The importance of mentorship and networking
“Most women and men who succeed have had mentors along the way. They have had advisers, consultants, coaches. Nobody does anything alone, because nobody knows everything,” says Mariela Dabbah, a leadership and professional development coach for Hispanic women.
There are many training, leadership and mentoring programs, such as those offered by Dabbah through her consulting firm Red Shoe Movement, which aims to provide training and a mutual support network with other women seeking to take their careers to the next level.
If you’re unemployed, networking is key to helping you land a job.
“Most people find their jobs through networking,” says Weinstock. “Continue to always build that network, so there’s a set of people that you can reach out to say, ‘I’m unemployed, can you give me some advice? You’re in a field that I want to be in, you work for a company that I want to get to know.’ And you then have to chart out different things that you can do to get to know an industry or an employer. So when we come out of this pandemic and companies are starting to hire again, they’re going to remember, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s that woman who contacted me. She was looking for a job. She seemed so enthusiastic. Let’s call her and see if she might be interested in coming in for an interview.’ Use that network, find people who know people and make sure that you’re out there.”
Industries with projected growth potential
These are times of change, where entire industries have been hit hard by the pandemic. Disruptions in supply chains and in our way of getting work done have caused fluctuations in growth projections in multiple sectors. But employment analysts and the BLS see potential job growth in these fields:
- Laboratory technicians
- Pharmacy technicians
- Health care and home care workers
- Health care managers
- Software programmers and software quality control analysts and testers (a more highly paid field)
- General managers and operations managers
Also, the Walgreens and CVS pharmacy chains announced in December that they plan to hire 35,000 people to join their vaccination support teams at stores throughout the country. Both companies still have numerous openings listed on their job sites.
Although job hunting after 50 can seem daunting — especially during a pandemic — short-, medium- and long-term strategies can help you highlight and enhance your skills while you network with people in your target industry.
Verónica Villafañe is a multimedia journalist whose work has garnered multiple awards, including an Emmy. She has more than two decades of experience for television, print and online media outlets including Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español, Fox11 in Los Angeles, the San Jose Mercury News and Forbes magazine. She is the founder and editor of MediaMoves.com, which covers Latinos in the U.S. media. She is a former national president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.