Question: I’m a 54-year-old Department of Defense career professional, and I will be retiring from the civil service next year. I’m presently the Deputy Director of Public Works at an Army installation serving the needs of over 12,000 military members and their families. I plan on a second career after retirement and have been looking at continuing in the facilities engineering field in the private sector, perhaps for large resort hotels or universities. I’ve been told that this may be difficult to do at my age and that job possibilities may be limited in this area. Is there any advice you can provide on this job sector?
–Jim, Los Angeles
Jim: Lots of layers in this question. Let’s start with the age issue. The tide is turning in your favor, as many employers are scrambling to recruit experienced workers in the midst of one of the lowest periods of unemployment in recent history. To minimize the possible negative impact of age bias, address the following underlying concerns that tend to scare off employers: unrealistic salary expectations, outdated skills, lack of flexibility, health issues, and too narrowly specialized. If you can dispel these stereotyped myths as they relate to yourself, age shouldn’t be an issue for you.
As for your facilities engineering, resort management and universities, search through relevant websites, professional associations and their subgroups, and association conferences.How to Transition from a Military Career to a Civilian One by Granted Contributor