This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Midlife is a time of change, whether it’s your metabolism or your attitude toward life. Over forty and fifty, we know there’s no time to waste on a life that isn’t fulfilling. With a change in relationship, kids growing up, or any other shift in life circumstances now it’s time to focus on the career goals you might have been putting off.
Here are three things to look into if you are thinking about changing career paths in midlife.
I’ve always considered myself a first-mover when it comes to tech. I’ve been online since there was an online. Still, I’m suddenly asking my teens to explain SnapChat to me, or fumbling with all the remotes for our entertainment system. And, it seems like there is a new “must-be-on” social media platform each month. (Remember Ello? And Meercat? Yeah, I have accounts there.)
But, when you are looking at changing careers, there are social platforms that are indeed indispensable. The main one I suggest you focus on is LinkedIn. If you are a professional looking for more than a retail or service sector job, a strong LinkedIn presence is vital.
Just go on to LinkedIn, start a profile if you don’t already have one, and devote a small chunk of time over the course of a week to learning the ropes, polishing your profile, and expanding your contacts.
With hundreds of millions of users around the world, LinkedIn is the new way to connect during a job search.
At a certain age, that Old Dog-New Tricks feeling can happen to the best of us. I promise, even if you started when tech was a Do Not Spindle, Mutilate, or Fold punch card, you can still learn anything you set your mind to. It might take a little longer, and you might have to take some notes, but you can do this.
My secret is as simple as a Google search. I need to code a sidebar button for my blog? I Google, “how to code a side bar button.” I have questions about Brexit’s effect on the American financial market? Google, here I come.
The trick is to think about keywords. Too broad, and you get too much info you don’t need to sift through. Think about a phrase that would be in the article or post that would help you the most. Use conversational language. Think about how you would ask your question to a friend.
Sharpen your skills with an on-line course. Pretty much any skill can be learned these days through your laptop or iPad from the comfort of your couch. Here are some online services and institutions and what they specialize in.
Coursera says it “provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online.” They partner with businesses and universities all over the world to provide distance access to educational programs. If you are a veteran, you may be able to get free access through the VA.
Udemy is a “platform or marketplace for online learning. Unlike academic MOOC programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses.” Their courses tend to be inexpensive. Buyer beware–I’ve found the quality of courses to vary based on the skill of the instructor.
Lynda is a monthly subscription service where users can learn business, creative, or technology skills from home at their own pace. You can try a free trial to see if the courses are a good fit for your learning and career goals. Recently, Lynda was acquired by LinkedIn, so it might be a nice way to add value to your LinkedIn profile automatically as you complete courses relevant to the job you want to have.
The days of typing up your résumé and having it copied on heavy bond paper down at the Kinkos are over. All job prep and search is now done online.
LinkedIn may not have everything you need to show off all your skills, particularly if you are in a creative field. Show off what you bring to the table professional table by maintaining a website that’s all about you, down to your name. It can potentially show up when a prospective employer does a search of your name as part of the headhunting, application, or vetting process.
Keep your site updated with any new skills you’ve learned to show off the valuable commodity you are. Write a post every few weeks on a topic you know to show your expertise and to keep your site fresh.
Domain.ME provides domain names with the .ME extension, giving you a personal and memorable website. Learn more on Domain.ME.