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When making a career change, what is the best way to go about it if you are not still young?


Michelle Robinson Whitt, TX

I am 46, just earned my Bachelor degree in Business Administration, my resume' is all over the place. I have a lot of everything....

11 November 2019 7 replies Career Advancement



Robert C Lawrenceville, GA

Michelle: As you start a new career you can expect to start out at the bottom. Thankfully we have the internet, you tube, and books to get us old folks up to speed quickly. Our experience and work ethic quickly get us past the youngsters. The main thing is to decide what your dream job looks like and not get sidetracked so you can get to where you want to be quicker. And as something comes along that looks like more fun - don't be too stuck in your ways to try an new path. Enjoy the journey.


Diana Luykx Half Moon Bay, CA

and...don't worry too much about it. At 53, I landed a job that's exactly where I want to be in the field, at a salary I can live on. (I even started the job with some gray roots, which I've since touched up :)
Just keep in mind, it may be much less of an issue to others than to you.
Good luck!


Steve Adolt Lancaster, PA

Hi Michelle!

First, congrats on completing your degree!

Second, given what you have said in your profile, your focus and your goals, why not put all this education into action and start your own business with the fiber farm?

It would use ALL your skills from your degree, you could set yourself up as a small, woman owned, disabled veteran business with all the benefits that come with that, and you would realize your retirement dream early.

Sounds like it might be a win for everyone involved, including the grand kids!!



Barry Sosnick Greenlawn, NY

Ah, age! The topic reminds me to update my profile picture to reflect my 51 years!

As a business owner, I prefer older employees. They tend to understand our customer-centered philosophy better than younger applicants. Younger job applicants are more focused on how work fits into their own lifestyle than how we serve our customer in order to benefit our patients' lives. While this is a broad generalization, I do find myself shaking my head in disbelief during interviews more now than in the past.

I had three careers. My first career was in political polling. I then moved to investment banking as an equity analyst. While working in finance, I also taught marketing in college. Finally, I started and run two small businesses: one in healthcare and the other own real estate. Change isn't uncommon.

If I needed to explain my path, I would focus on the commonalities: a love of numbers, a passion for asking "why" in order to find solutions, and a comfort with risk. I know who I am, what I enjoy, and the value I provide my clients and my coworkers. These skills can fit a large number of employers in a broad range of industries. I may change fields, but not my passion and skills.

Please read back what you wrote in this post and your profile. Worry less about when you accomplished milestones that others failed to reach, even though others got there sooner. For example, you talk about "finally" earning a your college degree, yet it is more impressive to attain one in your 40s than your 20s. You also describe you military service as "insignificant" because your disability forced an early separation. Your unit made it to Somalia with functioning equipment because of you. You missed deployment because of circumstances beyond your control, but the unit was ready because of your commitment -- your contribution was significant during the time you had.

Feel free to celebrate your accomplishments and not how they compare to others. You seem awesome, so feel good about what makes you uniquely exceptional!


Isilay Cabuk Sunnyside, NY

Dear Michelle,
Couple to steps to help you and I agree with Mary that please do not worry about your age as it is not an issue
1-Find your new career by asking "why"
Think about these questions: Why do I want this? Why do I think this new career will make my life better? What might the downsides or risks be?
2-Get clear on "What"
Think about these questions: Do I have any career capital in this? In other words, are you going to be able to leverage your skills, your contacts, and your professional brand to make a successful transition?
3-Figure out what it takes
Are you lacking certain skills that you need to be an attractive candidate for this new type of role? Do you need certifications? Classes? Licenses?
4-Create an action plan
Begin with the end in mind with your action plan. What’s your primary goal and ideal timeline?

Once you figure that out, break it down into major milestones—skills you need to acquire, people you need to meet, personal things you need to attend to prior to making this shift. What else? What are the milestones?

Assign yourself daily or weekly tasks so that you know what, exactly, you’ll be doing when you sit down in front of your computer.

It is all about SMALL STEPS which creates both momentum and confidence.

5-Shift your brand. Prepare your CV, Linkedin etc that speaks your skills and knowledge to be applied to the role.
6-Put your word out. Connect with people in the industry (watch the video by me on the ACP website on how to create meaningful connection)

Hope this helps
let me know if you have any question


Mary Bock Austin, TX

Strangely, specializing your interest and your search will help you more than discussing your skills as "everything." This might mean customizing your letters and parts of your resume for two or three types of jobs you'd like to pursue. Companies need folks who can do a specific thing.

If you're able, give a few hours a week to an organization that does something you care about. As a volunteer, you'll be able to network with like-minded folks as you pursue paid positions. Also -- take advantage of the career services from the school where you earned your degree. Do not worry about your age -- you are in a great "second career" shift. Good luck!


June R Massoud Burlington, VT

Google: Companies in USA that hire people over 40. There will be a list of companies that take older workers. We have the same in Canada where I live. Also, join the LinkedIN website and follow their business courses and start networking with people. Okay? Get back to me on your progress.
Best, June R Massoud

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