If you’re unemployed at 50, you’re not alone. According to official statistics of a 2016 survey, 3.7% of women and 3.4% of men in the US are unemployed at 50. This means that many people are going through the hardships you’re facing. What matters is your ability to bounce back and start working again!
If you’re unemployed at 50, then you should start looking for jobs. The job search will be tough as most companies prefer younger candidates, but if you play your cards right, no company will reject a highly experienced applicant. Alternatively, you can use this time to focus on starting a business.
The first thing you have to do is to stay focused. Remember that age doesn’t define goals, and people have achieved many remarkable things after 50. Getting stressed isn’t the right solution. Instead, get into action; either start looking for a job or start building a small business.
Start Your Job Hunt Right Away
If you’re about to lose your job or have lost your job fairly recently, don’t sit around waiting for the right opportunity to come through the door. Begin your job hunt as quickly as possible. You can either start working part-time or look for another full-time job. Don’t get frustrated, and don’t contact the HR more than once if you don’t hear back from them in a while.
Easy Part-Time Jobs
Part-time jobs are the easiest to find and get hired for. They require little to no experience and can help you get through tough times. However, they usually pay much less than what you’d earn working full-time.
As an unemployed person, you can work multiple part-time jobs and earn a sufficient amount of money. You can also start a part-time job where you earn per hour and live off of that money until you find another full-time job.
Working part-time also helps if you’re making an investment in other businesses or waiting for yours to take off. People who have completely retired can benefit from working part-time as it keeps them active and healthy and provides a quick source of income.
Let’s look at a couple of part-time jobs you can do.
If you love driving around for hours and can do it effortlessly, then becoming a part-time driver is the right choice. You can apply for a part-time driving job on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Typically, Uber and Lyft drivers make $8.5-12 an hour. It isn’t much, but if you work full-time (10-12 hours is the limit), you can earn a salary exceeding $30,000 a year.
If you’re used to having pets around the house and can take good care of cats, dogs, parrots, rabbits, and other common house pets, then pet-sitting is a good option. Pet-sitting duties involve providing the animals with food, water, giving occasional massages, playing with them, and cleaning their litter. Dogs need to be taken for walks as well. The median pay for pet-sitters is $14.5/hour.
If you’re a retired teacher, have an educational background, or have expertise in a particular field, you can tutor students and help them learn hard subjects, work on their grades and prepare for SATs, MCATs, and other exams. Tutoring students to achieve milestones is a wonderful part-time work. You can also take online classes. The median pay for tutors is $17.52/hour.
Bookkeeping is a requirement to run any business. Smaller businesses that can’t hire much staff often hire bookkeepers who work freelance for them. You need to be familiar with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Excel for this job. A keen eye that picks up details and skills to communicate with clients and employees are also qualities bookkeepers must have. The median pay for bookkeepers is $17.13/hour.
Blogging is the go-to part-time job for many. Writing a blog post and managing blogs doesn’t require any training or specific education. You just need to learn the writing style, and you’ll become a pro at blogging in no-time. Bloggers can cover different topics from lifestyle, health, beauty, gaming, etc. to educational subject matters. The median pay is $15 an hour.
If you’re unemployed at 50 and don’t have an interest in starting your own business, then you should start looking for another full-time job. Part-time gigs can help you make some money while you look for new work, but it isn’t sufficient to rely on.
We don’t have to tell you about the kind of job you should look for as you have gained plentiful experience at 50 in your field of expertise. If you fulfill the criteria for any job posting and will work at the level you did before, then sending an application is worth it.
Do Some Networking
Networking is really important in today’s era. Having someone you know work at the company you can potentially be hired increases your chances of getting the job. You can connect with people professionally through LinkedIn.
Reassure the Younger Managers
During the interview, if you find out that your manager is younger than you, reassure them that you’re fine with the job you’re applying for. It’s certainly nerve-wracking for them to pass orders to a person much senior and with more experience. Reassuring younger managers involves letting them know that you’re ready to take orders from them and don’t seek promotion to their position in the office. Avoid mentioning your age again and again.
Shorten the Resume and Explain Why You’re Not Overqualified
Your resume should be short and thorough. You don’t have to write every position you’ve ever held. The talents and skills you acquired in the last ten years are what matter. Make sure to list the related and most important positions, but don’t go overboard. Plus, when applying for the job, explain why you fill into the criteria without being overqualified for it.
Show Fluency With Technology
The biggest concern for any firm hiring older people is that they won’t have great control over technology and won’t understand different software. You’ll have to mention your control over different software and your capability to learn a new app in the interview. Assure them that despite your age, you’re familiar with most electronics.
Start a Business
Besides working part-time gigs or looking for another full-time job, you can start a business. You don’t have to have a business background for this. You can start a stable business related to your field of expertise with a small portion of your savings. Below, we’ve collected a list of fast-growth businesses you can start.
Note: Most of these require a license from your state to run the service, which costs $150 on average. The price of this license is included in the total startup cost.
Verification Service for Counterfeit Goods
Ever since luxury brands have grown popular, the counterfeit retailing goods have boomed. To avoid being scammed, people look for counterfeit goods verification services, which is a service you can provide. You can start by identifying items of one niche, going to the brand’s store, and verifying the quality for your clients. The startup cost is $750-800.
Audio Transcription Service
Podcasts, videos, and voice texts have taken over in the last couple of years. But that doesn’t mean that companies don’t want written files. An audio transcription service helps businesses by writing interviews, audiobooks, and podcasts. All you need to start this business is a computer and a set of fast-typing fingers. The startup cost is $500.
