It’s possible to change your career at any time in life. Though there’s something about a career change at 50 or over that can feel a little daunting, to say the least.
But let’s face the facts. If you’re unhappy in your current role, or if your job is soon to no longer exist due to automation or even the current economic climate, it’s time to make a change. Doing so now will allow you to protect your finances, not to mention your health and wellbeing over the longer term.
So rather than feel afraid, now is the time to embrace your talents and interests so that you can find a new career that ticks all the boxes.
For those aged 50 or above, you have plenty of options including working full-time, part-time at an in-person role or even remotely, depending on what you’d feel most comfortable doing.
Here are just some of the industries and roles suitable for those in their fifth decade and above to inspire your next career move.
Why Consider A Career Change at 50?
- Needing additional income due to the cost of living crisis
- Risk of losing your job because of automation (figures estimate 34% of all jobs are at risk by 2040 due to automation)
- Wanting to boost any existing state pension or retirement funds
- Physical challenges with your existing role meaning you need to adapt how you work
- Loneliness due to previous retirement
- Simply wanting a change due to a lack of enjoyment with your current job or career
New Career at 50 Ideas
Every business needs someone to keep the wheels turning in the form of an administrator. Usually, this role is office based and may involve work behind the scenes as well as customer facing duties.
Administration usually involves the likes of filing paperwork, invoicing, ordering supplies and setting appointments.
Some technical ability will be needed for any computer based work. That said, administrator roles do suit those who have plenty of work experience, which is why being over 50 could be a real advantage here.
≻ Agency Work (All Industries)
Just want to dip your toes into a new career, or want to top up your earnings alongside an existing job?
Agencies hire workers across all industries from beauty to construction. Usually, these roles are to help out with extra demand, or they can also be to cover employee sickness. A benefit of agency work is that the pay can often be quite lucrative due to the urgency of the role.
Agency work is usually only temporary, although it can allow you to build your professional network, and try out a career change while being paid for doing so.
Have a head for numbers? Bookkeeping is a requirement for everyone from the self-employed to large corporations so that businesses can manage their financial forecasting and tax returns.
The good news is that unlike accounting, you don’t require the same level of qualifications or experience to be a bookkeeper. Though, there are courses you can take to brush up on current standards, including how to use accounting software such as Sage or Quickbooks.
As a job that can be performed remotely, bookkeeping is also an ideal side hustle idea, meaning you could fit this around your existing job for extra cash. Or, you could take on several clients to fill your schedule if you are wanting a full on career change.
≻ Care Work
Carers are in constant demand, whether this involves working within a care facility, or helping people to remain independent in their own homes.
Granted, care work will require a good level of physical fitness and you will likely need your own car to travel to different appointments.
However, for those over 50 who lack digital skills and prefer working with people, especially when the work happens to be so rewarding, then becoming a care worker could be an ideal career transition.
≻ Consultancy (All Industries)
For those with decades of experience in a particular industry, you could become a consultant where you’ll be paid for showing others the ropes.
Consultants help businesses get off the ground, and they also help existing businesses sharpen up on any weak points. Usually, the work is self-employed, although it’s also possible to find companies who offer consultancy work where they’ll hire you to represent them.
Becoming a consultant is a great option for anyone over the age of 50 who can’t climb any further up the career ladder. Likewise, those who want to infuse their skills and knowledge to those just entering the industry to ensure standards are maintained.
Anyone with experience in sales or marketing could transition into an ecommerce career, or become an employee at an existing online store.
As sad as it may be, online shopping is fast replacing the traditional high street. Therefore, finding a job in a shop isn’t as easy as it used to be. Though, this does create the opportunity to create your own online store or work for an existing brand.
For those who have any customer service skills, or who know their way around Shopify ecommerce could offer a fantastic career move.
Are you good with the public, or know a thing or two about service? The hospitality industry spans everything from hip restaurants to fine dining, and once again there’s no upper age limit so long as you have a great attitude.
For those looking to be self-employed, hospitality can involve the likes of manning a food truck at events through to purchasing an existing brand as a franchise, depending on how much capital you can invest. The good news here though is that there’s something for all budgets and commitment levels.
