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Preparing in Mid-Life for the Economy to Rebound

By Dr. Jan Cannon

While employment hiring is a trailing indicator of the economy's health (late in the economic cycle to improve), new hires will eventually be needed. It's hard to predict whether the first rehires will be seasoned managers at mid-career or first time workers.

No matter what, eventually mid-career employees with experience will be hired. And now is the time to prepare.

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It's likely that people who have stayed in jobs they don't like during the economic stress will reconsider once new jobs become available. So, it's not only new jobs that will be created when businesses are growing again, but also replacing employees who will jump ship when they can.

What can and should you do to prepare? Here are 3 suggestions.

1. Skills Update

Be sure you are technically up to date in your field. That may mean taking some courses for improved proficiency or obtaining new certification or licensure.

If you're looking to change fields, be sure to learn what technical skills are needed in the new field and then get up to speed.  This includes, of course, computer skills, but also could mean accounting updates, engineering changes, even knowing the latest etiquette for using the new social media online.

Specialized skills and information vary by industry so become informed via industry publications and company websites.

2. Association Membership

If you've let an industry or professional association membership lapse, this may be a good time to get reconnected.

You can find out the newest trends in your field and renew or start networking with colleagues who often know about job openings before they are put into general circulation. Volunteer to work with the membership officer to meet the largest number of members with the least amount of effort.

3. Personal Update

One side effect of not working, or being unhappy in your job, is gaining weight. We tend to eat fats and sweets to feel better and, if slightly depressed, skip the exercise, too. Start now to get in shape for interviewing. You don't want your interview suit to fit like body armor.

Have your hair styled (and colored if there's lots of gray) and send the suit to the cleaners for a fresh look. Polish your shoes and think about contemporary eyeglass frames (or contact lenses).

This may seem shallow and egotistical, but you want to look and feel your best for any interviews that come along. So use this time to get in shape physically as well as mentally.

Bottom Line

New jobs will be available in the not-too-distant future. Now is the time to prepare so you are ready to make a strong entry into the market.


About the author...

Dr. Jan Cannon, Job-Hunt's Mid-Life Career Expert, is author of Now What Do I Do? The Woman's Guide to a New Career, Find a Job: 7 Steps to Success, Finding a Job in a Slow Economy, co-author of Exceptional Accomplishment, and a career professional for 20 years. Visit her website, JobSearchDoctor.com, and circle Jan on Google+ for more career advice and help.