Changing career over 50 can be really daunting but it is also a great opportunity to reassess your current situation and determine your needs. Many people consider a second career in their 50s because as both the quality of life and longevity increase, they do not feel comfortable to retire. They still feel capable of working and they also have financial concerns.
The reason that you seek for a second career over 50 doesn’t make too much difference. What matters is to employ a good strategy in order to achieve a smooth transition in the 50 milestone and make a successful career change.
The following factors need to be considered when looking to start a second career over 50.
1. Financial Responsibilities
Making a mid-career change is usually challenging mostly because due to the extended financial responsibilities you have acquired over the years. At your 20s you don’t have a family, you possibly leave with your parents and you support yourself with a job on-campus. But at your 50s, you have to make mortgage payments, you pay for your kid’s college, you have a car loan or a credit card debt and so on. So, when considering a second career over 50 you should primarily consider the burden of your financial responsibilities and how a second career can allow you to make an income to support your family and lead a comfortable life.
Do you possess the education and experience to compete with younger graduates in your new career field? Undoubtedly, you possess the experience which can provide you with a competitive advantage over recent job candidates and potentially a higher salary. But what about education? Especially, if you work in a dynamic field such as management or marketing, you definitely need to do some job training because what you have learned 25 years ago is probably no longer applicable. So, make sure to consider a variety of professional colleges and training schools where you can attend at flexible degree programs to hone your skills with further education and be able to directly compete with a larger pool of younger candidates.
3. Positive mindset
Career reinvention over 50 may also suggest age discrimination. And although age discrimination is illegal, it happens. Competing with younger candidates may be really tough and employers may consider that younger candidates have higher employability and are better assets for the company than their over 50 counterparts. Can you deal with such a hard reality? Perhaps the biggest challenge in seeking for a second career over 50 is to maintain a strong motivation to proceed in the right direction with a positive mindset.
LinkedIn is a powerful business resource to help you network. You can build your professional profile, add details about your working experience, demonstrate your skills and ask for endorsement by past colleagues and supervisors. You can join professional groups in your field of interest and exponentially grow your network out of LinkedIn’s 90 million active members in over 200 countries. You can add professionals you already know, but also professionals who belong to your contacts’ networks. By networking through LinkedIn you can significantly increase your chances to land an interview and make a successful career change.
Overall, starting a second career over 50 requires careful consideration. There is a great variety of job search sites that offer retirement job opportunities and job opportunities for people over 50. Moreover, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) provides all kind of information about different careers and their requirements. In addition, make sure to have an updated resume and fully capitalize on your working experience and any talent you may have. For instance, if you are a profound multi-tasker, you have a better chance of getting the job over a younger candidate who possesses less experience than you. So, make sure to demonstrate in your resume your best assets.
Career reinvention over 50 can be daunting and tough. But it can also be rewarding if you are flexible and consider all your options. Consider self-employment. Consider relocation. Consider contract employment. Consider part-time employment. Consider anything that can ensure you are not hurting your financial footing and you can manage a successful transition to a second career.