I'm not a professional career counselor or coach but I was asked recently what I thought were good jobs for people in the Fourth Quarter. My first response was to ask, what are you are trying to accomplish? Are you bored in your current job? Do you want to earn more money? Or do you want more free time? What is your reason for changing jobs? Once that is clear, I feel the Fourth Quarter workers have a couple advantages over the Second and Third Quarter workers.
Just take a look on the web for steps to finding a new job, the advice centers mainly on developing skills and qualifications and customizing resumes or cover letters. Fourth Quarter workers have experience and knowledge that's been garnered by years of work and interacting with other people. They also know people within their chosen field. To maximize this life experience, I would encourage you to do four things.
First, Think Different(ly). Yes, that's a 1997 Apple advertising slogan but it pertains to job-hunting in the Fourth Quarter. To Think Different means not always accepting the "prevailing wisdom". The concept that younger workers have a leg up because they have a knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media outlet is in my opinion wrong headed. Employers want people who are multi-skilled, reliable, proactive, dependable and self-disciplined. In short they need people who can get things done. If you have been employed for 25 plus years, you have gotten "things done". Stop thinking terms of what you lack and start thinking in terms of what you've gotten done and how. Don't look at your job title, look at your skills.
Second, get out of your comfort zone both professionally and personally. If you are talking to the same 8 people day after day, you aren't learning about new and different opportunities. I am not saying dump your current business friends. I am encouraging you to intentionally increase your contacts both inside and outside your industry. At least once a week go to lunch with a different business contact. Volunteer, take a class or better yet teach a class or eat at the bar instead of in the restaurant. I hesitate sharing the "eat at the bar secret" because seating is limited. I don't want to lose my place because for me, eating has becomes a communal activity again and I have met some very interesting people. The key here is to intentionally be open to new people.
Third, talk to your clients. These folks have seen first hand the kind of job you can do. They may know of jobs with your competitor and be willing to put in a good word for you. Also, think about moving to the other side of the desk. My father was in transportation management for 35 years before the industry changed and the company he worked for ceased. His clients were the first to ask him to put his expertise to good use for them.
And fourth, start your own business. This suggestion falls under the if I knew then what I know now category. I started a small business in 2005 and my only regret is I didn't do it sooner. The SBA reports that self-employment grew by 24% in the 65 plus age group. Most small businesses are owned by individuals 40 and older. Starting a small business is not the domain of the young as one may be lead to believe from all the buzz around the tech company start-ups. The business doesn't even have to be in your current field. Mark Furstenberg was a writer for the Washington Post who became a professional baker at 50 and opened Bread Furst a neighborhood bakery at 75. Age is not a requirement for opening a business.
So what is a good job for the Fourth Quarter? It's one that draws upon the skills and passion of the person looking. I believe the right job is out there. It's just a matter of clarifying you skills, talking to friends and colleagues and taking the leap.