Many people go on to change careers during some point in their life. Inevitably, that transition has to happen later on in your career.
At 50, you’ve likely had a seasoned career behind you. When you’re changing careers at 50, your priorities look a lot different than they did earlier on in life. Finding a career and then a company that supports those priorities is critical at this stage in your life.
Here are four things to consider when you’re changing careers at 50 as well as a few roles or jobs worth considering.
4 things to keep in mind when changing careers at 50
Keep retirement top of mind.
At 50, you definitely have some years left in your career, but retirement isn’t too far down the line.
It’s important that your next career move or industry sets you up with the funds and the savings you need to retire comfortably.
Be realistic but also optimistic.
Changing careers at any age is hard, and the job market is volatile — sometimes, it’s up; other times, it can feel impossible to find opportunities. If you’re moving within your same industry and you have some experience that can help you pivot roles or jump into a new department, that’s one thing. If you’re changing entire industries and career paths, be realistic. Your first role may likely pay less than the one you were in prior, or you may have to spend some time adjusting to new norms.
Use your age and experience as a positive, not a negative.
Don’t give hiring managers an excuse to overlook you because of your age. You’re likely going to be competing against younger candidates, but you have years of career experience and time in the workforce developing key skills this company likely needs.
Spin your age and experience in a positive way and remind hiring managers that you are more seasoned and experienced than the folks coming up early on in their careers.
Proactively get referrals from past colleagues.
Don’t wait for a hiring manager in your next career to ask for referrals from your past colleagues. Seek them out now and use their positive feedback as attributes to your work ethic and hireability in a job interview. Hearing feedback from others will help you as you take other necessary steps to determine what you want to do, like:
- Performing a self assessment
- Determining what job you want and why
- Diving headfirst into new learnings and material
- Rebranding yourself
4 jobs to consider for changing careers at 50
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be digitally native and incredibly tech savvy to learn software engineering. You do need to have proficient typing skills and a thirst for knowledge, but anyone at any age can become a software engineer if they’re willing to learn (and continue to learn on the job). Web development is another great option, and you can read about the differences between the two here.
Coding is the foundation for any technical role like software engineering or web development. It’s a skill that can be self-taught but if you’re serious about creating a career out of coding, a coding bootcamp is your best bet. It doesn’t require you to get any additional degrees, and their main objective is to get you trained and into a role as efficiently as possible.
As for saving for retirement, you can’t do better than software engineering. They’re some of the highest paid folks not only in tech, but in any industry.
We’ve watched the real estate market ebb and flow over the last few years and, while the market has cooled off significantly, there are still tons of interested buyers out there looking for a reliable, knowledgeable real estate agent.
Getting your real estate license requires a bit of studying on your state’s laws and practices, but you can practice in as many states as you want to help folks everywhere. Plus, there is a significant uptick in people looking to buy investment or vacation properties, and you can carve out a niche there.
Schools nationwide are facing shortages, and many districts are shortening the training period to get more teachers in the door. Sadly, the money won’t be quite as good as other professions, but there are pension plans you can take advantage of. Plus, you’ll end your career in a fulfilling way by changing the lives of students.
With the rise of remote work, virtual assistants for C-suite executives and others in leadership have become the norm. If you have years of experience in other roles, those skills can likely translate to those of a virtual assistant – this includes typing skills, managing email inboxes, scheduling travel and other appointments, and note taking during meetings.
Take the leap: Career change resources for any age
Changing careers at 50 doesn’t come without its unique challenges, but there is a ton of opportunity still left in your career.