For younger professionals, a career shift can be a daunting thought since they may not have had enough time to master the skills that they need for their current roles. With this, they can have difficulty in competing with others who are more equipped for the job if they choose to take the leap.
It’s particularly challenging for fresh graduates since career development is neglected in college. This education could have helped them find the job that they’re well-suited for after graduation and improved their chances of cultivating their strengths for a specific role.
In contrast, those with higher-level job roles such as managers, directors, and chief executives have a slight advantage over the younger generation of workers because of the skills and expertise they gained through the years. That’s why continuous learning is a critical aspect of both your personal and professional life. You must constantly expand your knowledge in case you want to change careers in your later years.
Nowadays, it’s more crucial than ever for people with management experience to have a broad range of skills and be proficient in all facets of business operations as much as possible. This way, you give yourself the freedom to choose whether you want to stay in your current role or find another one where you can develop and fine-tune your expertise even more.
If you’re planning to shift career gears or have already left your old job, here are some tips to help you in this season of your life:
1. Stay Current With Technology
There’s a stereotype against older professionals, especially in how they deal with the constant evolution of technology, which is progressing at a fast rate. New apps are being released regularly to improve productivity and communication in the workplace.
You need to ensure that you know the basics of using and navigating through these programs to prove that you’re able to keep up with the demands of today’s employers and consumers. You can do this subtly by including the URL to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature or dedicate a portion of your résumé to list down your technology skills.
It includes details such as the job description, estimated salary, and other valuable industry insights that can help you assess and take the right career path.
2. Dress For Your Role
Your style and appearance will always influence how others see you. While you should continue to dress well and look presentable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should get cosmetic surgery done or buy expensive clothes and accessories.
You can revamp your look with a new haircut that flatters your features or get yourself a fresh pair of eyeglasses. Fortune recommends focusing on the details to convey your professionalism and rank as well as prioritizing quality over quantity.
For your outfits, you should get lightweight and breathable fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily in neutral, professional-looking colors such as black, navy, and taupe. Of course, you can add a pop of color to infuse your personality but don’t overdo it.
3. Maximize Your Network
Managers and directors have already established their network with fellow professionals in various industries, which is an advantage in the job search. You can meet up with connections that are in the company you want to join and let them know about your interest in the job vacancy. They may have insider knowledge on how you can ace that application and land the role.
Another way to take advantage of your network is to act as a guide or consultant to younger professionals. This setup is ideal as a source of extra income if you’re still connected to an organization or a freelancing opportunity for those in-between jobs.
Moreover, you can even help aspiring university students to get the right degree and start their career correctly. For instance, Australian students should know their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or ATAR score to be able to enroll in most undergraduate programs in the country. Use this ATAR Calculator guide to evaluate a learner’s rank and offer your advice on what jobs they are most well-suited for based on their strengths.
A career change can give you the flexibility that you need to improve the quality of your personal and work life. Putting work first and immersing all your time in a particular job role is no longer a viable option, especially when you have a family to care for. It’s not too late to prepare yourself and gain the skills that can make you become an invaluable asset to a company.