Changing your career in later life can seem like a daunting prospect.
If you are considering this, I have one piece of advice to offer – ‘Go for it – but be informed about how to go about selling yourself and your skills in this new digital job market’.
Ensure your CV says ‘experienced’ and doesn’t include old qualification dates. Lead with the transferable skills and the important qualities you bring (reliability, wisdom, the flexibility of hours which means you are cheaper for the business).
Get onto LinkedIn and build a profile there, using it to reach out directly to employers you are interested in working with. (Not being on LinkedIn is equivalent to no birth certificate in a digital age).
Use your contacts to learn about roles that would suit you. Ensure your digital skills are up to date and if they are not, seek out courses at local colleges or through learning platforms like Lynda.com and add them to your CV.
Unfortunately, ageism is a reality it’s very hard to escape despite age discrimination laws, but the good news is that more workplaces are opening up to new ways of recruiting to eliminate bias and are making concerted efforts to make their work-forces far more diverse.
You must believe in yourself. Don’t say ‘they won’t choose me’. It’s a lie – you really don’t know until you put in an application. Say ‘There’s only one of me’ and demonstrate what you bring that can uniquely solve the business and people problems of the organisation you are reaching out to.
A final rule of thumb – if you can do more than 60% of the job description, put in an application. Often these are ‘wish lists’ and employers are realistic that they might not find one person who brings all that to the table, so it’s fine to apply!