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Changing Careers at 40+

If you are facing changing careers at 40, you might be intimidated, but there are steps to an easy transition.

The first step is to prepare your resume. Even though you may not have direct experience in the job you are going toward, you can draw similarities between your past career experiences and the responsibilities required in your new field. Research the position you desire. Look at the requirements and job description. Many skill sets are transferable. For instance, if you were a salesman, you can highlight your communication skills. If you had any financial responsibility, you can show how you will save the new employer money. Read trade magazines and learn the lingo. Use some of the industry specific terminology in your resume. Also remember to use keywords. Some employers use automated systems to filter resumes. Mirror the words used in the advertised job description in your job objective and work experience. It goes without saying that you might have to go back to school to obtain necessary credentials to change careers. A certification or a two year degree goes a long way.

The second step is networking. Some career counselors suggest cold calling. Make a list of specific companies that you wish to work for. Try to find people you know who might know someone in the company you want to work for. Then call the department manager. Drop the name of your friend, offer some useful information about the industry, introduce yourself and ask the manager to keep you in mind if he is looking to fill a position. Another networking method is to attend career fairs. Because you are changing careers at 40 and may not have direct experience in the new field, interpersonal contact is essential to being noticed. Another suggestion is to become involved with the associations for your industry. Talk to people who had the job in which you are interested and find out what they did to obtain it. Use the association forums and introduce yourself. Finally, if you went to college, use their career and alumni connections.

The third step is the job search. If you have been searching a long time, you might have to enter the job market in a creative way. One is to start at the bottom or with a smaller company for less pay. With your tenacity, you will move up quickly. Another is to consider working on a contract or temporary basis. There are statistics showing that many employers are hiring permanent employees after contract trials. This is a way to get your foot in the door. Once in, observe where you can offer your talent to save the company money, or improve a system. Also use your time to make contacts with vendors and customers in the industry for future career networking. Check niche job sites and company websites for jobs that are less widely searched. These will have less competition.

Remember even though you are changing careers at 40 or at any age, you have a lot to offer. Work ethic, confidence, leadership and experience all come with age.

By Penny Elwright. For more career advice visit Executive Management Jobs Finder.com. Here you will find niche jobs that not everyone is looking for along with valuable information about executive management jobs and management jobs.

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