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Is 50 Too Old for a Career Change?

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Deciding to follow your dream is not just an urge that develops after school or a big break-up. Believe it or not, there are people who have been doing the same job for over 30 years who’ve finally decided to quit their jobs and chase after what they really want.

For some or other reason the same people that is telling you ‘You only live once’ are also those that seem to think changing your career has an expiry date. With age comes experience, and as you might have noticed- in the field of work, experience almost always wins. Even if you don’t have experience in the particular field you are changing to, you have life experience- and that also counts.

This article will take a look at some tips and reasons why you are NEVER too old to make a career change.

Against the Stream

Firstly, there is nothing as life-changing and exhilarating as doing something that no-one expects. Yes, you might shock your family and friends by quitting your steady job, but your attitude and open-mindedness might end up inspiring and challenging them.

Be Honest with Yourself

The most important factor in making life decisions, is knowing what makes you happy and what doesn’t. You might have chosen a previous job or career to please someone else, but your career is about you. Be honest with yourself in what you want to achieve and what you are willing to do to reach your goals. Only when you know yourself will you be able to make decisions that will benefit you in the long run and give you job satisfaction.

Life’s a Marathon

At this point in your life you might have been employed at five different companies or stuck at the same job your entire life. Yes, life is short but when it comes to job applications and experience; life is a marathon that should be strategically planned.

At your age you might know more than most of the employees at your prospective job. The key is to share your wisdom in expertise, use it as a subtle weapon without trying to overpower the rest.

Facing your Fears

The reason for not following your dreams might have been a fear of failure or disappointment. As you grow older you will come to understand that taking risks in life is better than not doing anything at all. You might have to face a lot of fears in your career-change journey but it will only help you grow as a person.

Trusting your Instincts

Chances are that as a senior, you have come to trust your instincts and understand your patterns. Where younger individuals might dive in head first into any position, you will use your logic and wisdom to assess the situation. You will be able to bring a sense of calm to any company.

Lifelong Learning

Gone are the days where learning is limited to schools and universities. These days you can study almost anything online or take a course at your local college. The internet and its array of sources have allowed us to learn more and more every day. If you are open-minded enough to join the information age, your age will really just be a number.

Get a Move On

If you are entering a new career or job opportunity keep in mind that you have to keep your mind and body in top shape. You don’t want someone younger to get the job just because you take ten minutes to walk the stairs to your office. Stay healthy and active to ensure optimum performance.

Have you changed careers in you later years? Please share your experience below!

  • Seangspence

    Wow! I took it for granted that I would & I’ve got started on another wonderful track at 58. Erik Erikson’s chart of human development doesn’t actually stop and his book had to be reissued when he and his wife hit 80 and learnt something else! We continue to grow and learn; the issue is whether our ‘rules’ and ‘fears’ prevent us from taking up what our natural growth requires.
    50? Brilliant time for Starting!

  • Greer Nicholson

    I have changed career a few times and it’s always brought better opportunities. During this current period of unemployment, I’ve raised money for charities, taken every online course possible and written blogs about my passions. You have to believe in yourself and keep physically and mentally active. Like Seangspence, I know people who started anew at 60, 70 and 80. I am lucky enough to enjoy excellent health, but I am inspired by disabled friends who manage to start up again, despite tough challenges. Staying positive, believing in yourself and creating, delivering and adding value to projects will move your life forward.

  • Steven Colo

    I’ve been forced to change careers several times as industries collapsed. It’s horribly hard – it means that my previous skills are less valued, and my network of contacts becomes almost worthless.

    If you have to do it, do it, but it’s not exhilarating at all.

© 2013 Exertus