Changing careers can be a worry at any age but, the older you get, the more worrisome you can feel about it all. You’re an older worker, competing against your peers which may be younger. Not to mention, the job market is different now than when you last went job hunting which may have been many years ago.
But, a career change at 50 and beyond doesn’t have to be scary. Sometimes the most difficult first step is figuring out that you’re ready for a change in career in the first place.
In this article, we’re going to help you map out a plan for changing careers in your fifties and older. Keep reading to learn more!
If you are ready for a new career, start your search on ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter makes applying for jobs easy! You can apply with a single click! You can also upload your resume to ZipRecruiter’s resume database so that recruiters and employers can reach out to you.
4 Tips For Making A Career Change At 50 And Beyond
You’re 50 or older and ready for a career change. Here are some tips for starting the process of landing your dream career.
Get Professional Help
Look into getting professional help. Connect with a career counselor or career coach to ease the career search process for you.
Career counselors are there to support you during this career transition. They can help with things like:
- Resume and cover letter prep
- Interview prep
- Helping you identify the right career path
- Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and skills to see where they fit in a new career
- Refer you to career resources that can help like educational opportunities or job training
This will be someone in your corner to help prepare you for your new career. Career counselors are an invaluable asset in the career search process. Consider connecting with one as you transition to your new job.
Think About Your Overall Happiness and Goals
Consider your overall happiness and goals. Money isn’t everything. Many times there are other driving factors pushing you toward a new career like:
- Flexible work options
- Better work-life balance
- Job satisfaction
- Talent development
Get specific about what you’re looking for and what you hope to achieve in your new career. Make goals and keep them in mind as you hunt for your career.
Changing careers can be stressful. You might feel anxious, overwhelmed, burdened, and upset that you’re faced with this challenge.
It happens and you’re not the only one to deal with it.
Facing fear means that you understand:
- This transition is temporary
- You’re not alone
- Support is available to help (i.e. career counselors, family, friends, etc.)
- It’s normal to feel fear
Consider All Options
Look at all your options here. This goes beyond full-time employment:
- Part-time employment or temp work
- Volunteer work
- Freelancing or independent contractor work
- Starting your own business
Many times moving from a full-time career to a new full-time career might not get all your goals met. Doing a combination of the above, like volunteer work and freelancing, for example, might be the right option for you.
How Do You Know It’s Time For A Career Change?
There can be some warning signs to look out for that may indicate that it’s time for a career change:
- You’re bored at work
- You’re unhappy with your pay and benefits
- You are stressed all the time
- You are mentally and physically exhausted
- You dread going to work
- You are dealing with burnout
If you’re experiencing one or more of these 6 warning signs, it might be time to look at changing careers.
How To Make Career Change At 50 And Beyond
When it’s time to change careers, here’s what you’ll want to do.
1. Determine What Type Of Job Or Career You Want
The first step in the process is figuring out what kind of job or career you want to pursue. Consider your lifestyle and what kind of career will support that lifestyle.
Do you want to retire early? Are you interested in traveling more and working less? Are you at a point in your life where you’re trying to raise money as fast as possible so you can be comfortable in retirement?
These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself about your lifestyle. This will help you decide what career path to take.
Other lifestyle considerations to think about:
- Work-life balance
- Flexible work options
- Remote work options
- Salary growth
2. Update Your Skills
Upskilling is the next thing to consider. You want to focus on your transferable skills. Start by listing the skills you have now that can transfer to a new job.
Soft skills are an example of these, like:
- Communication skills
- Leadership ability
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Working well within a team environment
- Listening skills
Consider your hard skills as well like computer software proficiencies, specialized knowledge, training, and certifications that are transferable.
Compare these skills to the requirements your new career will have. Make sure to build them into your career change resume.
3. Update Your Resume
Updating your resume will help you account for the skills, training, expertise, experience, and achievements you received at your current employer. You’ll want to update your resume with these additions.
Resume building can feel overwhelming so consider outsourcing this task to professionals. These are some of the best resume writing services online.
Putting your resume in the hands of professionals can help alleviate some of the stress you may feel around shifting careers and help you put focus on other areas of this transition. Plus, resume writing services are surprisingly affordable!
4. Connect With Your Network
Networking is huge. Did you know that at least 70% of job listings aren’t even listed publicly?
Well, how do they get filled then? Through word-of-mouth referrals obtained through the power of networking.
Today, networking is possible in person and online. In person, you can do things like connecting with your peers in the industry at industry-related events like fundraisers, conferences, and other work events. Online networking happens in places like LinkedIn, Reddit, and industry-related community groups and boards.
5. Start Applying For Jobs
Now, it’s time to start your job hunt. Once you’ve made it here, you’re ready to get your feet wet in the career search process.
Where To Find Your Next Career
These are some of the best websites for finding your next career at 50 and beyond:
ZipRecruiter is a top online job search website. They’ve posted millions of job listings online and they’re home to career seeker tools that let you:
- Search for jobs
- Review salary insights
- Read jobseeker reviews
- Apply for jobs with a single click
- Upload your resume to their resume database so that recruiters can find you
It’s one of the easiest ways to search for careers online.
To learn more, check out our ZipRecruiter review.
LinkedIn is a career-based social network that lets you build a professional profile that you can use to apply for jobs and network online. You also get access to tools like:
- Employer information
- Career and talent insight
To learn more, check out our LinkedIn review.
Glassdoor is a free career resource where you can search for jobs, find salary information, and employer reviews all in one place.
To learn more, check out our Glassdoor review.
The Bottom Line
Career change at 50 and beyond happens. The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We hope this article has armed you with the tools and information you need to feel confident in your career search.
When you’re ready to start finding your dream career, start your search on ZipRecruiter!