There is nothing like “being too old to seek a new job”. However, there are many who see an advancing age as a roadblock to beginning something new. A job change would be perhaps the most daring thing to do for those who feel being in their 40s means that they are no longer ‘in the league’. In case you are having similar doubts, here are five tips to help you take the final plunge.
1. Get rid of fear
Unfortunately, a lot of people over 40 live in fear of not being ‘in the league’ anymore. Look at the strengths you bring to the table, suggests SJ Raj, senior vice president, HRD, Newgen Software. “What you forget is that you have maturity and level-headedness on your side, apart from your qualifications and the experience. Know and believe that you have what it takes to succeed in a new job,” he says.
2. Catch up with the latest
Continuous learning and openness to new ways of doing the same work is the key that ensures your employability irrespective of your age, says Newgen Software’s SJ Raj. James Agrawal, managing director of BTI Consultants, says it’s important to break the notion of being a technophobe. “One of the biggest barriers older and experienced workforce face while switching jobs is not being in tune with the latest technologies.
There is a perception that middle-aged workers are less on top of new developments in technology, and not as flexible to learn about it. In a world that is being flooded by new media and technology, it is imperative for the older workforce to be flexible and adopt some of the new technologies,” he says.
3. Be ready to change
Change is inevitable, and after almost two decades of experience, work processes must have undergone numerous changes. Newgen Software’s Raj says people should be open to embracing cultural and altitudinal changes at the workplace. “You might also have to undergo a change in your physical appearance — get trendy, get fit and get agile. Be open to being led by someone younger, s/he might be a source of new learnings for you,” he says.
4. Potential of networking
Most seasoned professionals often underestimate the power and strength of their network and professional relationships they have built over time. “Professionals in their 40s should milk their network and utilise every possible connection to explore opportunities and newage platforms, such as LinkedIn, have made this easier than ever.
Whether it is reconnecting with a co-worker, getting introduced to someone relevant in your extended network, or reaching out to someone beyond your network for an informational meeting, do it all,” says BTI’s Agrawal
5. Know your worth
Experienced professionals often shortsell themselves, knowing that they are competing with a younger pool of candidates. However, what they forget is that the biggest advantage they have over younger workers is their experience, points out BTI’s Agrawal. “It’s imperative for seasoned professionals to demonstrate the strength of their experience, the value they bring to the table, the valuable lessons they have learnt and new skills they have gained. They must showcase the difference their experience can make in identifying and handling challenging situations that an employer might be facing and how they are better at doing so,” he says.