Career Transition at 40+

If you find yourself out of work after a long stint on the job and now having to job search, you will quickly find out that the job search market has changed tremendously.

Gone are the days that you sit in front of the computer to submit applications waiting and hoping for a call for an interview. The job search today requires much more effort and you being proactive.

Here’s what to consider if you are 40 and over pivoting your career into a different industry.

Identify What You Want

As basic as it sounds, it is worth stating that knowing what you want is important to your success in your job search. When you know and understand exactly what you want in your job search, you are able to effectively target your job search.

Targeting your job search helps in:

1. Researching of companies you want to work for

2. Knowing people you need to connect with and build relationships with to learn more about where you are desiring to go.

3. Reviewing and researching job descriptions for what employers want for the role you are hoping to become employed.

Update Your Resume

I am still surprised when I meet clients who have not updated their resume. The most recent was meeting a client who had been laid off from her job of 28 years. It does not matter that you have longevity in your job, keeping highlights of your work is necessary. When you highlight your work, keep in mind information that tells a story.

1. Document the job/task/project identifying the WHAT and the GOAL.

2. Keep track of WHO you worked or collaborated with to get the work completed.

3. Jot details down about HOW you accomplished the goal/job/task/project.

4. Record the results of the job/task/project. For example, if you are an administrative assistant who supports executive team members. Your results for your daily tasks could be the # of phone lines you answer on a daily basis, the # of directors you support, travel plans you coordinate (indicate global or domestic), technologies used, special projects you assist with, nominations and awards you receive and any promotions.

When keeping track of your highlights in your job, remember task+results

Communicate Your Transferable Skills

Now that you have updated your resume, it’s time to parse out your transferable skills so that you can communicate your value.

You maybe wondering what are transferable skills? I’m going to tell you. Transferable skills are skills that transfer from one job or industry to the next. For example, typing skills, communication skills, some technology skills are transferable like using Microsoft Office Suite.

Another example or a more occupational example is an attorney turned realtor who prides herself on global contacts she’s made from her attorney work. She now utilizes these contacts to match them with potential real estate invest emend listings that she thinks they will find as a business opportunity.

Determine what your transferable skills are and how you utilize them to bring value to your next job.

Linkedin Profile

Maybe it’s because I have been in the career development world for quite some time but it also surprise me to learn when people are not using LinkedIn. If you do not have a Linkedin Profile, then you need to pause reading this at this point to go at least start with creating your profile on LinkedIn.

Like Google, Linkedin is a search engine and it is underutilized by many professionals, unless it’s time to start looking for work. Linkedin is more than just about looking for work. It is where professionals and like mind people go to meet and connect to get things done! In many cases, long-term friendships are formed as well as accountability partners are found. Linkedin is the gold you want to uncover for your next job or business opportunity.

Connecting and Building Relationships

Listen, I understand at 40 something, you are not trying to make new friends but what I’m telling you is to be open to the idea of connecting with people by being genuinely interested in some aspect of them.

Networking is frowned upon because it can feel disingenuous and transactional but it doesn’t have to be if you are yourself. If you resolve to only knowing “us four and no more” than you will find yourself stuck. People is what makes the world goes around. So, how to connect with people so that it doesn’t feel fake? We are more very much the same in many ways than we are different. Be intentional about finding what connects with you.

What I have shared with my transition clients is to review someone’s Linkedin profile in the industry you are wanting to go into next or doing what you want to review their background and how they got into that work.

For example, if you have a retail background and are looking to transition to the technology space, review profiles with backgrounds with similar experience then reach out to that person indicating the finding in your messaging then invite them out for coffee to learn more about their interesting process.

Here’s an example outreach email:

Dear Sandy,

I recently came across your profile on Linkedin when reading about Career Tech Space. Your story from retail manager to developer is remarkable; congratulations on your success!

I’ve also taken steps to take a similar path. I’d really love the chance to talk with you about your career path, how you transitioned careers. I’m always looking to grow my network and learn from successful individuals.

I’m based in Houston as well and would be available for a call, skype or meeting depending on what you prefer. Any free time you have I can accommodate.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to your reply.



Most of the time, after this message, my clients may have a question about when to follow-up if there are no reply. My general rule of thumb is follow-up within 7 days if there is no reply.

By now, you may have realized that career transition is different from a traditional job search. A traditional job search is mindless because you are looking for the same job somewhere else. A career pivot requires a different focus such as building relationships and becoming intentional on connecting with like mind people.

Additionally, it requires you to be more visible on social media platform like Linkedin to connect with your network that could help you along the way.

As a Career Transition Coach, my mission is to help you navigate all the elements of job searching for your new found career without the overwhelm.

You can send me a private message if you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn and mention this article 😀

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