Changing careers at 50
Ready for something different? Changing careers at 50? Why not?Starting over in a new career is always a bit of a challenge. But changing careers at 50 or later can seem overwhelming.
After a lifetime in one field, the very idea of starting from scratch and mastering new skills can seem out of reach. And then there's your appearance...with a few wrinkles on your face, or some gray in your hair, will anyone want to hire you in a brand new career field?
Before you throw in the towel, here are some tips to make starting a new career midway through life less of a nightmare and more of an exciting adventure.
Is 50 the new 30?
You've probably heard it said that 50 is the new 30, but is it true? Surprisingly, yes. Changes in our lifestyles and expectations about what's appropriate for people to do at different ages have changed our abilities, and in many ways, pushed back the clock.
Just look at films or photos from the 1950s and 60s of people in their 40s. How many of them went to a gym even once or twice a week? Marathons at age 45? No way. Mastered something as complex as a new computer language at 49? Heck no.
By then, they were looking, acting and feeling far too old for such things. New assumption, and new behaviors mean we stay younger physically and mentally. So are you ready? Here are the next steps you need to take.
Pick your new field
The first step is often the most difficult -- and the cliche certainly applies to starting a new career at 50 or so. Start by identifying your skills, looking at your interests and revisiting your dreams.
Get the training
If your new dream career requires training or a perhaps a new degree and you're still working, consider online college classes or degree programs. The flexibility in time and location makes these virtual classes appealing to people who have family or work commitments. And unlike in years past when online college was a scam, many of today's programs are fully accredited, and are often part of major colleges and universities.
Polish the package
If the color of your hair or the sag in your waistline are bothering you, by all means, spend some time improving your appearance before you dive into your new career. Consider the cost of a gym membership or a trip to the salon an investment in your new career.
Take a look at your wardrobe, too. Of course the classics never go out of style, but if the majority of your clothing is over ten years old, it's time to add some new looks to your closet.
Check your attitude at the door
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for people starting a new career later in life is attitude. After years of being the expert or the manager, it can be hard to adjust to being the new kid on the block. But your success depends on doing just that.
As hard as it is to swallow, that 20-something kid in the corner cubicle really DOES know more about the job than you do. And the one with the nose piercing? Yup, she does too. Once you accept your role as a beginner, and embrace the chance to learn from anyone and everyone who offers you the chance, you'll find the whole experience a life-changing adventure.