That's what a Baby Boomer colleague asked me last week. He had lasted longer than most of us in traditional jobs. Then he had hit a wall. For 13 months he has been hunting for yet another old-time job. No, he didn't land work going that route.
He and other Baby Boomers can cut through the complexity and pain of starting over by focusing on the cover letter. It's there that we define our professional self through how and what we pitch to employers, temp agencies, organizations looking for contact help, and prospects for our products and services.
Yes, this might be thought of as "working backward." The conventional way is to consult with an executive coach or career counselor. Identify our skills, strengths, and experience. Research if they align with the marketplace. Then, based on all that we re-do our marketing materials such as cover letters and resumes.
The cover letter route entails reading the help-wanted or looking into organizations we can do something for. Then we put together the presentation why we are the perfect fit to accomplish the outcomes they need. Such a tool allows us to sell ourselves as not only the full-time employee but also the part-timer, the freelancer, and business owner.
We do that and then create the resume to match up with it.
Soon enough we get responses. If not, we keep modifying the cover letters. Usually there will be several of them.
Once we hit it right, we then figure out how to do the interview for that new professional space. That is, it's new for us. The colleague no longer so marketable for full-time jobs with benefits gets to sample other ways of working.
And, we are not starting over. Instead, we are already on the fresh career path. It's a done deed. We go on from there. For example, we hunt for better kinds of work with better compensation.
I pulled that off about 20 months ago when I focused on doing cover letters to answer help-wanted notices for marketing communications on a contract basis. With that I made the transition from the executive communications box to wider opportunities.
But, simultaneously, I held on to what work could still come my way in executives communications. Starting over can mean adding to our menu of what we can provide in exchange for income. We don't have to eliminate other sources of earning money.
Making a good living is becoming multi-dimensional. The trick is to keep our brands separate. Buyers for our skills don't like to be confused in trying to figure out what they are purchasing.
Want better results? Contact Jane Genova for complimentary consultation on making all your marketing communications effective (firstname.lastname@example.org).