Career Changer Lacks Experience in New Field


Emily writes:
I am starting a new career and have not been successful in landing a job.
I am interested in working for a bank but have limited experience. About
99 percent of the jobs advertised requires one to be experienced. How
do I get in at entry level with no qualifications? I am a quick learner and a team player.
I am 50 years old but look about 40. In today’s working world 40 is old
so I have an extra dilemma.


The Career Doctor responds:
I don’t think 40 — or even 50 — is old anymore. And yes let me disclose that
I am in my 50′s so perhaps I am too close to the question. But seriously
from the folks I talk with I don’t think age is or will be as big a factor as it
was for previous generations. People are living much longer being productive
to much later in life and with older baby boomers retiring there is a serious
need for skilled older workers.
That said will you face situations where you know age was a factor
in not getting a job offer? Probably. But my hope will be those situations are
becoming more and more rare.
Your bigger challenge is making a career change late in your career which
by the way is also becoming increasingly more common. But why are you looking
for an entry-level position? Surely you have many transferable skills that apply to
a career in banking.
What you need to do is develop your network in this new field while gaining
experience any way you can. I would suggest conducting some informational interviews where you can learn more about career in banking and specific
requirements each bank is seeking. By doing so you will also be gaining network
contacts in the field. To gain experience explore temping as an option.
Finally and this advice goes for ALL job-seekers please do NOT rely solely on job
postings when searching for a new job. Only a very small percentage of jobs
are ever posted. Most still remained closed to the general public and are filled
internally or through referrals.
Review all the resources articles and tools we offer in this section of Quintessential Careers: Job and
Career Resources for Mature and Older Job-Seekers — Including the Baby Boomers
.