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Tips for changing careers later in life

(NC) It’s never too late to learn a new skill or pursue a new career. Whether you’re looking for something more meaningful or you want a new challenge, a career shift is possible at any age. To make the big move successfully, consider these tips:

Do some self-reflecting. Take time to ensure you’re headed in the right direction for the right reasons. Clarify why you’re searching for a change, what your goals are and how a new job might fit into your lifestyle. A few sessions with a career coach could be a smart investment.

Identify transferrable skills. While many hard skills are specific to their respective industries, soft skills like leadership, collaboration and emotional intelligence are valuable in virtually any job. By understanding the existing skills you can bring to a new career, you can position yourself as a seasoned professional looking for something new rather than an inexperienced candidate.

Consider upgrading your education. A course or certificate program can be a great way to not only make sure you have the knowledge needed for a new career, but also develop a network in your new industry. Look for continuing education courses with professors who are leaders in the field so you can tap into real-world experience and connections.

Look for a thriving industry. The last thing you want to do is switch to a job in a dying trade with limited opportunities. Consider information technology, or IT, for a field that’s growing quickly and welcoming new professionals for a range of employment opportunities.

“Age is just a number when it comes to career transitions, particularly in the tech industry,” explains Pablo Listingart, founder and executive director of ComIT, a charity that provides free training to people struggling to overcome employment barriers. “Don’t let being 50-plus discourage you from acquiring new skills. In today’s world, it’s never too late to embrace change and thrive in a dynamic field like technology.”

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