Career Change at 50: Everything You Need to Know

Recently, there has been a rise in a career change in society. This is because of businesses downsizing, restructuring, or entirely laying off.

People mostly now look to get inner meaning and satisfaction in their work. In changing careers, they search for greater autonomy, life balance, and meaning in work.

There is no best time to change careers. But when you have found that your present career does not appeal to you anymore and that you would perform better somewhere else, then it is time to take that bold step.

This article would tell you all you need to know if you are considering career changes at 50.

Keep reading.

What is a Career Change?

A career change is a process of taking on a role that differs from your recent work experience. It entails changing from a course of work you have been preparing for years, to a different role.

These changes could be as a result of circumstances and changes geared towards improving the quality of your life, being more satisfied with your job, or simply for higher pay.

A career change could be vertical. Which entails getting a high promotion to a position you didn’t see yourself in; or it could be horizontal, which entails changing line of work entirely.

Any major change in work role or your jib context that includes a change of employers, along with some change in the actual job or work role and the subjective perception or orientation, that such change makes up a “career change.”

For instance, when a government official enters private industry, or a consultant becomes a movie producer, it can be said to be a career change.

Check Out: How To Change Career When You Are Confused

Reasons for a Career Change at 50?

You are fast approaching 50 and in need of a career change but can’t find good enough reasons why you need one? Or you are just wondering why people think to change careers when they are 50? I have complied the reasons for a career change at 50 below.

  • You can consider a career change at 50 if you constantly feel like you should search for better opportunities
  • You can consider a career change at 50 if your current employment is restructuring, downsizing or laying off.
  • Situational factors like external market forces which determine what alternatives are available are a huge determining factor to a career change.
  • You can consider a career change at 50 if you feel like what you are doing is not enough.
  • You can consider a career change if your current one does not align with your attributes, beliefs, values or motives anymore.
  • Anyone can consider a career change if you constantly feel like having a new one would improve your talents and abilities.
  • Also, you can change careers at 50 when you realize your priorities now differ
  • You can consider a career change at 50 when you are trying to strike a balance between your work life and your personal life and you need something to give you more time
  • You can consider a career change at 50 when you intend to become an entrepreneur and not work under anyone.
  • At the same time, you can consider a career change at 50 if you want more networking opportunities.
  • You can consider a career change at 50 for a better pay
  • You can consider a career change at 50 if your previous career is too stressful
  • Finally, you can consider a career change at 50 if you want a new challenge

Read Also: 15 Signs It’s Time For A Career Change In 2022

Is a Career Change at 50 Worth it?

According to a survey done by ‘The Joblist’ reports show that most people were happier after they made the change. 77% of people were happier, 75% were more satisfied, 69% became more fulfilled and 65% were less stressed.

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In addition, the people who change careers were making more money. Survey respondents who changed careers for better pay earned an additional $10,800 annually compared with their previous positions.

If you are considering a career change at 50 and you are sure it’s what you want, go for it. It would most probably be worth it.

See Also: Career Change Resume Examples + Tips

Steps to Take for an Effective Career Change at 50

Step 1 – Evaluate your current job satisfaction. 

Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes.

In finding what aspects of your current career you don’t like or is dissatisfied with, it can help you to move on.

Step 2 – Assess your interests, values, and skills

Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects, and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills.

Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career.

Step 3 – From your current job and your interests, consider alternative careers. 

Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts.

Step 4 – Check job options and opportunities

You do not want to change career at 50 and find there is little opportunity in the career you are considering.

Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research.

You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.

Step 5 – Get personal

Find out as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews.

A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network.

LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.

Step 6 – Set up a job shadow (or two) 

Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand.

Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days’ job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you.

Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers.

Step 7 – Take a class

Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field.

Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Spend some time at one day or weekend seminars.

Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.

Step 8 – Upgrade your skills

Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g. offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new field.

If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can. There are ways you can position yourself for a career change without having to go back to school.

Step 9 – Consider a new job in the same industry

Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would use the industry knowledge you already have e.g.

If you are a store manager for a large retail chain and have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours, consider a move to corporate recruiting within the retail industry.

Or if you are a programmer who doesn’t want to program, consider technical sales or project management

Step 10 – Think about more than money

When making a career change at 50, money may not be the most important factor in your choice of occupation.

Equally or even more important are your health, personal satisfaction, impact on society and self-actualization.

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Step 11 – Avoid fear

Changing careers at a later age can bring unintended consequences, but it is important not to allow fear and negative emotions to discourage you from achieving your career goals.

You may need the support of your family and friends, but do your best to persevere through the fear.

Step 12 – Be realistic

It is crucial to have realistic expectations when setting career goals to ensure you derive optimal satisfaction from your new job.

