Article By Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Senior Research Consultant – AVTAR Group
Yes, it is true. Life does begin at 40. This is the phase when the so called mid-life crisis (I hate this term that is being (ab)used as if it is a medical condition like that of a typhoid or a jaundice) sets in.
If you have been steadily working in your 20s and early 30s and have taken a conscious decision to raise a family, suddenly after a few years you find yourselves in a situation with those extra few hours in hand during the day.
This happens especially when your kids are in high school or in college. Not to mention the ever busy husbands. This is the time when you perhaps are thinking of giving your career a second chance.
The market in recent times has evolved to provide a second career platform with a plenty of options to those women who want to make a comeback to the corporate world.
Having said that, it might get a little difficult for many of us to work at the same pace as we did at a younger age. However, there are many part time and flexi work options available that will well suit women over 40 depending upon the individual expertise and experience that would help realize your talent and potential.
Once you make that decision to move out of your comfort zone and get back to career, all you need to do is jot down your needs, limitations along with your strengths and weaknesses. If you are returning to work after taking time off for your children, you then have the added benefit of knowing how to balance work and family life. You will come with a unique perspective of work life balance that could end up being valuable to your workplace.
Don’t go by the horror stories that you may hear through word of mouth or on the Web. The type of jobs available for women over 40 is endless. You should know what you want and where to look for.
Here are some tips that will help you search for a job that will suit you.
What women want
Start by evaluating your situation which could vary from one woman to the other. Consider all your needs – financial, physical, emotional and professional satisfaction. Your individual circumstances, interests and goals will determine what’s best for you at this stage in your life.
Depending upon your circumstances, choose the industry that you want to fit yourself in. Yes, not many positions in the corporate are wide enough to fit a 40 something woman desiring to balance work and life. Some of the sectors that are willing to rephrase the job positions to bring in diversity and inclusiveness in their organizations. Those include, healthcare, finance, advertising and media, education, business administration, management consultancies and training and development to name just a few. So, take your pick and shortlist the industries that you may want to venture into.
Position of Change
Once you know the industry that you deemed to fit yourself in, the next step should be to look at the type of profile that you like to see yourself in an organization. While doing that, do keep in mind your limitations, your individual skill sets and proven expertise in the chosen industry. For example, your first career may have been a hobby of yours and the years of experience would turn that into a new career. For some, your early career may not have been by choice but out of personal compulsions. Don’t let that come in your way of choosing the appropriate second career. It might sound a bit scary to venture into a new profession at this age. There are some companies that enable you to have a job of your choice and train you to bring the best out of you to the table.
Show me the money, honey. Yes, money does matter and a lot. At 40, perhaps you are looking for a job with less stress while your contemporaries might have a dream career that’s more paying. Don’t get carried away by a well paying career that could be demanding both physically and mentally. Define your own “best” career that will not only realize your potential but also suit financial needs.
There has to be a gradual transition for women to take on a comeback to the corporate set up. So go ahead and make an informed career decision that will enable you to structure your professional needs around your life and the other way around. Don’t forget, forties is the new twenties…!!!