Sticking to being an employee, and you can work front of house or in the kitchen. There’s also always a demand for bartenders and mixologists, especially those who know some of the more advanced drink making skills.
≻ Life Coach
All of us gain wisdom as we age. If you’re good at mentoring people, then why not turn your life skills into your next career move?
Life coaching or even career coaching is a path anyone can take. As an option that’s also ideal for those with any physical impairments, you can coach others from a dedicated home studio or even work remotely. That’s because all that really matters is your ability to give advice, rather than having to be physically active or even work long hours.
For the very best life coaches, this career can be particularly lucrative, especially if you can bring any specialist skills or experience to the table.
By the same token, if you have any teaching experience, or if you are willing to learn then you could turn this into a career move.
Online tutoring, particularly teaching English to non-native speakers, is always in demand. Some teachers actually find private tutoring works out to be a better career, as the hours are more flexible, and you can command a rate which suits your experience.
In some instances, teacher training qualifications are required. But if you consider that you can teach everything from languages to music, English to physics – teaching or tutoring arguably offers the most flexibility of any job.
There are several ways you can get into property, from becoming an estate agent to getting on the buy-to-let market. For those with any trades, you could even renovate dilapidated properties yourself and get them straight back on the market for a tidy profit.
As someone aged over 50, you may also crave a hands-off career, and property also caters for this. Beyond having your property managed for you, short term lets are another way to generate income with no upper age limit, all without having to commit to the 9 to 5.
Anyone who knows their way around a camera could be putting their sharp eye to good use, by becoming a photographer.
Photography can include the likes of portraits, weddings, events or even press photography. Once again, there’s the opportunity to become self-employed as a photographer, or to join an existing company.
In addition, various agencies hire photographers especially for events, making photography a great side hustle too.
Apart from having the right equipment including a camera and photo editing software, all you really need to get started is a portfolio demonstrating your style of photography.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and if you’ve been battling a long commute for decades, the pen (or in modern times the keyboard) may just be a better weapon to try out as you enter your 50s.
Lots of writing styles exist from fictional novels to journalism. There are also plenty of well-known writers who are over the age of 50 including Jay Rayner who writes a food column for The Guardian, meaning age is certainly no barrier if you want to work as a writer, so long as you have the skills.
In modern times, digital-savvy writers know their way around content management systems such as WordPress. However, so long as you have the craft, learning new tricks is the easy part when it comes to writing, especially if you want to write content for websites, rather than fictional novels.
What To Consider Before Changing Your Career When You’re Over 50
As we hinted at the start, changing your career in your 50s and beyond can feel intimidating. The main reason for this is that things will have changed considerably compared with when you first entered the workforce. Those who haven’t kept up with digital skills, in particular, will struggle the most, so now is the time to be brushing up on your skills.
But don’t panic completely if technology isn’t your thing. Though you will need to know how to write a CV and apply for jobs online, there are many careers which do not involve office-based work. That’s why it’s really important to play to your strengths, including the areas of work you are most interested or experienced in.
Also, consider any transferable skills you may have from previous roles. These can be a huge selling point to any employer, especially if you can demonstrate how these skills are adaptable for any new role.
Top Tips For Switching Careers Aged 50+
- CVs are usually digitised now, so make sure your CV is in word/PDF format rather than relying on a paper CV.
- Lack digital skills? You may qualify for free adult education to help you upskill in any weak areas needed for your career change in the modern world, including computer literacy.
- For those who are computer literate, remote work offers the most flexibility in terms of jobs or career types, plus it means you can work from anywhere.
- Starting with a side hustle while you remain in your current job can help you test the waters before jumping into a new career.
- Before making any rash decisions, consider your finances and ensure you have at least 3-6 months’ worth of expenditure covered before leaving your job.
- If it’s been decades since your last job interview, make sure you get in plenty of practice with friends, family or even a careers advisor.
Retirement Expert – Get Free Advice on Careers, Finance, Lifestyle & More
For anyone over 50 considering a career change, we hope the above ideas have given you food for thought. Most of all, we wish you luck with your new role, as although it’s never easy to start over in your later years, compared with staying in a job where you are unhappy or underpaid, you’ll be glad you made the change.
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