Changing careers when you’re over 50 can be intimidating. Maybe you’ve been with your current organization for a long time or doing the same type of work for most of your life. Regardless, it’s not uncommon to seek change as you get older. You might want a more fulfilling job, need a new challenge or just feel burned out in your current role. Whatever the reason, a career shift can be daunting to navigate. However, understanding and using your unique strengths can make the transition smoother and lead to a more fulfilling career, no matter what stage of life you’re in.
What Is CliftonStrengths?
CliftonStrengths is an assessment that helps individuals identify their natural talents and strengths. The assessment consists of 34 themes and includes a report that ranks your 34 strengths in order of intensity. By understanding your unique strengths, you can take the time to focus on what you do best at work, instead of focusing on what you’re not so great at.
Step 1: Identify Your Strengths
The first step in using your CliftonStrengths to change careers after 50 is to identify them. By understanding your natural talents and abilities, you can identify the types of roles and responsibilities that would be a good career fit for you. Take the CliftonStrengths assessment to uncover your top strengths.
Step 2: Explore Career Options
Once you’ve identified your strengths, start exploring career options that align with them or consider how your strengths match up with careers that interest you.
For example, if one of your top strengths is Empathy, you might consider a career in counseling or social work. If you have Analytical in your top five or 10, you may consider a career in data analysis or financial planning.
Examine each job description through the lens of your strengths and ask yourself, “Would I be able to use my strengths in this role?” If you can’t answer with a yes, that role might not be the best fit for you. Ultimately, you’ll be more energized, engaged and motivated if you can apply what comes naturally to you in your next role.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Skills and Experience
After identifying career options, evaluate your current skills and experience to determine if there are any gaps you could address. Consider taking classes, attending workshops or volunteering in your desired field to gain relevant experience and skills.
Step 4: Network and Make Connections
Networking is a crucial aspect of any career change, and it can be especially important for individuals over 50. Attend networking events, connect with professionals in your desired field on LinkedIn, and reach out to friends and family members who may have connections in your desired field.
And consider reaching out to the people closest to you and asking, “What role could you see me excelling in? Where do you feel like I could best use my strengths?” Your closest connections know you better than anyone and could give you great advice on your next career choice.
Step 5: Update Your Resume and Cover Letter
Highlight your relevant skills and experience, emphasize how your strengths can contribute to your desired field, and make sure you truly know and understand your strengths before submitting your resume and going into an interview. Taking the CliftonStrengths assessment is just the first step -- you need to be able to speak specifically about how your strengths are unique to you.
Consider adding your strengths to your resume. Doing so will give you the opportunity to explain how your strengths show up day to day and why they make you a great fit for the position. Reflect on how your strengths help you and how you plan on applying them in your new role.
Ultimately, you’ll be more energized, engaged and motivated if you can apply what comes naturally to you in your next role.
Step 6: Stay Positive and Persistent
Changing careers can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but it's important to stay positive and persistent. Keep a positive attitude, and don't be afraid to ask for help or advice along the way. Don’t give up -- securing a career that allows you to do what you do best every day is worth it for your health and wellbeing in the long run.
Using the CliftonStrengths assessment to identify your natural talents and strengths helps you find a career that aligns with your interests and values and provides you with a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Remember to stay positive, stay committed and lean on your strengths to help you achieve your goals.
Discover your strengths today.
Learn more about the CliftonStrengths assessment.
CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.