Guide to Changing Careers Over 50

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Posted on: 11 July 2016 by Tess Pajaron

While change can be difficult, especially after 25 or more years in the same field, it can also open you up to possibilities you never considered. Here are some tips to help you navigate this exciting new adventure.

Whether you’re here because your industry is becoming obsolete, you’ve got fed up with your current status quo, or if you’re discovering boredom in retirement, you’ve already taken the first step by exploring your options. While change can be difficult, especially after 25 or more years in the same field, it can also open you up to possibilities you never considered. Here are some tips to help you navigate this exciting new adventure.

Do What You Love

Maybe you chose your former career because you thought it was the right one, or because of family pressure. Maybe you thought that there was good money in it, or that you’d have certain perks and benefits. Maybe you did love your career, but with new technologies taking over more jobs, you find yourself at a crossroads. Take this time to explore yourself. Get out of the daily grind and think about what you’ve done to relax and de-stress from your job over the course of your career. Is there any way that you can incorporate your interests and hobbies into a new career? If so, you may find yourself enjoying your work for the first time in many years.

Research Your Choice

Learn what jobs are available within your field of interest. See if any of them sound appealing. Find out how much they pay, and whether or not you meet the minimum qualifications. You may have developed some excellent soft skills in your former career; see how any of them can be transferred or applied to the new career. If you find that there is required education, you’ll need to decide whether you have the time and the motivation to return to schooling.

Training and Education

If you find that it’s necessary, see what options are available to you. Will you need to attend a University Program, or can you gain the skills you need through online programs and certification courses. There are a variety of different levels of education that you can pursue, from a course or two to brush up on some important skills or get an accreditation, to a two-year technical degree, all the way to a 4-year program with a degree. If you determine what type of schooling you need, you can begin to plan how you intend to complete the schooling, as well as pay for it.

Volunteering

It can often be difficult to break into an industry, especially if you are new to it and don’t have the experience. Take your motivation and see if there is a way to find a volunteer opportunity or an internship. If you’re looking at beginning a career in marketing, you can offer to help put together a fundraising campaign for your favorite charity- free of charge, of course. Not only will you be helping them out, you’ll be gaining much needed experience as well as adding something to your portfolio that can be used in your job hunt later on.

Networking

If you’ve taken the volunteering approach, you’ve already started this. Get to know people in your industry. Join local clubs or online organizations and forums where you can talk to other people within the field. If you know someone already, reach out and advise them that you are looking to break into a new career. They may know of someone that is hiring, or they may think of you the next time they hear of something.

Your Job Search

Once you’ve gained the necessary education and experience, you’ll probably be eager to begin your new job. Remember that you’re new to this game, and that the job market is difficult for everyone right now. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a job right away. Consider taking on a part-time position if you need to get a foot in the door, and demonstrate your passion and eagerness to succeed.

 

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