How to Make a Successful Career Change After 50

By Jim Raychrudhury

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Before you answer the question yourself and say that it is hard, let us remind you that having a career change is rarely a mean feat. If the number is worrying you, remember that people who are ten or twenty years younger than you also have their excuses. Therefore, excuses are always going to be there, but you should overcome them and focus on getting a new job. After all, you have almost 20 years till your retirement. Let’s see what you need to do so as to spend them doing the job you love.

What are your strong points?

When thinking about this change, most people focus only on their disadvantages and what they are doing wrong at the current job. If you are one of them, let go of that negativity and write down your qualities which could be used in certain jobs. What you definitely have is experience, in every aspect. Unlike the youngsters, you are very experienced and after all these years you are very much aware of what talents and assets you possess.

Identifying your skills will help you narrow the search for your next job. If still in doubt, you can talk to counsellors to help you.

Go back to school

Once you decide which qualities you wish to develop, it’s time for the learning process to begin. Most seniors need to improve their computer skills, for example. Also, if you have chosen your future career, there are lots of courses you can enroll which won’t take too much of your time, especially if they are online courses. For example, if you are a very caring person and you do your share in helping the disabled and less fortunate, perhaps you could apply for an online course and get a nationally recognized certificate. Educational institutes such as Open Colleges in Australia and UCL in the UK offer flexible learning options to help upskill in the disability sector.

This simple step would enable you to pursue several careers: behavioural support officer, disability support worker, residential care officer and so on.

Whatever you have in mind, there are opportunities to learn new skills, which will eventually help you launch a new career.

What do you really want?

Ask yourself why exactly you feel like changing your current job. Is it just that you have had enough of it, or you need different working conditions? Either way, do not be afraid to demand what you deserve. Apply for those jobs that you find suitable, and don’t settle for everything. Make a list of priorities, and adhere to it.

Create a great CV

After all those years at work, your resume definitely has something to show to the world. Admittedly, things are done a bit differently nowadays than when you were applying for your first job. Paper is outdated, and CVs are sent electronically. There are plenty of online CV services which can assist you in making your resume stand out. Do your homework and create a stunning read because it will take you places.

Networking is easy

Being over 50 definitely has a great advantage when it comes to networking because you have met a lot of people during your career, to say the least. Therefore, you have quite a long list of contacts you could reach out to and inquire about vacancies. While a lot of work nowadays is done via the internet, still nothing beats talking face to face when spreading the word that you are on a job hunt.

Do the research

Perhaps it has been a while since your last interview, so it only natural to feel anxious and apprehensive. Some things such as good posture and a firm handshake never go out of style, and nowadays it is much easier to prepare well and get the job. You can search the internet for the people who are going to interview you (use LinkedIn, for instance), find out about the company’s successes and its CEO, their main competition and so on. This will certainly make you stand out at the interview.

Deciding to change a career at 50 (or over) is a decision worth every praise. With our advice, you should be able to make a swift and successful change.

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