Do you fancy a career change at 50 to kickstart your skills and help you live life to the full?
A career change later in your life can be scary, but it may also be completely life-changing.
Whether you want to work more or less, moving to a different sector can open new opportunities for you in and out of work.
Let's look closer at why you should have a career change at 50 with six career changing ideas to help you live life to the full.
Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:
- Making a career change at 50 is one of the ways you can ditch the old and live your life to the full.
- It can be a great way to wind down before you retire or alternatively pick up the pace and find your new passion.
- Retraining at 50 can also be a chance to use transferable skills acquired over years of experience and bring them to a new role.
- There are plenty of exciting options for a career change at 50 that draw on your experience to pursue something new.
What is a career change at 50?
A career change at 50 is quite simply what it says on the tin.
It describes a big shift in your working life where you change jobs or potentially even move to a completely different sector.
This can involve moving to a new company, learning a different role or even completely retraining.
Why should you make a career change at 50?
Leaving a job you are comfortable in and making a big career change can be a scary prospect, especially if you are older.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible or that you shouldn’t do it, as it could be a real life-changer.
Enjoying the work in your pre-retirement years is a great way to keep your brain active as you age and build up a later life fund.
It also gives you the opportunity to meet new people and get involved in projects that you may have never thought possible.
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What are the benefits of a career change at 50?
There are lots of positive reasons to make a career change at this stage of your life.
Here are some of the key things to consider when thinking about taking on a new role.
A career change at 50 lets you choose the type of lifestyle you want and find a job that will support that desire.
You may look for a job that provides you with more of a work-life balance with more time to be social.
Or even one that has flexible or remote working hours, so you can tick off some things on your bucket list, like travel.
Plus, ditching a stressful job encourages a more peaceful working life with an emphasis on following healthy habits for ageing.
You may make a decision for a career change based on your financial situation and any plans you have for the future.
On one hand, you may have saved up a good pension pot, so taking on a more flexible role with less hours is doable.
Alternatively, if you’re after a boost in finances you may be able to get a higher paying role with your experience and skills.
Considering these factors when thinking about a career change can help with financial planning such as paying for home care or care home costs.
How do you know a career change at 50 is for you?
Here are some tell-tale signs that a career change at 50 may be the ticket to living life to the full!
Consider a change in career if you:
- Are facing redundancy
- Want to have more flexibility for family or leisure
- Need a change of pace to reduce stress levels or get re-engaged with work
- Want to learn new things or put your experience elsewhere
Retraining at 50: how to do it right
Does changing careers or retraining at 50 sound like it could be for you?
It may be a challenge and require learning new things or putting yourself out there and feeling uncertain.
But the benefits can far outweigh any negative emotions you may experience while you are retraining for a career change.
Here are some things you can do to maximise your chances of finding that dream job after a career change at 50.
Decide what you want to do
It may seem obvious, but having an idea of the direction you want your life and career to take can help you make informed career choices.
Think about what it is that you want in the next few years, whether that’s more flexible working hours or a bigger salary.
A career change at 50 won’t look the same for everyone, and it’s about doing what will help you live your life to the full.
Show off your skillset
Having worked for over half your life, you’re bound to have a pretty good cache of skills to tap into in different situations.
Whether you are able to recognise them as a skills set is a different matter, and many older people feel like they don’t have much to offer.
But creating a list of your skills and experience can help you see where you shine and guide you when planning your future.
Why not ask a younger family member or friend to help you write a CV to showcase your skills to potential employers.
Transferable skills for a career change at 50
Transferable skills are the skills that you learn both in and out of the workplace that can be used across multiple sectors and jobs within them.
Here are some examples of transferable skills that can help you when looking for jobs for over 50s.
- Clear communication writing emails or documents
- Organisation and time management
- Competence with relevant technology and programmes eg. Microsoft, Adobe
- Problem solving, creativity and critical thinking
- Leadership or project management
- Emotional skills eg. empathy, resilience, people skills
Six jobs for over 50s ideas to live life to the full
There are so many exciting options for making a career change at 50.
You may want to stay in a similar sector but switch roles or even be looking at retraining at 50 to pursue something completely different.
Either way, you’ll have so many transferable skills, collected from years of experience that will help you switch careers and find a job.
At first glance, admin may sound a little boring, but we’ll have you know that administration roles have transformed in the last few years!
With all the technology available, a wide range of admin roles have popped up, with remote working available.
Education and training
People with a wealth of experience in a particular field can turn their talents to education and training.
Taking up a role as a teacher for children, teens or adults in educational settings can be a rewarding job for your later years.
If this doesn’t appeal, many companies and sectors rely on trusted, experienced individuals to deliver training programmes for many types of courses.
The civil service looks for skill sets of all kinds across many different roles and areas.
Working hours can be flexible, including part-time, which is ideal for older workers who want flexibility in their next role.
People come into the civil service from all different pathways, from planning, administration, project management or statistics.
The knowledge and experience they bring from years of working in companies is invaluable.
While this one may not be for everyone, there are many people who spend their whole lives learning a handy skill.
This casual skill could serve as motivation to retrain as a tradesperson – encompassing a useful ability that can make you money.
Those wanting a career change that helps others may consider a move into the care sector.
There are many different types of social care which support people who need extra help in their day to day lives.
From adult social care that supports the elderly to working with children or vulnerable adults, there are lots of care jobs that need personnel.
The sector can offer rewarding opportunities that challenge you to solve problems while giving empathy and support to others.
Charity or voluntary sector
If you are already retired but want to keep working or using your skills for good, voluntary work is a fantastic option.
Not only do you get to share your skills and help people through a charity, you can also meet like-minded folk and be part of a community.
This is a great way to prevent loneliness or boredom in older age, but can also be a good career move if finances aren’t a concern.
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