Switching careers, or even just looking for a new job, gets a little more difficult after you turn 40. You start to notice things — like how the hiring manager is 15 years younger than you. Maybe the jargon is a little different from you’re used to and the accepted style of dress more casual.
The truth is, things change. And so should you.
Of course, you never want to try to be someone you’re not. And you should never be ashamed of your age. No twenty-something can bring the same wisdom and experience to the role that you can.
But you also have to stay current or you might get left behind. With the pace of technology advances across all areas of business, it’s just too easy to become irrelevant.
And it can happen quicker than you might think.
My day-job industry (advertising and marketing) is by nature a youth-oriented culture. This has some advantages for me, in that it naturally helps me stay on top of the latest trends. But even so, I still have to work at staying current. Occasionally, even I find myself wanting to ignore what’s happening. Sometimes, it’s just too overwhelming to deal with.
But then, all I have to do is look around at some of my Boomer peers to realize that is not something I want to let happen. A few of them have, truly, become irrelevant. Not because they’re not still talented, but because they have refused to keep up. They haven’t figured out how to take their years of experience and apply it to the brave new world.
Evolve or perish is not just for the realm of nature.
So I try to stay current, acknowledge the changes around me, and adapt as best I can.
Sometimes the changes are subtle, and a great case in point is the résumé. I stumbled upon this great site, Interns Over 40, which is geared towards us GenX’ers (and beyond ) who might be looking for a career switch.
They posted a great article on the top phrases that could kill your résumé. To my surprise, all of them were things that used to be the common catch phrases found when I started my career. And that’s why I think this is such an important topic. People tend to get “stuck” when they were at their peak. And although my own resume is pretty specific and tangible, I know I’m guilty of falling back on one or two of these myself.
Even if you’re not currently looking for a new job, dust off your résumé and use this helpful article as a starting place for updating it. And if you are hoping to land a new gig, good luck and happy hunting!
What other changes in resume trends have you noticed? What have you seen as the new best practices versus when we first started our careers? I’d love to hear your thoughts!