Change careers on your own terms using outside the box career planning.
Career change at any age is scary. And after 50 changing careers can feel like walking a tight rope without a net.
Teachers, more and more, are looking at changing careers. School budgets are being cut, school administrators are failing to support the class room teacher, and parents that take the position their child is always right. All are negative factors that add a level of unnecessary stress to an already stressful job.
As a teacher you do not have to have an entrepreneurial outlook to make the career change after 50 but you need to put your research and planning skills to work to make the right move at the right time. The time to plan on changing careers after 50 is not when things have reached the breaking point but now when you can begin taking action exploring new ideas and new careers. Teachers have a variety of skill sets that give them a head start in many challenging and well paid careers.
First you need to analyze your strengths and interests and how they relate to a particular career. Use informational interviews to get a clearer picture on the experience requirements of the career, future prospects and where they are employed.
Let’s say that after you do the required research you believe you would enjoy the challenges of working as a Human Resource (HR) Manager. (These ideas will work for almost any career including starting a business.)
In building your career plan for a career change you need to address several key points.
First, take a look at education required. You life experiences will translate well for many of the requirements. Look at local junior colleges for additional formal education. Also, the internet has many on line courses that will fill additional gaps. Self-study is a viable option. Finding a mentor that will guild you through the overall educational requirements can help you smooth over the rough spots.
Next is to study the work experience requirements. If the job you are shooting for requires five years of relevant experience, how do you demonstrate that you have the required experience?
There are several avenues you can take in building your career plan. Consider projects within the school district that relate to HR. Volunteer HR work done for a non-profit or your church or alumni and state teacher associations. HR work done during your summer vacation can also be credited toward the work experience requirements. Finally, all HR Manager positions require training and platform skills which you have in abundance.
Now comes the time to think outside to box. What can you do which will make your resume and experience stand out from others competing for the open HR position?
Start a Word Press blog. If you need help setting it up ask around you’ll find someone to help you.
Use Google and find a number of blogs and forums that relate to various HR functions. Keep a record of the questions asked and subjects commented on. They will fall into several general groups.
Go to Google Keyword Tool and take HR related keywords and find those with the most monthly inquiries. Look at those keyword that get from 3000 to 10000 inquiries per month. Group the keywords by subject matter. Now you’re ready to write some 400 or so word articles on the general subject. Naturally include the grouped keywords in your article.
Post the article on several article directories including the number one directory ezinearticles.com. In the resource box refer back to your blog and include a relevant anchor text link back to your blog. Post a summary of your article on your blog.
As you get more comfortable with the HR field, make comments on HR blogs with links back to your blog. Write and issue a press release when you open the blog. Try to find some way to write and issue a press release after you’ve written a number of articles on a particular HR related subject.
As you gain experience is there one subject that has wide appeal. For sake of discussion let’s say it, “Focused employee training and the bottom line.” Do you thing your local Chamber of Commerce at their next monthly meeting would be interested in you giving a 20 minute or so presentation on this subject? You bet they would. And after every speech, write a press release.
Do you see where we are going with this? You become an expert on the subject. You may appear on local TV and radio. All this will be reflected in your resume and cover letter. Your continued learning, writing and speaking will put you in contact with prospective employers.
This activity will more than substitute for years of HR required experience, and don’t you think that’s what the prospective employer wants? You bet it is and you’ve now made the career change after 50 on your own terms.