Freelance Job Posting Website
People have been working part-time jobs more than ever. A major portion of part-time jobs is freelance, with millions of workers wanting to earn while sitting in the comfort of their homes. Because of the frenzy behind working freelance, the websites that post such job opportunities have become extremely popular.
The creators of these sites earn a good sum of money from job postings and ads. To host this site, you just need a laptop. The site creation and promotion should cost you $550-600.
Local Tour Guide
Travelers love the insight and little details about every area they’re visiting. As a local resident, you know things tourists can’t read from books. You can guide them around town and stand out from the rest of the tour guide companies by giving more exclusive tours of destinations that are overlooked because of less popularity. You’ll need to rent a van, hire a driver, and build a website, all of which will cost you $1000.
Local Event Management Service
Local companies who want to build their base in the community often hold meetups with others. Attendees pay a small fee and get to learn about the business, its plans, its investors, etc.
Companies need an event hosting service for this. If you’re passionate about holding such events, you can start the service. Host your own meetups first and build a portfolio that you can show to the companies who would hire you to host a meetup for them. You’ll need a website, some business cards, and marketing materials. All of this costs around $800.
Board Game Business
If you love playing board games and have come up with creative ideas about party games yourself, then this is a business to consider. Once a board game idea takes off, there’s only growth for the future. You can invest money yourself in the fun idea, or start a campaign on Kickstarter. To do so, you’ll have to make a promotional video, which costs a measly $250-300.
Social Media Management
If you’re skilled at using and managing multiple social media accounts, this is a great business opportunity. Companies and celebrities hire social media managers to oversee their posts, their reach, criticism, support, trending potential, etc. Social media managers also create posts and pitch ideas for graphics, videos, and other content to be posted online. You can start this business at home with simple management software like Hubspot. The startup cost is $800-900.
Elderly Tech Support
As technology becomes more and more common, elderly people are growing more willing to learn using it to keep in touch with their family, pay their bills, collect their funds, etc. But since different software updates often, it’s hard for them to understand the changes. If you have good knowledge of computers, you can guide them. You can hold classes or go to their place and teach them about hardware and software. This startup costs $700-900.
Affiliate Marketing Website
Affiliate marketing is one of the main reasons why people build websites. By posting about products and adding links, you can earn a small commission for each purchase. Plus, the more products you list, the more likely you are to get visitors on your site. Amazon affiliate sites are the most common, because of the easy sign up and simple payment plan. You just need a website to get into this fruitful business. The startup cost of this is $300.
Home Cleaning Service
This is a staple business. There is a lot of competition, but there is an equal need. Service-based businesses like this don’t need a website; flyers do the job. You can run this service for under $600 if you’re willing to clean yourself. Hiring help can raise your budget to $1.5k-2k or more. You’ll also need to buy an insurance plan, though this is affordable, usually costing no more than $50-100 per month.
Chatbots are growing in demand for providing customer service and marketing products. Everyone from big names to indie brands is hiring a consultancy to install and manage a chatbot on their site.
If you have good knowledge of coding and love AI, this is something great to consider. If you’re interested in the idea but don’t have strong knowledge of coding, you can do a computing course for $300-500. The startup involves a simple website and promotion, costing just $350.
Children’s Party Service
Children’s birthday parties have become popular get-togethers. Parents spend quite a lot of money on making this day special for their kids.
As a children’s party service manager, you can either throw the party at a client’s chosen location or your own rented area. You’ll have to plan the party, decorate, provide food, beverages, entertainment, party games, contests, etc. You can also hire clowns or professional cosplayers. The business startup should cost you $1500-2000.
Personal Shopper Service
This is a great business idea for any person who loves to shop and handles money well. As a personal shopper, you’ll be hired by people who’re too busy to buy clothes and gifts on their own, corporations holding seminars and giveaways, event planners who want themed outfits, and collectors who want someone to rummage through markets for them. You’ll have to invest $2-3k in building a portfolio and an online presence.
Are you well-trained in a particular instrument? Are you a skilled vocalist and understand the importance of vocal training for aspiring singers? Then you should definitely capitalize on your skills by teaching music classes. Clients love to pay a hefty sum to follow their dreams, and you can help them achieve the goal.
If you open a music school, you might need a license, depending on the rules of the state. Among buying instruments, music sheets, renting a commercial space, and setting up the place, your minimum expenditure will be $2k. Group lessons can earn you $10-20 per hour from each student, and one-on-one lessons can get you $40-50 an hour.
If you’re a big foodie and especially enjoy eating and making desserts, then opening a small bakery is a wonderful idea. Bakeries are generally easier to manage as there are fewer customers, less production, and fewer workers in comparison to restaurants. Plus, you can cater for birthdays, weddings, bridal showers, and more.
Starting a cake bakery is a great idea as the cost of ingredients is roughly 1/5th of the retail price. When buying cupcakes and cakes, customers pay more for the artistry involved. You can take baking classes if you’re not familiar with it but are passionate about it. You’ll have to spend around $5k amongst renting the store, renovating, buying appliances and ingredients, and hiring help.
In the article, we discussed actionable tips for being hired again, as well as alternatives to jobs in the form of part-time work and running a business. Unemployment isn’t something to be ashamed about; rather, it gives an opportunity for potential growth even at age 50.
By starting a fast-growing business or working for a new company, you open more doors to learning, and you may earn even better than before. All you need to overcome unemployment is motivation, dedication, and quick action.