Midlife and Mid-career can be an exciting time for nurses. You know your skills, values, and worth. You have experience that goes beyond the bedside and you are ready to use it for a new employer.
But, do they value the skills you have? Can their budget support the dollar amount you have in your head as you interview for new opportunities? Job search and interviewing can feel a bit different when you are in the midlife years. The hiring manager may be younger than you expected. The company may have a mission, vision, or values that are different than your own.
How do you prepare for these situations? Let's explore 8 ways to prepare for interviews for the mid-career nurse:
1. Identify Your Priorities
Before you ever begin the job search, know what you want in a new job opportunity. If weekends and night shifts no longer work for your family, mind, or body, don't entertain jobs with those responsibilities.
Know what you are looking for and where your areas of flexibility lie. This will help you communicate honestly during the interview. Create your resume to reflect your skills and priorities for your next nursing adventure.
2. Do Your Homework
Research the company. Understand what they do and how you can fit into their mission, vision, and values. Study the job posting and know the core responsibilities. Consider how your skills will help you meet the job duties.
Even if your skills are not an exact fit, show your flexibility and willingness to learn by understanding the business even before they offer you the job.
3. Practice the Hard Questions
Why are you looking for a new opportunity? Do you really want to make this big of a career change? When will you retire?
Consider hard questions before you sit down in front of the interviewer. Have an idea of how you will answer these questions to showcase your skills, experience, and goals for the future.
4. Prepare Your Own Questions
Interviews are a great opportunity for you to find out if the company is the right fit for you. Be sure to ask questions. Prepare 2-5 questions to take with you. During the interview, take notes and write down other questions as they come to your mind.
Ask some tough questions of the hiring manager. Some possible questions for you to ask are below:
Do you feel I am a good fit for this job?
How do you think I would fit in with the other people in this department?
What is the culture of the company, department, or unit?
What career growth and development opportunities will be available to me?
5. Consider the Age of the Hiring Manager
If you are in the mid-career years, you are probably in the mid-life years too! This means, there is a good chance the hiring manager will be younger than you. Younger managers value innovation, technology, and problem-solving. Be ready to answer questions about your computer skills and innovative approaches to workplace problems.
6. Prepare Your Resume
Many people believe that showing up with a resume that shows what you were doing 30 years ago is irrelevant. This is simply not true. While you don't have to put every job ever held on your resume, you also don't want to ignore an entire decade of your work.
Write a paragraph to summarize your job experiences that are older than 15 years. Focus on your skills and successes. You have probably been through acquisitions, multiple management styles, and business changes. Capitalize on these experiences and how they have contributed to your success as a nurse.
7. Consider Your Age an Asset
Many people feel that having a little age and experience can be a liability when entering a job interview. Don't place biases on others before you have ever met them.
Be sure to discuss your energy and ability to stay current with trends and technologies. Discuss how your experiences add value to your job performance. Age can equate to wisdom and others may appreciate what you bring to the table.
If this acronym confused you, you may need to do a little research before you start interviewing. Social Media (SoMe) is a huge part of getting hired and being successful at interviews these days.
You need to be on LinkedIn and understand the basics of your profile, InMail and messaging.
Recruiters and hiring managers love LinkedIn. It can be a valuable place to find new job opportunities too. Understanding the basics of LinkedIn and having a profile shows that you are in touch with the high tech times of today.
Age and experience bring wisdom. Be yourself because you are great! Are you a midlife nurse looking for new opportunities? Have you been to a job interview lately and were surprised by the questions, feel of the interview, or how you felt afterwards? Share your story in the comments, we would love to hear about your experiences.