November's More Magazine is about to hit the shelf and with it comes an ability to draw attention to an article Hot Jobs For Women Our Age. Now besides the fact that I was proud to contribute to the article as a Career Consultant I am especially interested in sharing that life and career is not over after 40.
The fact is women really do look at their work life much different than men, mostly due the interruptions and transitions that occur with child rearing, divorce and now the ever increasing role of care providers for senior parents. Often there has been little time to think of "Who am I", "What do I want" and "How can I use my skills in a new way."
However, I have had multiple discussions with "midlife women" who want those questions answered and then take the next step to alter their careers to suit their new found wisdom. It is not easy, but it is well worth the effort. Women over 40 have so much to give in terms of life and career experience it is astounding! Quite simply though, many are standing too close to the picture to see the real beauty.
All of us, women and men, tend to minimize our contributions. It is in the shrug of the shoulders, the statements "Well, anyone could do that" or "It's nothing, I just do it"; all of which have our skills left hovering out in the vast unknown. It is difficult to re-brand and market our skills if we are incapable of owning them. Women are especially not comfortable with self marketing in the same way men are; therefore making the connection to their own skills and making the leap towards their desired job can be daunting.
We also tend to care more about what people think and run a lot of our ideas by others. This is helpful if we are truly without decision making capabilities but rarely do I meet women who are not good decision makers. Most have just been so focused on decision making for every other aspect of the home and family, they forgot to apply it to a more self directed search. The hot jobs that come our way are a direct result excavating not only the who we are, but how we want to work at this time in our life.
Contracting works well for some women, including myself, for various reasons. Time freedom being at top of the list with the ability to set when and how we work. Along with, utilizing core skills that make sense for this time in life with the willingness to adapt accordingly.
In exploring this topic of hot jobs in my local community, one woman who heads up registration for our local leisure center shared the increase need for people who specialize in providing health and fitness classes for mature participants. The fastest growing segment of instructors is women over 40, who after years of embracing fitness are now taking the next step to making a career as instructors.
Further education for women over 40 is growing and accessible. Many women are choosing to re-enter College and University or Continuing Education courses to finally complete degrees or enhance their skills for the market. In a challenging economy, affording education can take a lot of creative thinking but one is not without options through mature student bursaries and scholarships that may be available with a little extra digging. We are never too old to learn and if it makes the difference between doing something we love for the rest of our working life, go for it!!
Coaching, Consulting and Advising is truly where the over 40 woman stands tall. We have to build a base of expertise in order to be taken seriously, though many try to hang out their shingle, those that truly know their stuff become Queen's of their domain. The rest may be content to have a comfortable income, with low stress, that keeps them paddling in the pool without swimming with the sharks.
Fundraising and Events Coordination really has been two areas I have seen women take the leadership role. There is no age/expiry date with these professions and frankly in promoting that multi-tasking, do more with less attitude women are famous for, it is no wonder women are the natural choice for candidates. Plus, there is an increase need for people in these giving sectors. When the economy tanks and corporations downsize, up goes the need for creative fundraisers and other positions in the social service industry.
From my experience working with women over 40, this is when they truly come into their own. Given the right tools to transition, the motivation and willingness to learn on all levels, women truly can land the jobs that reflect where they are now! If your work life has fizzled out or never even got off the ground, hot jobs are out there if you know where to look. My advice...start from within and work your way out, we are waiting for you. :)
If any of you have reinvented yourself/career after 40, lend your voice. I would love to hear your story.
More from living