Career Crossroads and Challenges

What do we do when we suddenly or not so suddenly find ourselves changing jobs or switching to totally a different career?  We of course stress out right?  Now after reality has sunk in how do we compete in this crazy young minded 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.  You will want to duplicate that as much as possible.  We both know we are not 35 years old anymore, but that seems to be an ideal age employers look at.   I am not saying to go and dress like your 18 year old daughter or act like her either.  Just get a little younger mindset, even if it’s just temporary.  Spruce up your hair do.  Get a cut, style, perm, dye which will make you feel better about you.  There is no crime in dying your hair.  As there is no crime in keeping it gray.  Give it a modern style.  Don’t go into an interview in your comfy Sunday Grandma outfit.  That is not what they want to see, regardless how much expertise may have.  Be professional in your attire.  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 put the dates you graduated.  You can explain that at the interview.  Same applies to former work experience. by all means put your experience down, just do not put how long you were employed.  If 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 thought is going to be ” he / she is old”.  It may make the difference between it being  put in the call for interview stack as they are just looking at the facts of your experience.  Again you can explain the amount of years at the interview.   Example being My 16 year old son asked when I was born and I replied 1965.  His immediate response was “Wow..did you realize you are an antique”.  I thanked him and then asked him if I was a valuable antique…he did not answer. hmmm. This is what we are up against, it is up to us to prove we are the valuable antiques. Sometimes there is some truth to it is all in who you know.  It may not be directly.  Ask your clergy, fellow parents at your grandchildren’s ball game or library time.  Say sometime like this” Hey, if you hear of any job openings let me know” it can’t hurt.

Lastly approach your career crossroad with confidence.  You are a strong willed person do not let this beat you down.  Even if you have turned away ten times in 2 weeks, walk into that next interview like it was 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, and after watching my husband pass away from cancer I just lost then 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 an early retirement so to speak and finish raising the last 2 of my 5 children and care for my grandchildren.  It’s a hard job also but I will joining you all soon enough.  I plan to use these hints for hopeful success when my time comes.  Change is scary, no getting around that, 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 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”.