Changing careers at the age of 50 is a big decision. But, since people are living longer and they’re retiring later in life, this could possibly make the age of 50 the start of a new career beginning.
To change careers at 50, you first need to identify what you want in a new career and then determine your skills. Apply these characteristics to various careers until you find the right one for you.
Throughout this article, we will go over seven reasons to change your career after the age of 50. We will also discuss seven steps you can take once you do decide to switch. Lastly, I will offer some of the best career options for people over 50.
Reasons to Change Careers at 50
Having trouble deciding whether or not to switch careers? If you relate to any of the following, then definitely consider it.
- You are in a dead-end job. Do you have a job that has absolutely no chance of advancement? Or, maybe there’s no job security, and you feel that you may be terminated at any moment. It may be time to switch career paths.
- You feel complete apathy about your job. If you are apathetic towards your job, you may have lost that initial passion you had when you started.
- You want to make a difference. You may feel as if the job you’re in now is not making that much of a difference. As you get older, you realize that you feel the need to help others instead.
- You are more self-aware. 50 is an age to reevaluate. You may have gotten a job right out of high school or college and have worked in the same field since. Take turning 50 as the opportunity you need to reevaluate if you’re really happy doing what you’re doing.
- You have a better network. When you first start out in the workforce, it’s hard to count on your limited connections. After 50, your network has grown and you have connections in all sorts of different fields. Use these connections to help find a new career.
- You can use your experience. With more age comes more experience. And you can now put on your resume that you have over 30 years of work experience.
- You have money saved. You probably shouldn’t switch careers if you don’t have some savings to fall back on. If you’re over 50, then you are more likely to have some money in the bank. Switching careers may be costly as you may need to go back to school, get a certificate, or even be unemployed for a while until you find what’s right for you.
How to Change Careers
If any of the above sounds like you, then it may be time to get a new career. But, where to begin?
- Write down what you want. Make a list of all of the characteristics of the job you want. Do you want financial security? Do you want to work nights and weekends? Write it all down, and make a list. This will help determine what career you want.
- Write down your skills. Write down all of your skills. This will also help you better understand what job is right for you. Are you excellent at time management? Do you excel in fast-paced environments? Writing a list of all of your skills will help narrow down your search for a new career.
- Explore new career options. After making your lists, you should have a better understanding of what careers may be right for you. I suggest watching Youtube videos of “A Day in the Life of…” or “Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a…” to help you better understand the career as a whole. Here’s a video entitled “5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Accountant” as an example:
- Set up an appointment with a career counselor. Make sure to bring your lists with you and an updated resume. Meeting with a career counselor will help you determine which careers are right for you. They are extremely knowledgeable, so be sure to ask a lot of questions.
- Go to career fairs. Career fairs are fantastic resources for people over 50 who want to change careers. You can talk to real people who can give you details about certain careers you won’t necessarily find on the internet.
- Go back to school. Following the steps above, you may now know what career you want. You may need to go back to school to get a certification in that field. For instance, if you want to go into accounting, you may need to get your Masters of Science in Accounting. In case you want to go back to school and change careers by getting a degree, here are a few of our articles that may be of help to you:
- Update your resume. It is recommended to update your resume every six months. Since you just started looking into a new career path, it may have been years since the last time you even looked at your resume. Make sure to update all of the dates and to tailor it to your new career for a better chance of getting hired.
Best Careers for People Over 50
After completing the list above, if you’re still not sure what career is right for you, here is a helpful list of the best careers for people over 50:
- Counselor. Whether you become a school counselor, a career counselor, or a financial counselor, being a counselor of any kind is a great way to share your wisdom with other people.
- Sales Associate. Being a sales associate offers you the opportunity for flexible hours. It also allows you to choose a retail niche that you have an interest in. For instance, if you sew, try getting a job at a craft store. If you enjoy cooking, maybe a grocery store is the right place for you.
- Health Care Worker. As stated above, one of the reasons you may want to change careers over 50 is because you want to help others. This is a perfect career path for someone who wants to make a difference. If this path interests you, we recommend reading our articles about the topic:
- Teacher. Just like with a counselor, a teacher can share their wisdom with others. Teachers usually have job security, a stable financial income, and summers off.
- Administrative Assistant. Administrative work is perfect for people over 50, as it is not too physically demanding.
- Real Estate Agent. The average age of real estate agents is 54 years old. This is no surprise, as it’s perfect for a mid-life career switch. It requires only a high school diploma and a real estate license, which is becoming increasingly easier to acquire.
If you’re thinking of switching careers at 50, you may have thought that you’re in a dead-end job or you feel apathetic towards it. Maybe you want to make a difference now that you are more self-aware in your older age. You definitely have a better network, and you can use your experience as an asset when finding a new career.
The first step you should take to finding a new career over 50 is writing down your skillset and the characteristics you’re looking for in a new job. Once you have those, it will make the process of choosing a new career easier.
If you can’t make up your mind about what career is right for you, we went over some career options for people over 50. The choice is yours, and once you find what’s right for you, you can enjoy working in your new career!
- U.S. News: Most Enjoyable Jobs for Older Workers
- LearnHowtoBecome: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CAREER CHANGE AFTER 50
- MoneyTalksNews: 7 Reasons You Should Change Careers After Age 50
- Robotics and Automation: 9 Reasons Why Should you Change Career after Age 50
- FlexJobs: 6 Tips for Starting a New Career at 50
- Investopedia: Top 10 Careers for Women over 50