According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of October 2019, the average Baby Boomer has held 12.3 jobs between the ages of 18 and 52. However, now as Baby Boomers age, they tended to hold on to their jobs for a longer period of time.
While there are no statistics on whether or not these individuals stayed within the same field or changed careers entirely, it’s not that uncommon. But it’s also not that easy, either.
Switching careers at any age is a little difficult, especially if you lack experience. But it becomes much more difficult to learn how to switch careers the older you get.
If you’re thinking of making the leap to a new field, keep reading. We’re sharing with you everything you need to know to make it as seamless as possible.
How to Switch Careers
Whether you’re changing careers at 50 or at 25, change is still scary. You may feel you have to take a pay cut or start over from the beginning. You may also feel burnt out from your current job and you’re not even sure you have the energy to start something new.
However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you don’t end up falling flat on your face.
Start By Brainstorming
Grab a pen and paper or just open a new document on your laptop and start brainstorming. If you’re really thinking about switching careers, you want to make sure you find one that’s the right fit for you.
Start by listing the aspects you do like about your current job. Then list what you don’t like.
Brainstorming Can Help Give You Direction
This will give you a better idea of the direction you should head in. You should also write down the most important things you’d like to have in your new job.
Once you have this list, it will help you to begin thinking about your new career options.
Work With a Career Counselor
Even if you want to learn how to switch careers at 30, there are still more jobs available than there were when you first got your start. You even have the option to start your own new thing.
And with so many options, it can seem overwhelming. Instead of panicking and stopping your search, consider working with a career counselor.
They can give you a questionnaire that can help you discover your strengths. They may also have contacts in the industry you want to switch into.
List Your Skills and Core Values
Make a list of your core values along with your skills. Don’t forget that you may have acquired skills outside of work such as through volunteering.
Your goal is to find a new career that aligns with your goals, skills, and values. Once you know what your preferred skills and activities are, it’s easier to find the right career.
And if you’re wondering how to switch careers without experience, this is a good exercise to do. You may find that many of the skills you have transfer easily into a new and exciting career.
Find Ways to Try Out New Career Paths
Many people tend to freeze rather than taking action when they’re considering switching careers. Unfortunately, that won’t get you any closer to making positive changes in your life.
You can also find out if there are any volunteer opportunities, try freelancing, join a professional group or take a seminar.
Network With Those Already Working in the Industry
If you know someone who is already in the field you’re looking to transition into, ask if you can shadow them for a day or even just an afternoon. Try networking with people within the field.
You can ask them what it’s really like to work in their industry. You’ll also be making some great contacts which can help you find a job more easily.
Take Your Financial Situation Into Account
When learning how to switch careers without experience, you must be aware that you may have to take a pay cut. If you can’t afford to take one then you’ll have to find ways to supplement your income while you’re reclimbing up that ladder.
A part-time job may be a good way to transition more slowly into a new career. You can also take out a loan, put more money into savings or start a business.
Consider a New Job in the Same Industry You’re Already In
Changing careers doesn’t have to be drastic. Sometimes you can find the happiness you seek just by looking for a new role within the current industry you’re already working in.
And you’ll already know everyone, which will make the transition much smoother. You also may not have to take a pay cut.
Your job may even offer on-the-job training for the specific job you want.
Update Your Resume
As soon as you realize the direction you want to head in, update your resume.
Do an online search to find the specific keywords that an employer in your new field of work is looking to see on a resume. And remember that you don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had.
Perfect Your Cover Page
You should also spend some time learning how to write an effective cover page.
Learn how to promote yourself so that potential employers take notice. Many employers receive hundreds of applications so you need to show them why you’re their best candidate.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
If you aren’t already, get on LinkedIn and build up a profile. If you already are on LinkedIn, go ahead and update your profile listing any certifications you have or programs you’ve taken.
Turn on the job search to let potential employers know you’re searching. Reach out and make new contacts.
You can also just create a post announcing that you’re looking for work in a new field and asking for help.
Don’t Get in Your Own Way
Don’t allow fear of the unknown to stop you in your tracks. Even if you’re changing careers at 50, it’s not impossible unless you think it is.
You can only really fail if you don’t try. And putting yourself out there is a great skill to acquire.
Don’t Rush Into Making a Change Just Because You’re Miserable
Don’t feel like you have to jump ship immediately from your old job, even if you absolutely hate it. You do not want to end up in another job you hate just because you were in a rush to get away from your old one.
Take some time to imagine yourself in a career that you absolutely love every day. Take care of yourself by getting enough rest, exercise, and eating healthy foods.
Try to keep a positive frame of mind, even if you’re in a toxic work environment.
If you’re thinking of changing careers, there is a wealth of information available online. You can find out how many jobs are available in your new field.
You’ll also learn what skills and experience employers and recruiters are looking for. You’ll also find out how much you can expect to earn in your new line of work.
Polish-Up On Your Interviewing Skills
Start doing research on typical interview questions people in your new line of work are usually asked. You want to make sure that when you do land an interview, you’ll know exactly what to say.
Check your closet to make sure you have proper interview attire. While the job itself may let you work in jeans and a t-shirt, that doesn’t mean you should show up to the interview dressed that way.
Start Researching Potential Companies to Work For
Just because you know what line of work you want to transition into, doesn’t mean every company out there offering those positions is a good match. The more research you do into potential companies, the easier it will be to spot the places where you’ll be happiest.
Often, the reason for job dissatisfaction is less about the type of work and more about the environment you’re working in. Visit sites where employees can rate their employers to learn how they feel about working there.
This will help you find a company that is aligned with your core values. You’ll be more likely to find a job where you feel appreciated.
Manage Your Expectations
While it would be amazing to update your resume and instantly land 10 interviews, don’t expect that to happen. While it’s definitely possible, it’s not that common.
Instead, keep plugging away each day towards your new goal of changing careers. Update your resume, search out new companies, network with people in the field.
The more you put yourself out there and continue to do so, the more likely it is that you’ll soon be on your way to that coveted interview. If you feel you’re beginning to feel depressed or unmotivated, turn to friends and family for support.
Enroll in a Course
Try enrolling in a course. This will give you an education that you can put on your resume and you’ll also have a better idea if you’re ideally suited for that line of work.
Get the skills and education you need
Now that you know how to switch careers, it’s time to get started on making positive changes. We offer a wide variety of programs to help you get the skills and education you need.
Don’t let another year go by in a dead-end job. Click here to apply online.