Tips for Job Searching in Your 40s
With another 20+ years until retirement, 40-somethings are getting closer to the end goal—but they still need sound strategy and a plan to advance and achieve career objectives. People this age have caught up with younger generations when it comes to being technology savvy—they’ve also experienced a workforce run by Baby Boomers. Stuck in the middle of two generations, these workers have the potential to blend traditional workplace values with new ways of working.
As a 40-something, the thought of working from a home office may seem intimidating, but it can eliminate a commute, add to productivity, and free up time for family and hobbies. Other modern changes in the workplace may feel intimidating—but you need to remember that everyone has to tackle new things to keep a career moving forward. It keeps you on your toes, forces you out of your comfort zone, and allows you to remain competitive within your industry.
To keep your job search and career momentum going in your 40s:
Look at how you present yourself
This can include your resume, your wardrobe, and even your communication skills. How do people relate to you? How do you relate to them? You’re in a unique position to be both a mentor and a mentee—use that position to help out those who are stuck where you once were. But don’t forget to seek the advice of those you trust and admire in your profession—their experience is beneficial in helping you to make career decisions.
When you’re balancing career and family, it can be hard to stay focused on your end goals. Experiment with a flexible schedule, if your business allows it, where you can run to appointments or attend kids’ baseball games when needed. If your current job can’t accommodate this, it may be time to look for something new. Your 40s can also be a time to begin a new venture—by starting a freelancing business or opening a company.
Take some classes
Every advantage helps when it comes to interviewing and career growth. Classes expose you to a new group of people—and energized classmates can reinvigorate your view toward your career. You’ll also gain knowledge and skills that could put you at the top of the list at promotion time.
If you’re looking to change jobs, do your research
Some companies, like start-ups, require long workdays and a level of commitment that you may no longer want to take on. If you find a job that interests you, dig around to find profiles of who works there. If it’s a blend of ages, your level of expertise may be valued by those with both more and less experience than you have. Coming in at the highest level can be daunting, while working alongside a group of 20-something techies can pose its own challenges. Company culture is very important at this age—find a company that fits you as well as you fit into it.
You’re old enough to have people reporting to you. But you’re still young enough to make some big steps up in your career. As your experience grows, so should your network of peers.
Your 40s is a pivotal time in your career. Make the most of it by finding a balance that can guide you through to retirement time. Update your resume, spruce up your wardrobe, and get ready to show off the leadership skills you’ve developed. Your hard work is paying off—letting you decide whether to stay on path or dive into a new and exciting career adventure.
By Chris Newsome