Go for variety and review you opportunities. “To find a career later that you enjoy, be certain to try out as many different careers as you can,” says Carole Stovall, president and CEO of SLSGlobal. Look for summer jobs, after school work, summer programs and internships.
Todd Cherches of BigBlueGumball agrees. “Don’t be afraid to try or to fail. That’s what these years are meant for. Don’t feel that any job is beneath you, because it’s not. At this stage of your life, everything is a learning experience.”
Today is the period to catch a job in the area where you’d love to engage in a career. “There are many things to consider, but the most important issues is to consider a job that you actually like, whether it is in your major or not,” Stovall says.
It’s correspondingly a upright plan to begin forming your individuality. “Stop comparing yourself to your friends, especially the ones you went to college with,” says Christine Sirois, a freelance journalist in her 20’s. “Once you’re in the job market, it’s not a level playing field and comparing yourself to your friends is a recipe for feeling inadequate and unhappy. Instead, set goals and work at your own pace to achieve them.”
At this period, you’re reaching your pace, however you must continue being adaptable in an event something fresh and fascinating comes up, Cherches says. “You want to be working at what you are good at and what you like to do, and setting yourself up for success, while still allowing for opportunities to take risks and to grow.”
Being assertive can help set you up for that success, says Jill Ivey, senior associate at WIT Strategy. “Be clear about what you’re looking to get out of your position. If it’s not a good fit, look at other options. Don’t stay in a job that you hate, or that isn’t fulfilling, or where there’s no room for advancement because you’re afraid of change.”
Alisha Karabinus, lecturer in rhetoric and composition at Purdue University, says your 30s are the time to ask for things and make a clear case for why you should get what you want. “Are you valuable? Are you essential? Stop grousing and make a case for a raise or a bonus. Be ready with a clear case and quantifiable deliverables if applicable.”
This is the time you should establish yourself as an expert, says Peter Engler of Engler Career Group. “Develop a career and a resume that few can duplicate so that you stand out from the crowd. Build your network and find a good mentor who can provide sage advice.”
Cori Tyler works in law enforcement and exercises his expertise to manage his own business, Last Line Defense Training. His career advice for those in their 40s: “Know the difference between a job and a career, and decide what priority it truly has in your life.” In addition, don’t let your work or career define who you are: “Those come to an end, sooner or later.”
Despite your expertise, it’s important to keep learning at this stage, Cherches says. Technology and the marketplace change so quickly that you’ll need to make an effort to stay current. “Your strength lies in combining your years of experience with your ability and willingness to stay ahead of the curve. You may also be thinking about what you want your ‘leadership legacy’ to be.”
Artist Ann Klefstad says to look beyond regular jobs. “What has worked for me is to take the skills I have and work like the devil to create opportunities to use them, freelancing or consulting.” She recommends increasing the amount of your involvement with things you have affinity for and actively work to meet people involved with them.
60’s and beyond
This is the stage where most people are becoming victims if scams and frauds that is why people within this age group should be very wise with their decisions.
At this age, you can market yourself as a sage, but stay humble enough to learn from those younger than you, Cherches says. “You want to be a mentor, and yet be willing to be mentored. With that combination of attributes, you will have much to contribute and be much in demand.”