At the age of 50, you are close to the retirement age. Essentially, if you intend to retire at the age of 65 and collect your social security benefits, you have 15 years left for your career. However, this time can seem like eternity or a very short period depending on how you feel about your current career.
Since you are reading this article, you are most likely considering a career change. That means you may no longer be getting the satisfaction that you once got from your current career. Maybe you were even never happy with your career but never had the courage to explore the available options. Or perhaps, you feel too young to retire. Whatever the case, here are useful pieces of advice to follow if you are over 50 and ready to change your career.
Address Ageism Concerns
When changing career at 50+, you are bound to worry about ageism. That’s because many employers look for young candidates when recruiting new employees. Fortunately, the law bars employers from discriminating, harassing, or victimizing individuals on the basis of their age. Thus, you can still get a job opportunity even if you decide to change career at the age of 50+. What’s more, the job market changes very quickly and there are opportunities and resources for people that are aged over 50.
Pursue Further Studies
When you decide to change your career at 50, this might be the right time to take a course that will boost your skills. Pursuing further studies even if it means taking a single course will hone your skills in the industry that you want to venture into. When you pursue further studies, you also learn about the career that you love and envy. Many learning institutions have opportunities for mature learners. What’s more, you can opt to attend evening classes at a local college.
And, if you don’t want to attend classes at a local university or college, you can take a course online. E-learning is easy and fun. That’s because it enables you to study any time from any location and you choose the course to pursue in your preferred field.
Go for a Career that Requires Soft Skills
At the age of 50+, you have already developed crucial transferrable skills like planning and communication skills. These skills can give you an upper hand when venturing into a new career if you use them wisely. Therefore, when you decide to change career, think about a career where you can excel with the skills that you already possess. Industries like care work and sales for instance, need personal traits more than prior qualifications or knowledge.
Use the soft skills that you already have to change career and join a field that you will love. Nevertheless, though some industries may not require hands-on experience, you will start out at the entry level.
Be Passionate About Your New Career
The best thing about changing career at your 50s is the fact that you venture into an industry that you love. It’s however safe to choose a career that you are truly passionate about. Essentially, make sure that your new career relates to your hobbies. By demonstrating passion and interest in your chosen industry, recruiters will definitely notice that you can make a knowledgeable and motivated employee and this will enhance your chances of being hired.
Monitor the Industry Strength
It’s also important that you monitor the strength of your chosen industry. Make sure that you are venturing into a growing industry. That way, the decision that you make will benefit you more over your remaining working years.
The Pros and Cons of Changing Careers at 50
- You feel confident to take challenges that come your way.
- You venture into a career of your choice.
- You get career satisfaction that impacts your relationships, health, and life positively.
- At this age, you most likely have money to help you go through the transition period.
- You end the feeling of waking up every day and going to work to do something you don’t love.
- With retirement at the corner, you might wonder whether stirring things up makes sense.
- You are not guaranteed that the new career will rekindle your love for work.
- Breaking into a different field becomes difficult as you age especially when there are younger workers to compete for entry-level jobs with.
Step-by-Step Career Change Guide
- Take time to conduct some research and make an informed career change decision: This entails talking to loved ones and career experts.
- Choose your next career path wisely: For instance, consider the required skills and qualifications and make sure that you posses or acquire them.
- Package and market yourself in the new career: Get ready for job hunting and establish a strong online presence.
Being in a career that you no longer love is stressful. However, changing career at 50+ is not easy either. Nevertheless, if you follow these pieces of advice, it won’t be hard. Just decide what you want to do next, be realistic, and get going.