Financial Literacy - Careers
6 tips for midcareer job seekers

"The minute you walk through door, there is the assumption that you are like their parent," says author Jan Cannon.

Make the effort to update your wardrobe with basic articles of clothing appropriate for the industry you'll be working in, she says. Pay attention to personal grooming, too.

Acting your age is one thing; looking it is entirely different. A Brooks Brothers suit may help you snag a bank position, but it'll probably be overkill if you're looking for work as a graphic artist.

"There are job seekers of all ages out there competing for the same job," Russell says. "So it's important as an older worker to ensure that you are really keeping your pulse on what's going on out there because you're competing with fellow job seekers that may be half your age."

Consider changing professions

Losing your job in the middle or latter part of your life doesn't always have to be nerve-wracking. Instead, it can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself and explore a different career.

"Job loss is often the impetus to start something new," says author Jan Cannon.

However, before you decide to start a business or embark on a new career, it's important to do a little soul-searching and a lot of research and preparation.

Take stock of your finances before exploring your options. How long can you survive financially while you make the career switch? How good is your credit if you need to take out a business loan or a line of credit?

It's also important to have a good support network. Is your family supportive of your new goals? It can be tough on everyone if you are the only person who is passionate about your new direction in life.

Volunteer work can be a great way to find out if a new career direction suits you. For example, if you've always loved working with animals, volunteer at the local animal shelter. If it feels right, consider getting certified as a veterinary assistant.

"Do some soul-searching to understand your limitations and passions," Cannon says.

Don't necessarily assume that you need to make a radical change. Assess your current skills to determine whether they transfer into other types of employment.

"I spent almost 30 years in aviation, and now I am in a personnel-related business," says Jim Nanjo, a spokesman for Senior Employment Resources. "Emphasize those basic crossover skills regardless of where they came from."

Remember to stay positive during this period of transition. It might take months or even years to establish a new business or complete the necessary coursework to be certified or licensed to do new work.

However, the payoff for finding a new job you love can be enormously rewarding.


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