Managing career change over 50 successfully

career change over 50It is becoming increasingly common for people to be looking for work or a career change over 50.

Sometimes they have been made redundant or they might be embarking on a career change, which is more common throughout our lifetime of paid employment than it used to be.

It can be quite a shock coming from a certain type of long term employment, and perhaps not expecting to be made redundant, to be having to looking for a new job at 50+.

Just like changing careers at 30, you will be presented with new challenges and a disruptive life change which, I hope, my advice will make easier.

Advantages and disadvantages of changing careers in your 50’s

The advantages of changing career at 50 is that you have a wealth of experience, skills and qualifications behind you that you can present to a future employer.

The trick is to be able to show your potential employer that you can transfer the skills that you have learnt in one employment or career area into another.

You will have skills and experience that are valuable to the company by the time you are 50 because you have worked before; this can give you an advantage over someone younger when applying for new employment in the workforce.

A major disadvantage that people over 50 may worry about when applying for jobs is that new employers might not consider them for the position as they are not as young, or vibrant.

An employer may be concerned that someone who is 50+ would not be able to keep up with the quick pace of modern day workplace. This is obviously dependant on the employer.

There is, however, Equal Opportunities Legislation in the UK, your age should make no difference to the employer provided you are capable of doing the job you have applied for.

So it is important that you have a positive mindset when applying for jobs and not think just because you are over 50 that an employer won’t take you on.

Take a positive attitude forward and go for it!

What is the first step to changing career if you’re over 50?

The first step is to have a look at your skillset. Write down a list of the following:

  • What skills you have

  • What qualifications you have

Think, for example;

If you are in an industry or sector that is declining or you would not be able to get another job in, think of ways that you can transfer skills you have developed to a different employment area.

What skills have you got that are transferable?

  • Have you got good customers service skills?

  • Are you reliable and trustworthy?

  • Are you good with your hands?

Other possibilities to think about are:

  • Do you have a hobby that you could turn into another career?

  • Could you go self employed?

Lots of people have hobbies that could become an avenue of employment utilising the skills you’ve learnt from your previous employment.

So, to recap, the first step is to look at your skills!

You could use the National Careers Service Skills Health Check then consider what jobs or career path you could match your skills to.

You should then have a much better idea of targeting your job search in the right areas

Other important things to do before making a career change

The most important thing to do is think through the steps you are going to need to take to make this career change.

  • Is this career change a necessity or a voluntary choice?

  • Double Check that this is really what you want to do?

  • Are you prepared for going through potentially hard changes?

  • Are you willing to invest your time and money in new qualifications or training?

You need to ask yourself, what will be the long term benefits of changing your career?

I suggest going to talk to people in that new area of employment about what that job entails, so you know what you will actually be doing in reality and not what you think you will be doing.

Consider whether you will be able to cope doing that job. Think about whether it will affect your health as well as it being beneficial to your future lifestyle.

Finally, will it provide enough income to cover your future living costs?

Make sure you are well informed on all aspects of your potential career change, that you have gone and checked it out carefully and that this is something that you do really want to do.

This should provide you with the best shot at successfully changing your career at 50!

Have you got any tips or experience of Changing Careers?

Have you changed career recently? And if so was there anything that helped you which I haven’t included above?

If there is get in touch and let me know – I’m always looking for new ways to help people get the career they want!

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