Step 13 – Be open to working with younger people

You may be in charge at your old job, but changing careers at 50 may require working with younger people.

Some of your younger colleagues may hold senior positions and have divergent views.

To succeed in the new role, try to accept feedback from your team members to better learn your new field.

Top 10 Jobs for a Career Change at 50

#1. Medical records technician

National average salary: $13.14 per hour

A medical records technician (also known as a health information tech) is an administrative job that primarily involves administrative tasks such as record-keeping in a medical office setting.

A medical records technician is a person who keeps patient records updated and complies with healthcare coding system standards.

#2. Administrative Assistant

National average salary: $15.36 per hour

An administrative assistant is an excellent job. Most administrative assistant duties revolve around managing and distributing information within an office.

This generally includes answering phones, taking memos and maintaining files.

Administrative assistants may also be in charge of sending and receiving correspondence, as well as greeting clients and customers.

#3. Bus driver

National average salary: $15.75 per hour

A bus driver, bus operator, or bus captain is a person who drives buses for a living.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6 percent job growth for this profession between 2014 and 2024, which is slightly less than the average pace for all occupations.

One factor that should lead to job openings is an increasing number of children who need transport to and from school. An additional 9,800 bus driver jobs will need to be filled by 2024.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 9.3 percent employment growth for bus drivers between 2019 and 2029.

#4. Mail carrier

National average salary: $19.11 per hour

A mail carrier, mailman, mailwoman, postal carrier, postman, postwoman, or letter carrier, sometimes colloquially known as a postie, is an employee of a post office or postal service, who delivers mail and parcel post to residences and businesses.

In the United States, there are three types of mail carriers: City Letter Carriers, who are represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers; Rural Carriers, who are represented by the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association; and Highway Contract Route carriers, who are independent contractors.

While union membership is voluntary, city carriers are organized nearly 70 percent nationally

#5. Tutor

National average salary: $21.45 per hour

Tutoring is private academic support, usually provided by an expert teacher; someone with deep knowledge or defined expertise in a particular subject or set of subjects.

In the United States, the tutoring market is fragmented. Some online tutoring marketplaces, however, have managed to aggregate a large number of private tutors on their platform and also tutoring data.

For example, one such site has over 34,000 registered tutors in California and made public their tutoring hourly rate data.

#6. Writer

National average salary: $24.22 per hour

A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce different forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, books, poetry, travelogues, plays, screenplays, teleplays, songs, and essays as well as other reports and news articles that may be of interest to the public. Writers’ texts are published across a range of media. Skilled writers who are able to use language to express ideas well, often contribute significantly to the cultural content of a society.

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#7. Massage Therapist

National average salary: $28.22 per hour

In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. They most often use their hands and fingers, but may use their forearms, elbows, or feet.

People use massage for a variety of health-related purposes, including to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid general wellness.

#8. Retail Manager

National average salary: $48,281 per year

As a retail manager, you’ll manage the daily operations of a store or department and will have employees reporting to you. You’ll report to an area manager.

You’ll ensure promotions are run accurately and to the company’s standards and make sure that staff are all working towards the target for the day.

It’s also your job to ensure that excellent customer care standards are always met.

#9. Innkeeper

National average salary: $50,135 per year

An individual who, as a regular business, provides accommodations for guests in exchange for reasonable compensation.

Inns are generally establishments or buildings where travelers can seek lodging, and usually, food and drink.

Inns are typically located in the country or along a highway; before the advent of motorized transportation they also provided accommodation for horses. As an innkeeper, your job is to help maintain these inns.

#10. Real Estate Agent

National average salary: $88,499 per year

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who arranges real estate transactions, putting buyers and sellers together and acting as their representative in negotiations.

Real estate agents usually are compensated completely by a commission—a percentage of the property’s purchase price—so their income depends on their ability to close a deal.

In almost every state a real estate agent must work for or be affiliated with a real estate broker (an individual or a brokerage firm), who is more experienced and licensed to a higher degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it a good idea to change career at 50?

It is never too late for a career change. Always think of things that can make you happy and do not be scared to take the appropriate steps.

What if the career I want to change to requires that I am 30?

It is often said that age is a number. If you think you can do it, then you most probably can.

What if I try to change career at 50 and fail?

This is a possibility, but what if you try and succeed. In changing careers at 50, put your all into it and get rid of negative mindsets.

Would it cost money to change career at 50?

This depends on what you are changing careers to. If you are changing career from a job to a skill, then you would most likely spend money.

How much time would it take to change career at 50?

The time it would take for your career change depends on the career path you are changing to. However, it could take between 6months- 1 year for a swift career change if you already have little experience in the field.

Conclusion

Changing career at 50 is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but whatever your reasons for wanting to do something different, a carefully planned move can turn out to be incredibly rewarding

References

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