Career consultants talk among ourselves pointing
out that little attention is paid to mid-career folks.
Part of it is that it is harder to define clearly. Another
is that they don’t always want to ask for help or
don’t know how to seek it out.
It seems that the more I encounter successful
people the more I find that answers to the question
how did you get to where you are now is that it
was through their experiences after their formal
education. A person I know who has worked in
lasers never had that in mind when he was a grad
student or post doc. The post doc mentor did not
mentor him well either. It was through people who
he worked with and was influenced after his career
was under way.
It was through a personal self examination and
assessment. Several thoughtful stories about re-
defining oneself mid career start off this way. 1 2
Then, one finds the need to convince oneself
by asserting that a transition is a valid and insightful
way to use one’s skills.
A careful crafting of your story before interviews
seems to be required. Even writing it down and
practicing it in mock interviews can be helpful.
The ACS tool Interviewstream can be used to
hone the message.
Another perspective to build credibility is to
construct documents in your resume file supporting
project work, accomplishment synopses, and
patent or market summaries. Don Straits’
article usefully points out the technique.
Be wary of simply using an online template
or following generic advice from a placement
service. Consider working with a career consultant
who might be more familiar with circumstances.