At some point in life, many people reflect on their careers and question the direction they have embarked upon. More often than not, this self-evaluation occurs during the middle stages of life. Usually, after someone has worked in a particular field for twenty or more years, boredom, or lack of continued interest, has a tendency to set in.

This is the pivotal moment when careerists may decide to change vocations, do something entirely different, and learn a new trade. They may also find it to be one of the most difficult life choices ever made, considering that they may be competing for jobs with younger candidates. However, this could also be one of the best decisions one can make in life, for it has the potential to lead to expanded self-discovery and the advent of new opportunities for personal satisfaction.

Here are a few helpful pointers to assist anyone who is considering a mid-life career change.

Create an Inventory of Transferable Skills

Career changers need to see themselves as owners of valuable skills which have wide ranging value. They also need to ensure that their resumes are reworked to highlight in-demand skills and essential worker qualities.

-When seeking a new job that veers off the course of all previous employment, make a list of abilities and talents that have been honed and developed over the years and consider how these portable, or transferable, skills can benefit a new employer.

-Prominently place transferable skills in the new resume, since these skills will encompass attributes that have been proven successful in previous employment and can be utilized within any company, or applied to just about any position. Employers should be alerted to them.

Include skills such as:

-People skills
-Diligence and attention to detail
-Maturity
-Ability to communicate across organizational levels
-Team player mentality
-Analytical and strategic thinking expertise

Demonstrate Ability to Adapt to New Situations

-Changing career paths requires a willingness to accept change and the ability to fit in with new situations. Employers want people who are keenly interested in working within their industry, and who can fit in with the existing corporate structure with relative ease. They also want someone who can work well within an unfamiliar environment.

-The very fact that someone has changed careers in mid life is an affirmation of the possession of such qualities. In fact, the job candidate who presents himself or herself to a potential employer as a person who has made the decision to change careers demonstrates flexibility, adaptability, and the capacity to acquire new knowledge.

-When talking to a potential new employer, make mention of instances in past jobs where the qualities of adaptability and flexibility made a difference. These are traits that should always be specifically brought to light when discussing past employment history, and prominently accentuated when seeking new employment within a field where one has never before worked.

Get New Skills for New Careers

-Before setting off on a new career path, determine the exact types of training and knowledge that is required in this different vocation.

-Research the market and the industry and make a list of the skills possessed and any particular skills that may be absent.

-Consider returning to school to update technical or industry-specific skills relative to a new career. Trade schools, vocational schools, online schools, and community colleges may be options worth exploring.

-Check with local employment and unemployment departments to see if government funded re-training programs is a possibility.

-In some cases, on-the-job training may be obtained through the new job, so never dismiss an opportunity just because the necessary skills seem to be currently lacking.

View Career Change as a Promising Opportunity

It may seem daunting, and even downright scary, to change careers in a tight job market. But if viewed as an opportunity instead of as an obstacle, a mid-life career change may be the chance of a lifetime to make a promising change for the better.

Following the helpful hints provided here, and focusing on those qualities which demonstrate experience, transferable skills and an attitude of flexibility will increase the likelihood of landing a new job in a new field, even if the job duties and industry are different from anything attempted before. All one need do is make the decision to embrace change and see it through.

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At some point in life, many people reflect on their careers and question the direction they have embarked upon. More often than not, this self-evaluation occurs during the middle stages of life. Usually, after someone has worked in a particular field for twenty or more years, boredom, or lack...