learn about unadvertised vacancies, and insider recommendations carry a lot of weight with hiring managers.

Optimize Your Application Documents

Your resume and cover letter don’t need to cover your whole career. Rather than listing jobs and responsibilities from the distant past, focus on the last 5-10 years. This gives recruiters the most relevant look at your present skills and potential value, and helps to draw attention away from the length of your career.

Use Your Age to Your Advantage

There are some companies that actively recruit older professionals. For example, someone like you with a lot of experience would make a great trainer/educator for a company with a young, inexperienced workforce. Find ways to turn your experience and industry expertise into an asset.

If you’re ready to start the next phase in your career, make the transition as smooth as possible by working with a professional staffing firm. They have extensive resources available to help you find and connect with companies eager to hire professionals just like you. Start accessing these resources by contacting The Concorde Group, a leader in staffing in Fairfield and Westchester.

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