7 Reasons You Should Consider a Career Change at 50

Photo by Liderina / Shutterstock.com

A career change at 50 years old isn’t always easy. But there are many great reasons to take your career in a new direction if you don’t feel fulfilled in the workplace.

Older workers who aren’t satisfied with their jobs don’t need to tough it out until they retire. People are living longer and working longer. So, a person turning 50 may have 20 or more good working years left before it’s time to retire.

In such situations, it makes sense to make a change if you find a profession that’s more rewarding. Following are the top reasons why starting a new career at 50 is a fantastic idea.

1. You know what you want from a career

Older people will often have the self-awareness to know what they want from a career, says Cynthia Corsetti, a Pittsburgh-based career transition expert. By making a career change at 50, you can do something you always wanted to do.

“In our society, we make our first career choice when we are 19 or 20 and choose our college major,” she explains. “Many people work in that career for 30 years, but they never feel fulfilled or energized.”

Such people don’t feel as if their life has purpose, she adds. “Changing careers once you’re 50 is a different game altogether,” she says. “You know what you want to leave as your legacy, you know what you want to give back to the world.”

2. You have a dead-end job

People who work in declining industries and fear layoffs can prolong their careers by transitioning into new professions. Rather than waiting for the ax to fall, start preparing for a new career while you’re still employed at a company, as it can be challenging to bounce back from losing your job.

If you’re worried about being forced out of your current job, it makes sense to begin preparing for a new one, says New York-based career counselor Rebecca Weiler. Older workers “can take classes to improve or sharpen skills or try to further specialize in an area that can make them more marketable and profitable,” she adds.

3. You can use a network to find a new career

One of the advantages of having been in the workplace for several decades is that you’ve had the opportunity to build up a strong network of professional contacts. The ability to reach out to others for help and advice is invaluable when changing careers.

Corsetti says she often recommends that people looking for a new career at 50 write down a description of the type of job they’re looking for and share it with family members and professional contacts so they can read it and provide feedback.

4. You can build on past successes

Many older job applicants have a list of accomplishments they can show to prospective employers. Offer examples of the clients you’ve won or ways you’ve helped increase employer profits, and you’ll stand a better chance of landing the job you want.

When she works with older workers, New York-based career coach Carlota Zimmerman urges them to point out their achievements when applying for jobs. Instead of trying to hide their age, she counsels clients to present themselves as people with valuable experience.

5. You understand that age isn’t a barrier

Sometimes people avoid changing careers because they’re afraid they’re too old to master a new profession. Corsetti says there are plenty of examples of people who’ve successfully made a career change at 50.

“Look at the ages of successful people who didn’t start until later in life,” she says. “Louise Hay didn’t write her first book until she was over 50, and Hay House is now a huge publishing house.”

She notes that entrepreneur Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, didn’t find success with his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises until he was in his 60s.

6. You can afford to follow your passion

People in their 50s often have enough personal funds to start a business of their own, or to return to school and learn new career skills.

If your home is paid for and your children have finished their schooling, you may have the funds to pursue a career you’re passionate about, says Weiler. After age 50, she says, many people are in a position to “do something meaningful for themselves.”

7. You want to work for the best boss ever: yourself

People who have labored under close supervision for decades often enjoy working for themselves. They can set their own hours and choose their own assignments.

There are a variety of career choices over 50, and that includes self-employment. You may not get the same benefits as you would working for someone else, but you’ll gain the freedom to set your own hours and choose your clients. Just make sure you pick a profession that matches your skills.

Self-employment can give you a renewed sense of purpose, as well as the flexibility to set your own schedule, says Weiler.

Have you had a career change at 50? If so, how did it work out for you? Do you have any tips to make the transition easier? Share your experience or thoughts with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement

Medicare can be confusing. Beware these missteps — which can hike your costs.

This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree

Downsizing your home offers many benefits, including some you may not have anticipated.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have

Take control of your health and safety by customizing your own first-aid kit with these Amazon purchases.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.