Career Tips

Late Career Job Search Part One: Evaluating Your Career

By Dave Isbell and Kim Medlock

Maybe you’re reevaluating your job title or position. Or you could be reentering the market after several years out. Or perhaps you’re looking to relocate or switch to a new company. Your experience and knowledge can help you effectively compete for desirable  positions. However, unique challenges can occur with any experience level, and it is important to gain a reasonable perspective within the current market

Considering your experience, possibly with decades at the same location, it is important to recognize the breadth and diversity of your talents and contributions. Don’t apply for just any position, but don’t view yourself as too specialized either. Take a moment to consider the following before applying

  • What is your professional occupation? What are you known for? If you are choosing to change occupations, decide what you would like to do. (For a bit of inspiration…)
  • What salary do you hope to earn? Again, there are several resources to help you determine what is average; check out and to get started.
  • What are your core competencies? What do you hope to achieve with your work?
  • What is your preferred company or work environment?

Jot down a few of your own ideal-job buzzwords and seek positions and companies with similar ideals. Above all else, remember that you are not a job title, and the right opportunities may exist along unique or previously untraveled paths.

Job hunts aren’t exactly what they used to be, and taking a new approach is a to finding the right place for your next dream job.

Try examining sites focused on your particular experience level to find answers to your particular job-search needs


Dave Isbell is the Alumni Career Service Coordinator at Michigan State University. He has been a Career Coach since 1999. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work/Family Studies at MSU.  When he is not working or studying, he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife and kids, or playing rock music on his bass guitar. You can find him on Twitter (@helpingspartans) and sometimes he writes about compassion, collaboration, and career for this blog, which he owns and begs other Spartans to write for.

Kim Medlock is a Michigan State University alumnae with degrees in Professional Writing and English. She works as a marketing writer by day, but fancies herself a creative writer by weekend. As a Lansing native who has always preferred writing as an artistic medium — she remains passionately in love with both of these things.


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