After a cancer diagnosis, it is not uncommon to take time off work in order to undergo treatment, cope with side effects or simply spend more time with loved ones. Many survivors find that they want to go back to work eventually, when they feel ready; but often they’re afraid of the potential barriers they’ll encounter after such a hiatus. And for those in their middle-age years, returning to work can seem even more daunting, since job-hunting for the over-50 set is harder to begin with!
A CNBC article includes advice from experts on strategies candidates in this age group can use to reinvent themselves and re-enter the workforce.
1. Make a game plan.
Larry Rosenthal, president of Rosenthal Wealth Management Group, says you should look at your resources and figure out how you’re going to approach your job search. Find out what positions are open around you.
2. Take a pay cut if needed.
You are more likely to get a job when you already have one, so it’s preferable to be employed — even if you’re bringing home less than before — rather than unemployed. Jon Ten Haagen, a certified financial planner and founder of the Ten Haagen Financial Group, says if this topic comes up in an interview, you can be honest about taking a job below your pay grade, because it highlights your initiative and your ability to keep cash coming in until you get the job you really want.
3. Consider starting your own business.
If you have tons of work experience, then you may also have numerous clients and contracts you’ve acquired over the years. If so, take a look at your assets to determine whether it’s financially feasible for you to build upon your experience and head in a new direction.
Listen to other people and find out what they do. Reach out to places like your local chamber of commerce or other organizations related to your type of work. Create a LinkedIn profile and utilize it to see if you have mutual connections at places that interest you.
5. Think about switching fields.
You don’t necessarily need to start over. Examine your skills to see whether they are translatable to another job or field. Ask yourself if you can broaden some of your pre-existing skills by taking a course or two.