EP 2087 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter offers a launching strategy to someone who asked for advice about making a career change who is over 50 years of age.

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Here's the scenario. A person is over 50 and they are in a job that they have done well at but someone that they hired is now their boss. They recognize the handwriting on the wall and are feeling bored and stuck. They want to consider a completely different career related to what they're doing but still different. What do you do?

I recognize that as I was talking with him. This is a guy with the house, the wife, the responsibilities... He is not 20 without a care in the world. He has to recognize and act in a very precise way in order to ensure the financial stability of his family. So what do you do?

You start off by looking at job descriptions to see what firms look for in this related area. Then, from there, you start working on scheduling informational interviews with people who are doing this work for different organizations. It doesn't matter if they are within your immediate area; find people to speak with. When you do that, you are looking for common threads.

For example, on salary, if 4 of them say one thing and 1 of them says something that is an outlier either high or low, go with the foursome. If for them talk with you about one type of background that is needed in one talks about something completely different, don't disregard the one but the probability is going to live with the four. Then, gather information so that in this way, you understand fully what you are getting into.

Recognizing that a lot of veteran people are making career changes because they are bored, the tired, they don't compete anymore, but they are going into new field where they are going to have to compete, you have to make sure you understand what you're stepping into. You have to understand what you're stepping into before you make the leap. This is where the research of the informational interview comes in.

I want to be clear, it's not like you going to ask 2 questions and then go, "So, do you have a job for me?" No, you really get to be going out and asking questions.

Call someone up and asked, "Can I get 15 minutes of your time. I'm thinking of going into your field. Let's have coffee." Or, "Can I schedule 15 minutes of your time by Skype or phone, and I'd like to just chat with you because I'm thinking of making a career change." Just keep it that simple.

That's your starting place on this search. Research as to what firms look for from job ads, then have conversations with people who are doing the work so that you fully understand what you are getting into and not going into it like an amateur.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes.

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