You may fall into one of the following categories.
Returning to the workforce.
No matter if you are looking to grow within your corporation or looking to launch, never
let age be something that deters you. For me it was pivoting careers and returning to
the workforce after raising my 3 daughters. Midlife is a growing demographic and
represents a talent pipeline for organizations looking to fill gaps with experienced
professionals. And it’s also why we are now seeing a huge increase in creating your own
What’s stirring inside of you? Are you thinking about a different direction? If so,
consider the following:
1) Shift to a consultant mindset and/or become a subject matter expert.
Your years of experience in a field or subject area are assets to leverage - not a moniker
to be ashamed of! I spent years in the wireless industry and never did I shy away from
touting the 10+ years of experience in Corporate Leadership that I had.
These years bring wisdom, courage, and adaptability. The same applies to us! I rose the
ranks from Junior level to Senior level management in those 10 years. So position
yourself in roles where you can utilize your institutional or functional knowledge in a
field or company. Age = Value.
2) Never stop up-skilling.
Change is a given in every field, in every role, in every workplace. Demonstrate that
you’re committed to staying at the forefront by taking on new technology or trends and
absorbing the value and application in your work. Have that lifelong desire for learning!
3) Show your value in a multigenerational workplace.
There are currently five generations engaged in the US workforce. This is the first time
in history we can make this claim. And, in such an age-diverse workforce, having
experienced many stages of life is invaluable. Now some may subscribe to the narrative
that those in midlife are out of touch with the youngest workers among us.
I prefer to stress a 50+ person’s ability to mentor, coach, and guide colleagues as they
mature. You don’t have to be a direct manager to contribute to a coaching and learning
culture. In fact, now more than ever, mid-level managers holding this responsibility are
stretched thinner and thinner. You can bring tremendous value by offering your
informal counsel and support.
4) Demonstrate your ability to innovate, be curious, and be adaptable.
One of the “risks/concerns” I’ve heard from managers regarding hiring those who are in
midlife, is the perception that they will be more “rigid” or unwilling to approach
problems in creative ways. They typically will pull up an example of one person who just
couldn’t break the mold of how he or she did it for years…and thought he or she was
You need to combat that false narrative head-on. Share stories in your interviews that
showcase your ability to pivot, respond to new challenges, and remain agile in your
decision-making. Make sure accomplishments and/or skills on your resume spotlight
your curiosity and adaptability - two traits almost every client I have worked with is
seeking right now.
5) Focus on your network and tap the hidden job market.
When you’re looking for a new role, the best way is to have someone in your corner from
the outset. Your network can advocate for your skills and accomplishments.
We all know that many, many opportunities never make it to the job posting phase.
Professionals who are well-networked gain access before they are even official. It may
not be fair, but it happens.
With these tips in hand, you’ll gain more confidence to position yourself for
opportunities you deserve or those in your heart that you have never acted on before.
Which tip can you take action on right now?
Get on it!