Career Planning For Baby Boomer-- Baby Boomer Career Options

By: Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Research in recent years has shown a large number of mature people wanting to stay employed or now re-entering the workforce, as late as middle age. Baby boomers are generally more physically fit and productive than any previous generation at this stage in their lives. Longer life expectancy and better health and medical care, has enabled baby boomers to work much longer than the generations before them. The motivations for this generation to stay in the workforce much longer include

• Necessity -- based on the need for pay and wages

• Satisfaction - based on active contribution to the economy

• Social - making and interacting with contacts in the workplace

• Skill set - that they can use only in the workplace; capacities and expertise with limited relevance outside of work

• Work ethic -- values they have about the necessity of work

• Pleasure -- satisfaction from the work, and familiarity with regular routines

Of course, as a mature adult, looking for continued or new work, you may not necessarily want to work in your previous occupation or even in the same style as you have before. In fact you may not want a job, as much as a calling or vocation. This might allow you to explore and express your values and interests and address your changing objectives.

However, having been in one job for quite some time, or re-entering the workforce again, you may not be as aware of opportunities available or alternative work, as you would like. Try to spend a little time exploring preferred jobs based on any related skills you have. Take stock of your preferred skill areas, and explore all possible career options. Some of the following things might be a good idea to try.

• Take some time and properly identify your skills and values. Examine hobby skills along with the work related ones to see how they can be applied to a different job, in a different field, and so on.

• Do some research; Look at your local labor market to see what are the career areas and job titles that are available and can be a match with your skill sets

• After you have identified a number of career options, narrow your search to focus on one particular area of work.

• Get additional training, in the relevant field, if necessary to bring make your skill set totally current.

• Create a time-line; list the various steps of the job search and allot yourself fixed times for each to structure your progress.

• Come up with a plan for short-term income while you look. Sign up with a temporary agency and try to get temp work in your field of interest, this gives you a foothold, some experience and short term income.

• Staying at your current job may be a good idea until you can become settled into something else. Leaving suddenly without a back-up plan may not be wise.

• Consider hiring a career counselor to explore your skills, and investigate career options, to help you sell your current skills in a new field and so on.

• Talk to people working in the field you want to enter. Get the real low-down. Find out what the job is like. Make an offer to work for a company on a trial basis.

• Volunteer in the target field of interest. This gives you insight and helps build a network and shows the right people your skills and commitment.

• Take on consulting or contract work for a previous employer. This lets you maintain flexible times and be your own boss, while doing something you know you are good at.

• Start your own business or consider buying a franchise.

The job seeker, over 50, needs to have a clear understanding of the current trends in the workplace their impact on your job search. Change your expectations and attitude. Always remember to take a proactive approach to your new career. Do what is needed to upgrade your skills, retrain yourself, and make yourself more marketable. Acquire computer skills, a must in today's world.

Careers and Job Hunting
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Careers and Job Hunting