Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Career Change After 50: Tips from an Expert

Nicholas Lore, author of The Pathfinder, shares six tips from his new book.

Nicholas Lore is a pioneer in the world of career coaching.

For one thing, he actually coined the term "career coaching" back in the early 1980s.

Before then, coaches were for athletes. In the years since, he and the career coaches at his company, Rockport Institute  have helped more than 15,000 people find the right career path for them.

In 1998, the first edition of his book The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, put his new methodology into print and became a bestseller, recommended by Presidents and Ivy League schools. This week, the long-awaited updated and revised edition came out, with new chapters and updates.

I had the chance to talk with Nick Lore about the new book and his advice on choosing and changing careers, which is a special passion of mine as well.

He's a delightful example of what is possible when you consciously create the career change you want.
He made a major career change himself thirty years ago, when he was running an alternative energy company but realized it wasn't actually satisfying for him. Seeking out traditional career planning resources to find a new direction, he found the methods were too limiting.

Wanting a more holistic and personal look at what he wanted to be doing—and with the support of a remarkable friend and mentor, future-thinker Buckminster Fuller—Lore created a new methodology for people to see the elements and pieces of what it makes to make "a spectacular career choice."

I asked him what advice he had for people making career changes mid-life or later.

He answered, "What I tell them is that you can do it. Even though there will be voices discouraging you—some of which might be your own—voices telling you to stick with that job you hate because it pays well or whatever… you can do it. Thousands of people have changed their careers entirely, and you can do it, too."

Career changing at any stage of life can have a happy ending. Success stories for the Rockport Institute include an attorney who now runs a music school, and an economist who became a consumer product designer.

Nick was emphatic about the need for knowing what you're looking for if you want to succeed.
"The trick is that you have to be absolutely sure of your new career direction, because equilibrium and homeostasis is powerful. If you're at all vague about what you want, your mind will talk you out of it."
He shared some great tips from the new book for people over 50 who want to find a job they love:

1. Make it a project.
Design your career before you start job hunting, so you know exactly what you're seeking.

2. Become a career detective.
"Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and look for clues about the best fit for you and the workplace," he told me. Look for what you do happily, naturally, perhaps even brilliantly, and notice your innate talents and a lifetime of experiences.

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