Let’s face facts, the world of work is much different today than it used to be. Back in the day, you got a job when you were a young man, and you stuck with that job the rest of your life. These days, young people are predicted to take on at least seven different significant jobs during their working years. But, young people aren’t the only ones wading their way through the strange currents of our new way of working. More and more men entering middle age are finding themselves looking for a new job, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and it’s scaring the hell out of them.
If you find yourself in this difficult position you may feel like an old man playing a young man’s game. But with the right attitude and approach, you can re-enter the job market with a position superior to your last, diving into the second half of your working life with a level of excitement and realistic optimism only time and experience can afford you.
Accept Who You Are
Now, the first step toward taking full advantage of your midlife career opportunities lies in accepting the fact that you aren’t a young man anymore. Instead of trying to act like a fresh-faced cadet looking to discover their way in the world for the first time, approach potential employers by highlighting your maturity and the many benefits it provides. Unlike a recent graduate, a mature man brings stability, security, tenacity and a treasure chest of hard-won lessons to the table. Any employer worth working for understands the value of such intangibles.
While it’s important to communicate that you can adapt to challenges, learn quickly and are ready to adopt a new mindset to fit into your new position, ultimately, what you’ve learned over your years in the field is too important and too attractive to bury.
Remember Your Network
One resource middle aged men bring to the job search that younger competitors can’t match is a vast, welcoming network of friends, coworkers, old bosses and compatriots who have their own methodically built network of professional and personal connections. When searching for a new job, you need to tap your network early and often; you need to cash in the favors you’ve made over the years; and you need to entrust those who care about you with the task of helping you search out those hidden employment opportunities you will never find on Craigslist.
Statistically speaking, a massive 80% of all jobs are never posted but are filled through direct personal connections. These jobs are a lot more open to you than to a young man whose network doesn’t extend beyond his potential alumni connections.
The Bright Side
Midlife career opportunities for men are, simply put, more plentiful and higher quality than career opportunities for young men. Instead of approaching the job search with a sense of dread and doom, approach it with the knowledge that you will be able to find a position that is at LEAST as favorable as your previous job. In fact, don’t be surprised if the new career track you find for yourself is superior both in terms of external compensation and internal fulfillment, then the old 9-5 grind whose loss will soon fade from thought.
About the Author
Wilson Campbell is a career counselor and HR expert. He can provide you with excellent career advice to help you reestablish a successful career. Being an HR expert, he can also provide tips about team building and team building activities.