The days of staying in one job with one company for your entire life are long gone.

With more people reimagining their lives and changing jobs later in life, author Dawn Graham wrote a book called Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers to help navigate the tricky waters.

The Best Advice For Late-In-Life Career Changes

The thought of changing careers can be daunting, but Dawn has one piece of advice that, while simple, helps significantly.

“You have to be very clear on your path,” she says. “When you don’t have a plan, you come across to contacts and interviewers as ‘this is a whim,’ or as not having as structured a plan as they would like to see.”

You might know that you don’t want to do what you’re doing anymore, but you need more than that. Do some deep thinking and self-assessment to find out what you’re passionate about.

The Trick To Finding More Opportunities

There’s an inherent challenge to changing careers late in life: you might not have any experience or references in the job you’re applying for. That doesn’t always come across well to employers, but there’s a way around this.

“Networking helps introduce you to hiring managers, ” says Dawn. “The benefit of being in your 50s or 60s is you have a robust network.”

Dust off the old black book and start networking with contacts – it might just help you get the opportunity you’re looking for.

Take A ‘Stepping Stone’ Approach

In Dawn’s book, she mentions the “stepping stone” approach. This is an effective way to slowly transition from the job you’ve been doing to the job you want to do.

Instead of making a big leap and quitting your job, start expanding your skill base, taking courses, and maybe even getting certifications in the field you want to transition into.

Switching careers is never easy, and especially later in life, but you’ll find much more success when you implement these tips!