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Jumping into Your First Midcareer Job Search? Remember It’s Never Too Late To Take Your First Step

Jumping into a job search the first time in a number of years? No need to worry: No matter what your age, or where you are in your career or job-search process, you can do this. It is never too soon or too late to modify your strategies to achieve the greatest amount of success.

Consider the fact that financial advisors always emphasize the importance of starting to save for retirement at the earliest age possible. We all know that if you start saving in your twenties, you will increase the chances of achieving financial security during your retirement years. But, even if you never thought about saving for retirement until you were fifty-five or sixty-five, it is not as if the advisor will say, “Sorry, too late, there is nothing I can do for you.” More likely, the advisor will work with you so that you can make the best choices from this point forward. Since giving up on your job search is not an option, the only way to turn your fortunes around is to make a change today.

Before you start to limit your goals based on your late start, keep in mind that countless others have achieved great success later in life. Vera Wang did not start designing wedding dresses until she was forty. At fifty-seven, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, saving the 155 passengers aboard; and at sixty-five, Colonel Harland Sanders started the KFC franchise. Ronald Reagan was fifty-five when he was elected to his first political office, and he became president at the age of sixty-nine, just a few weeks before his seventieth birthday. Even President Reagan was outdone by Nelson Mandela, who was seventy-six when he became president of South Africa.

There is not doubt that engaging in a meaningful job search is hard work. But it is also the most important job you will ever have. So, as you expend this enormous effort to research companies (both for hidden opportunities, as well as traditional ones), scour LinkedIn to develop new contacts, or rework your cover letter to paint the picture of a vibrant candidate who can hit the ground running, always remember that these are the stepping stones to achieve unprecedented success.

Above all, do not be discouraged by how daunting it may seem, or by the number of times you hear “no.” Think about how excited everyone is when a baby takes her first steps. Does anyone ever mention the 211 times she fell to the floor before she finally made it? Of course not! Instead, they jump up and down and gloat about her success. The same idea applies to your job search. All you need is one person or company to say “yes.” So engage in a full court press and keep your eye on the ultimate prize, an employer that values the wealth of experience you bring to the table and is prepared, and even excited, to compensate you for it.


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