Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Second Careers – Best Times


A 56-year-old middle manager
in the food service industry, Mark didn’t expect to be
job hunting at his age. – I feel like I’m in
solitary confinement. I need measurable goals. I need to see that I’m
making a difference. I need to participate. That’s what I’ve
always felt I needed. – When you lose a job,
and your income stopped, that’s a very scary thing
for anybody any age. – [Voiceover] Betty McWillie
is a career counselor and Mark is one of her clients. – The career counselor
is basically someone that offers self-assessment,
career exploration, career planning which
is resume, interviewing, target, target, target,
target cover letters, job search, strategies,
placement and follow-ups, so it’s a fluid model. – My career counselor has
been almost like my therapist, she’s the one that
keeps me going. And it’s been the best thing
I could have ever done, because there are days I don’t
feel like I can do it myself. And she said and
explained to me, “Mark, but, you
know, these are … “What you’re going
through, it’s not unusual, situational
depression, it’s tough.” I can’t change my age,
but I have to look past it and look at the
positives of that. So you have to keep that
positive attitude, it’s crucial. – [Voiceover] The
statistics on unemployment and the over 50
job market present a mix of good and bad news. The unemployment
rate for 55+ workers stands at about 4%,
which is lower than the nearly 6% rate for
the total population. But it’s harder for older
workers to find that next job. It takes an average
of over a year for the 55+ job
seeker to find work. That’s more than
five months longer than the younger workers. And nearly half of those
who do find new jobs are working for less money. Bettie McWillie sees
an improving job market for the over 50 worker, but she also pushes her
clients to seek second careers. – The first goal,
though, is primarily see what other careers
they can pursue to get hired and to get a job. – [Voiceover] Looking at Mike
Potter, you wouldn’t guess that he’s spent most of
his life as a lawyer. Today, at age 67, Mike
is in the chaplaincy training program
at the VA Hospital. – I was at the top
of my profession. I wasn’t moving
away from anything, but I just felt like there
was something more for me, that God had something
for me to do, more than what I was doing. – [Voiceover] His journey to
this new career came about as a result of his time
spent as a hospice volunteer and his own bout with a
life-threatening illness. – I was spending probably
80 to 90% of my time in front of the computer,
drafting documents and designing plans,
and running numbers and doing all that
kind of thing. I really missed and
really yearned for a chance to work with
people one-on-one. As I’m able to connect with a
veteran here in the hospital, for example, and kinda
meet him right where he is. And not try to pull him
any way or the other, but just walk with him along
this journey that he’s on, because it’s often
very scary for him, but to know and
have the confidence that it’s gonna be alright. Maybe not physically alright
but wherever they are, I could walk with them and … offer some comfort and support. – [Voiceover] Mike’s career
change is an example of what Betty McWillie identifies
as the older worker who is seeking personal
fulfillment in a second career. – We don’t work for money. We really work for
personal fulfillment. But my feeling is when you’re
really doing what you love and what your abilities
are and you enjoy it, that you find ways
to make money. – [Voiceover] Brad Ross’
first career was underwater on board a U.S. Navy
nuclear submarine, followed by a stint on a
nuclear aircraft carrier. Since his discharge, he’s
been working as a consultant with a defense
contractor, but at age 51, he’s carefully planned
for his second career. – You have to develop
a career plan. You have to figure out
where you want to go. You have to look at what
the steps are in between to get to that
career plan, and … And that’s when we
start navigating. I set one career
plan that would say, if I want to try my own
contracting I can do that. But really the long-term goal
is to get into retirement where I can have
kind of my own hours and do adjunct professor work, and really enjoy life
but not just stop. I want to keep working until
my body says it’s time to stop. – [Voiceover] Brad took
Betty McWillie’s advice and went back to school to
earn his masters degree. – You go to a class, you
see other people, you know, I mean there’s all kinds
of good, you know, training for computer skills, there
are all kinds of things. But to take something to
improve your marketability, where we look at
your goal and we say, “Well, here’s some
areas that you really might need to elaborate
on and improve,” and then make some
strategies and research where they can go to
get that training. – [Voiceover] Brad has been
teaching at Webster University and LeMoyne-Owen College. And he offers this
advice to others his age. – I think the true message is, don’t be afraid to
go back to school, and don’t be afraid to
learn, but when you do that, find something that
interests you in life especially if you’re
approaching retirement. That’s a good time to say,
“You know, I’ve done this.” And you love it, keep going. But if you’re ready to
do something different, don’t be afraid to set
a course, plan it out, and then figure out what
education supports that. – [Voiceover] Whether you’re
looking for a second career or simply trying to find work, Betty McWillie
has a few pointers for the over 50 job seeker. First, tailor your resume to
the job you’re applying for. Don’t include job history
that isn’t relative to a potential employer. Two, network. Don’t hesitate to contact
friends, family and former co-workers
in your job search. Three, use social media. LinkedIn has become a go-to
website for job placement. Four, don’t hesitate
to go back to school or seek higher
accreditation in your field. Today’s job market demands
that you be tech savvy, so improve your computer
skills if needed. And five, develop a career
plan and market yourself. If you need help
developing your plan, consider hiring a
career counselor. Mark Scatammaccia has
one final bit of advice. – It’s not in the old
days of type, type, slam banging out a resume. There are a lot of
different ways to get … You’ve got a lot of competition. Get somebody to help
you craft your brand.

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