What do we do when we suddenly or not so suddenly find ourselves changing jobs? What if we are switching to a totally different career? We of course get stress out right? Now after reality has sunk in, how do we compete in this younger job market? Sometimes you have to turn the tables and think like you are the employer, what makes you stand out?
Number one on my list is your appearance. You may be content with how you look and all, but kick it up a bit. Look online at different business fashion styles for the 30-35 year old. Try to duplicate the look if at all possible. We both know that we are not 35 years old anymore but that seems to be the ideal age employers are looking for. I am not saying to and dress like your 18 year old daughter or act like her either. Just have a little younger mindset, even if it is temporary. Spruce up your hair do. Get a cut, style, perm or dye whatever makes you feel good about you. There is no crime in dying your hair and no crime in keeping it gray. Try for a little modern style. Don’t go into an interview in your comfy Sunday Grandma outfit. ( Come on you know we all have one). That is not going to be what a potential employer wants to see, regardless of how much expertise you may have. Go ahead and wear those uncomfortable heels or dress shoes, save the flats and loafers for after you are hired.
When you write up your resume, break a few standard rules of resume making. You will need to acknowledge the schools from high school upwards thru grad school. But,…you do not necessarily need to specify the dates you graduated. You can explain that at the interview. Same thing applies to former work experience. By all means put your experience down, just do not put how long you were employed . If you were an employer looking at a stack of resumes and you came across one that a person had over 28 years of experience at one job, his first though is going to be “he / she is old”. It may make a difference between it being put in the call for an interview stack since they are just looking at the facts about your experience. Again you can explain the amount of years at places during an interview. Example being my 16 year old son asked me when I was born and I replied in 1965. His immediate response was “Wow…did you realize you are an antique.” I thanked him and asked him then if I was a valuable antique…he never did answer me. This is what we are up against, it is up to us to prove we are valuable antiques. Sometimes there is some truth to “it is all in who you know”. It may not be someone you know directly. Ask your clergy, fellow parents or grandparents that your children and grandchildren play with. You could say something like this ” Hey, if you hear of any job openings please let me know” it cant hurt.
Lastly approach your career crossroads with confidence. You are a strong willed person do not let them beat you down. Even if you have been turned down ten times in the last two weeks, walk into your interview like it is your first. I have walked away from nursing after 32 years. It is basically what I know, but my body was rebelling the long hard shifts. I have arthritic hands. I watched as my husband of almost 30 years pass away from cancer and I just lost the lust for the nursing path. In two years, I also will be thrown out into the job hunting wilds, but for now I am taking care of my last two children living at home and helping my adult children with my grandchildren. I plan on using these helpful hints when the time comes for my hunting too. Change is scary, no getting around it, but how we approach it can make all the difference in the world. I am sure you all remember the story of “The Little Engine That Could”, that is how I try to conquer challenges. It may sound a bit lame but it is true, the more you say it to yourself the more it is believable.
Come on now all together, “I Think I Can…I Think I Can…I Think I Can and I Did”!