Dear Teressa: How Do I Rebrand and Reboot My Career At 50?
I am a 50-year-old senior manager for a Big 4 accounting firm. After almost 10 years with my current employer, I recently learned that my position with the company is being eliminated and I now find myself back in the market trying to find a new job and competing with folks that are much younger than myself. I have not really enjoyed my job of the past 10 years but stuck with it for financial and other work-life balance reasons, but now that I am being forced to look for another job I would like to use the opportunity to rebrand myself, if possible.
I am struggling with what I want to do next – something that is not going to be as stressful as my old job, yet is going to be self-fulfilling, pay enough to maintain the lifestyle that I have become accustomed to, and provide me with the much needed work-life-balance to be there for my family. I am a single-mom with no relatives close-by so being there for my family is very important to me.
Any suggestions on where to start and how to go about rebranding? I know there are career coaches that offer services in this area, however, with no new job in sight and limited funds, I am trying to stretch what little funds I have into the unforeseeable future…
Confused and Soon-to-Be Unemployed!
Dear Confused and Soon-to-Be Unemployed,
Thanks for your story and question.
While you may be feeling stressed by this change in your employment status, it seems you’ve chosen to see this development as a gift – a chance to begin again. Your interest in re-branding yourself certainly suggests you’re willing to venture away from the known and step into the new. Congratulations on being courageous and willing to take ownership of this opportunity to move to the next version of you.
A great deal of information about personal branding is available today. For starters, check Amazon for relevant books, or do an Internet search on “branding yourself,” “rebranding yourself” or, believe it or not, “rebranding yourself after age 50.” An array of resources will be at your immediate disposal. A very quick search yielded this Entrepreneur article: “How To Brand Yourself To Live a Happier Life” as well as, a number of others. Pick up a tip or two from two, three or four resources and you’ll have your portfolio of next steps. All that’s required is an investment of time for research, reading, applying what you learn and maybe a few dollars for the purchase of a book or two.
Throughout your process, be sure to spend time in relaxed reflection, not fear-filled worry. Ask yourself the following questions and write out your responses.
- When I was a kid, what did I say I wanted to be when I grew up?
- What are my gifts and talents; my natural strengths?
- What do I enjoy doing so much that I would do it even if I didn’t get paid?
- What characteristics would make a job fulfilling to me at this stage of my life?
Your responses to these questions, as well as, others posed at the end of each chapter of my book LIES That Limit: Uncover the Truth of Who You Really Are will surface ideas that influence what you choose to do next.
The section in LIES That Limit entitled “Woody’s Way,” (pages 123 – 124) offers a process that you will find useful as you assess your skill sets and consider how to position yourself for new opportunities.
Whatever you decide, do your best to opt for something that feels like a good fit and makes use of your strengths. In fact, research says that people who do work aligned with their innate assets, their natural gifts and talents, are happier. The Psych Central article: “Five Pathways to Happiness” explains this concept well.
Developing a special mantra – a message you repeat to yourself constantly – will allow you to approach your rebranding and job search with a positive mindset. Mantras are seeds that influence what you think about. They are meditations, conditioning your mind to focus only on the positive possibilities that lie ahead.
Your mantra can also be a descriptive statement of what you want – a vivid, qualitative goal statement. Based on your question, your mantra might reflect your desired outcomes: feeling competent, happy, peaceful and fulfilled, being well paid and enjoying work-life balance. Your self-designed mantra will move you toward being even more conscious of your intentions for this next phase of your work and the whole of your life.
I hope you identify exactly what you want and find ways to create it. Stay in touch and let me hear about your progress.
Here’s to the new you! Happy Holidays!