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7 Life Lessons Older People Want You To Have For Career

7 Life Lessons Older People Want You To Have For Career

With age comes the wisdom of experience. I worked throughout corporate America before embarking on a successful career as a freelance writer. Along the way, I’ve had successes and failures. Here are 7 life lessons I learned from working that I hope will help you overcome any obstacles in your career path:

1. Choose an Occupation You Enjoy

When we’re younger, everyone hears the advice to follow their dreams. The problem is many people don’t understand how to do that. We end up graduating from college expecting a career to unfold for us without understanding the reality of the situation. You can have all the skills and talent in the world, but how you apply them and how hard you’re willing to work will determine your success.

There’s a possibility you’ll be an actor, rapper, athlete, etc., so don’t listen to people who tell you to give up on your dreams. People who don’t make it in the entertainment industry fail because they didn’t put in the work. If you suck at something, research how to get better at it online and implement that knowledge into your practice routine.

Networking is a vital component of success. When you work at a job you don’t like, you’ll be less likely to socialize with your colleagues. We’ve all heard people say, “I’m here to work, not make friends.” That’s cool. Plenty of worker bees keep their heads down while they work, and I’m sure someone successful will hire you one day…

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2. Even a Temp Job Deserves Your Best Effort

It’s not uncommon in the workplace to meet people who are working their “secondary career.” The guy sitting in the cubicle next to you may look like just another low-level, data-entry schmuck, but he’s actually a secret agent. The mailroom clerk is an aspiring rock star, and your supervisor sells candles and timeshares for some pyramid scheme. Everyone’s going somewhere else besides where they are.

Your retail job may be a stop along the way to fortune, or some unexpected life event may force you to stay (or even worse – come back) to that dead-end job. A customer you help may end up being a valuable contact in your desired career. You may meet the love of your life or have an epiphany. Just because you’re not going to be working there forever doesn’t mean you should slack off.

Always put forth your best effort, and be the best person you can be. You may hate your McJob, but a lot of fat and lazy people need you to provide them with clean, quick, and edible food so they can get back to their own McCareer. Stop thinking of yourself and put a little effort into contributing to the human race. No job is beneath you. So shut up, clean a toilet, change a diaper, mop a floor, dig a ditch, fix a car, wash a dish, wash your hands, take my money, and serve me my meal, turbo. I work hard for what I have.

3. Money Is Overrated

Everyone wants money – everyone needs money. Cash doesn’t rule a damn thing around me, though. Despite what your parents may tell you, dreaming is important. Rather than focusing on how much money you’re making for your time, focus on doing what you love. When you’re happy, it won’t feel like work, and the progress will seem to happen almost automatically. Following your dreams instead of the money will make you more money in the long run, and you’ll have a smile on your face much more often.

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Understand that most people are exaggerating what they have. Millions of Americans lose their homes and jobs, but I never seem to meet any of them. When you talk to people on the streets, they’re all the one person in the entire world who hasn’t noticed any change with the economy. Money’s tight, but I’m fine. I can assure you all of these people are in debt.

So if money can’t buy happiness, how can you get happy? Discover: 20 Definitions of Happiness You Need to Know

4. Learn How to Utilize the Internet

The internet is a valuable resource; everyone has it in their hands. Being internet-savvy (and computer-savvy in general) makes you a valuable resource in the business world. If you’re searching for a job, computer skills sell.

One of the most valuable business-related internet skills I learned is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the science of link-building. By strategically placing links throughout the internet, I’ve learned how to manipulate search rankings for different terms. With everyone having an internet-access device in their hands (in the form of smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.), knowing how to drive traffic is a valuable skill.

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The internet is like a car – people know how to drive, but they don’t often understand the engine nor the companies designing each individual part. Knowing this structure made me resourceful enough to survive the bank’s retaliation machines.

5. Don’t Give Up on Your Passion

Things are going to get difficult, regardless of which path you choose to walk. Nobody’s life is easy: we all have issues. When you fail, get back up and start working even harder. Learn something from the experience and come back that much stronger.

People are going to doubt you when you tell them your plans – keep working…

People are going to ask you to come out and play – keep working…

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People are going to act like they’re better than you – keep working…

You’ll eventually succeed, but that doesn’t matter. On the journey, you’ll realize you’re already living your dreams, and you’ll feel like you already succeeded. At the end of our lives, we only have our memories, and yours will be happy.

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    6. You Can’t Avoid Politics

    No matter how much you hate playing office games, you’re going to have to play the game sooner or later in life; that’s the only way you’ll ever win. There’s simply not enough success for everyone, so as much as you grab, someone’s going to come along sooner or later to take it from you; that’s just how the world works.

    If you don’t like playing politics, get used to mediocrity, and be very vigilant in saving money. You’ll need enough to cover at least a year’s worth of living. No matter how careful you are, you’re not working for yourself, and you’re not in control of your paycheck. Even the best salesman loses his job when the manufacturer goes bankrupt. I’ve lived on various rungs of the corporate, social, and economic ladders. Sometimes you have to let go and fall in order to climb up. Be prepared for that which is out of your control. It can, and will, happen to you.

    7. Making Plans Is Easy; Executing Them Isn’t

    Everyone has plans. Everyone has dreams. What separates those who do from those who don’t is taking action…

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    Last Updated on April 25, 2019

    How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

    How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

    Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

    Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

    A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

    3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

    Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

    Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

    One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

    Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

    • What’s your ideal work environment?
    • What’s most important to you right now?
    • What type of people do you like to work with?
    • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
    • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
    • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
    • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

    Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

    The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

    Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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    What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

    Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

    What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

    Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

    Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

    Step 3: Read the Job Posting

    Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

    When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

    5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

    The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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    Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

    1. Contact Information and Header

    Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

    Example:

    Jill Young

    Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

    2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

    This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

    Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

    Example:

    Qualifications Summary

    • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
    • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
    • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

    3. Work Experience

    Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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    How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

    For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

    Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

    Example:

    Work Experience

    Theater Production Manager 2018 – present

    YourLocalTheater

    • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

    4. Education

    List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

    Example:

    Education

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    • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
    • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

    5. Other Activities or Interests

    When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

    Example:

    Other Activities

    • Mentor, Pathways to Education
    • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

    Bonus Tips

    Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

    • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
    • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
    • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
    • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
    • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

    Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

    Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

    More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

    Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

    Reference

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