Career Planning for Baby Boomers – Transferring Skills to a New Field

If you are not satisfied with your job and this dissatisfaction is the result of a career downfall or mismatch, you can improve your current job conditions. If you aren’t being challenged enough by your tasks, if you want to try your hand at something new, after years and years in one field, or if you simply want a change before entering the next phase of your life, it might be time to switch jobs.

Spend more time in researching and exploring the job that you want and any related skills that you have. If your current job and its required skill set do not include the ones you like, dissatisfaction is only to be expected. If you aren’t able to use your preferred skills regularly, on a daily basis in your job, you might feel what is called a vocational void. After taking into consideration your preferred skill areas, if at all you find a major mismatch then you might have to explore other career options. Sometimes, it might also be a choice arising from a change in mid-life, or post retirement. Here are a few things you might want to do.

Try to identify and develop your preferred skills and values

Research your local job market to see what career options and job descriptions are good for your skill sets.

After identifying suitable career options, you can narrow it down and focus on a single area.

If necessary, get additional training.

Create a timetable to plan your progress as you move on in your job search.

Develop a plan of action for your short-term income while you explore careers. Stay put at your current job or keep looking for temp work can be good short-term alternatives until you are settled in something else

Career counseling is a good option. A counselor will help you identify your skills, and interests. A counselor will help you sell your current skills and abilities into your new field, in creative ways.

Consult with people who are working in other interesting fields. Get suggestions and advice from people who are actually working in the particular field that you are interested in to know what the field is all about.

Volunteer as a way to ‘test’ the fields. This will give you good knowledge and insight and will build a vast network for you by identifying and demonstrating your commitment and skills.

Corporate downsizing, industries being retrenched, reducing middle management, part-timers, consultants, and the widespread use of contingency workers have created new workplace and market realities. Such drastic changes have made a lasting impact on workers, but the older job seekers have to deal with age-related matters as well.

Job seekers, who are over 50, can surpass all this provided they have a better understanding of the changing trends in today’s corporate offices and how this will affect their job search. So, it is advisable to come up with a strategy that is based on knowledge, skills and abilities, objectives and goals, and experience. Explore other employment options and nontraditional jobs that requiring different work patterns and arrangements. Look at temporary, short, medium or long duration opportunities where you can be creative, and tap into other interests. Consider part-time, temporary work for a former employer or a company with established hiring pools for retirees.

© Anna D Banks, Certified Mind Scan Business and Personal Coach.  Since 1996, I have helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve business and personal success.

BoomersNextStep Guest Author

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