Our media cauldron is still spitting out assertions that middle-agers are settlement in record numbers, and continue to moan that there are not enough 30-somethings to fill this void. In fact, recent reports indicate there are more jobless over-50 than at any time ever sold. (See Footnote)
Let me set the record straight, and at the same time offer up some tips for over-50s now contemplating switching careers:
1) Boomers aren’t exactly stampeding to the golf courses or shorelines. That hackneyed cliche is an egregious slander to boomers who look forward to continuing their productive careers or starting fulfilling second careers. It is most insulting to boomers who have lost their savings, and even their homes.
2) The work experience and expertise of boomers make recruitment in vietnam many of us costly employees in this economy. Headhunters and American corporate expatriates advise boomers to consider international work, citing The indian subcontinent, China and Vietnam as attractive emerging markets. However, some skills may be moot even in a recovery, if the industries or companies that used to need them are mature or defunct — here and abroad. Boomers who are interested in command positions should also seek out small or mid-size firms rather than large firms. Private fairness firms, though somewhat dormant right now, look for experienced leaders to fill C-suite positions in their collection companies.
3) For career-switchers over 50, there’s another indignation: headhunters and firms give us a call “seasoned professionals with a short runway. “Some presume boomers will work only five to a decade more before we stop working, and therefore we’re not worth the investment. Glenn Okun, a successful venture capitalist and finance mentor, has a distinctive view: he recently told a small grouping of MBAs ranging in age from late 20s to mid-50s: “You’re all going to be working until you’re 90 yoa. inch
4) A warning regarding career switching: many boomers jump to charity without considering the risks, especially when the salary is related to their corporate pay. Don’t presume that your hard-driving private-sector personality will be welcome everywhere. It’s a very hard changeover for those who are used to focusing almost entirely on quantitative goals and metrics without considering the cultural outcome. Again, know what you want and need, especially the ROLE you want to play, regardless of title and salary.
Here are some powerful strategies that reflect the advice of psychological therapists, social workers, management consultants, business academics and executive coaches who work with individuals in changeover in their personal lives or careers:
1) Create a concrete plan. Have clearly defined objectives, desired outcomes and a strategy for managing your changeover and your finances, along with a firm timeline and standards along the way. Focus on delineating what your key priorities are, what you really want and need from life, what you’re passionate about for yourself and for your loved ones. Be honest about your deal-breakers as well as what you would be happy to compromise.
2) Write in a journal about what’s in every thought, how your anxiety might be linked to past experiences, and what this implies for your future. Periodicals can become powerful personal development tools that provide a of utilizing holistic view of what are you doing in your life, eventually adjusting your ports and rants into information and solutions.
3) DARE to spend time alone. Friends, fellow workers and experts are a welcome source of counsel and support, but if you’ve just had a serious loss, you need time alone to process it, be angry and mourn. If you haven’t developed strategies for being alone to take care of yourself, it could be very depressed, and drive you to fill the void with people, activities and things that could ward off your ultimate goals for dancing.
4) Above all, research, train, and learn how to prevent or survive an accident landing. Remember the popular news story: a 58-year-old former mma star preliminary and trainer with thousands of hours of experience and expertise, who commandeered a massive mess of machinery and flammables with over 160 people onboard, and avoided what would have been their certain fatalities, and that of thousands of other people. It was a seasoned professional (to use headhunter jargon), supported by an expert crew of equally veteran professionals, who shepherded everyone on board that day to walk on water, literally, and return safely to their families. I DARE ask: how many 30-somethings could have done that? Short runway, huh? Run that one by me again.