Q: I’m thinking seriously about returning to my old career. I’ve been doing something else for the last 20 years and I miss what did previously. It’s time to go back to the future, I feel. What do I need to look out for? (IK, email ).
A: Deciding to return to an old career requires strategic thinking. I’ve changed careers a number of times in my life – and while it can be invigorating, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Faraway hills, and all of that.
Here are some things to consider:
1. Research the current demand for your desired career in the job market to ensure that it’s a viable option and you’ll have good chances of finding employment.
2. Research the stability and growth potential of your desired career field to ensure that it offers job security and opportunities for advancement, if that’s your priority.
3. Consider the geographical location of your desired career, as this can impact your work-life balance, cost of living, and the job market. Are you willing to relocate or do you prefer to stay in your current area?
4. Update your skills through further training and education. This will make you more marketable and increase your chances of finding a suitable job. It will also combat any impression that your skills are out of date.
5. Avoid pursuing jobs that are far below your qualification level. This can be challenging and may lead to dissatisfaction in the long run.
6. Network with former colleagues and bosses. Create a LinkedIn profile and contact previous colleagues for advice. Follow up with them 3-5 days later. They may be able to provide valuable information about job openings, the current job market, and what potential employers now value.
7. Join professional associations and attend events to make connections and learn about unadvertised job openings. Things – and people – have changed since last you were in this field.
8. Research the industry to identify suitable companies. See how they have changed and what new skills and qualifications are required in the current job market.
9. Embrace the spirit of learning and be open to change. Your previous experience in the industry can be an asset, but it’s important to acknowledge that the field may have evolved since you last worked in it. Be ready to adapt and appreciate the contributions of the current leaders in the industry, regardless of their age.
10. Evaluate the long-term financial aspects of your desired career, such as salary, benefits, and any potential earning potential. Consider whether the financial benefits sit well with your goals and if you’re willing to make any financial sacrifices to pursue this career.
11. Be prepared to explain any gaps in your work history.
12. Have a clear and confident answer to the question of why you are returning to your old career.
13. Be sure to stay positive throughout the process. Remember, it’s never too late to learn new things and take on new challenges – even in your old field. The willingness to adapt and learn will not go unnoticed.
Slí Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) offer full online services, including CV preparation, LinkedIn profile optimisation, interview training and mock interviews. Email your questions to [email protected].