Why Changing Careers When You’re Over 50 is the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make
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A career change is daunting at any age, and especially when you hit that 50 mark, even more so when you’ve already got a successful career.
But with transferable skills, work and life experience, and a life of career development, switching careers may be easier than you think!
Table of Contents
- 1 You’ve got an already established skill set
- 2 Almost a quarter of Australians aged 45 and above are expecting to continue to work past
- 3 There are a number of incentives for older workers
- 4 Age discrimination is illegal
- 5 Midlife Career Change Tips
- 6 New challenges are new opportunities
- 7 It’s never been so easy to get new qualifications
- 8 Mature age women participating in the workforce has more than doubled since
- 9 Midlife job changes are common in a number of job markets
- 10 Sources
You’ve got an already established skill set
Unlike younger people, you’ve already had years to hone and practice skills that your new job will appreciate. This is of huge benefit to a new role, and something you can really highlight in your job search, where hiring managers will come across lots of job seekers straight out of university who only have theoretical knowledge. Your current skills can set you apart from other potential workers while also showing employers that you’re quick at learning and picking up on new things.
Almost a quarter of Australians aged 45
and above are expecting to continue to work past
There are a number of incentives for older workers
The government has what is called a restart incentive for employers, whereby they receive a monetary bonus for hiring and retaining workers over 50. This means that when you’re looking for a new job or new career, being nearer to the retirement age is actually beneficial. There are also career counsellors and coaches who specialise in workers who are 50 and older, as well as online resources designed for workers over 50 to have all the tools they need to get back into the workplace.
Age discrimination is illegal
While previously companies could have specific people in mind for a job, it is now illegal to discriminate against job candidates because of age. This means that while there may be residual age bias hanging around, you can’t be actively discriminated against. If you’re a good match for the company, chances are you’ll at least a job interview, where you can prove you have the know how to start a new career path.
Midlife Career Change Tips
To change into a new career, you will most likely need to update your skills and knowledge. Gaining a qualification before you enter into your second career will provide you with the necessary training, education and direction that is required in order begin your journey in your new career.
Explore which positions are available in your future career industry. Looking at job advertisements will give you with an idea of what training or qualification you will need to break into this new industry.
Remain flexible about salary
When you begin in a new career field, this typically means that you will have an entry-level salary.
Take baby steps to begin with
Don’t expect to dive in and be an expert in your new field. If possible, find someone who is advanced in your new industry area and pick their brain – this will help you.
New challenges are new opportunities
It may seem like new challenges are the last thing you want to be dealing with, but it’s important that we continue to learn and grow, and a new role can force us to do just that. By changing careers, you’ll learn new skills that you didn’t have the opportunity to discover in your previous job. Maybe you’ve always worked in IT, so haven’t had as much of a chance to develop face to face communication skills, or vice versa. It may also mean you have the chance to learn new life skills, like using social media.
It’s never been so easy to get new qualifications
There are a huge number of short and longer courses available at local colleges, international schools and Australian tafe providers, so it’s never too late to get a formal qualification so that you can get started in a new industry or a new field. A midlife career change is ready and waiting for you, you just have to be ready to embrace your new job!
Find out about short courses to get you started here.
Mature age women participating in the workforce has more than doubled since
Midlife job changes are common in a number of job markets
There are a few industries where job changes are common at an older age, especially teaching. Teaching offers a number of positive career management options. First, the hours are more suited to those who have outside of work commitments, especially family commitments. Secondly, a career in teaching doesn’t have to be full time. Many teachers work as substitute teachers or part time teachers, or alternatively you can teach adults at university or TAFE, which may only require a limited number of hours.
However, while teaching is one of the most common options, it’s certainly not the only option. Retail jobs are also popular because so many of them are part time or casual, and other jobs that tend to attract over 50 years olds include the clergy, counselors, and administrative assistants.
There has never been a better time to be a mature age career shifter. With incentives for businesses to hire older workers, training and short courses available all over Australia and an increasing recognition of the skills that baby boomers and above can bring to the workforce, companies and individuals are keen to hire employees who are over 50!
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