5 Practical Career Shifts for People in Their 50s

By on June 15, 2021

With years of experience under your belt, by the time you reach your 50s, you may be considering making a career shift. There are numerous practical ways to go about this, depending on your field and interests. Subtle career shifts within the same or similar industries, or using your gained knowledge in a new role in a new industry, can fulfill your work years before retirement. The top guideline for choosing your next step is to take advantage of transferable skills.

Transferable skills are categorized as either hard or soft. Hard skills include those you’ve learned, from medical terminology to scientific methods to foreign languages. Soft skills refer to communication skills, planning, creativity, computer skills, or management.

The next factor to consider is how much time you have to undertake any additional studies, certifications, or even clinical hours. The most practical approach is to choose a career shift that requires minimal amounts of education and training requirements. Now that you know the guidelines to consider, here are five examples of practical career changes in different industries for people in their 50s.

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide
  1. Teacher to Instructional Coordinator

Years of teaching most likely include preparing course schedules and syllabi and creating coursework. This makes you a good candidate for becoming an instructional coordinator. In this new role, you help shape the learning processes for more students by switching from a front of the classroom role to a behind-the-scenes one. Some of your tasks may include evaluating current programs, selecting class textbooks and materials, helping train teachers, and implementing new technology.

Most instructional coordinator positions require a master’s degree. If you don’t currently have one, find out your options for online learning or other options.

  1. Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a nurse practitioner if you’ve already spent several decades as a registered nurse is a practical shift you can make without having to go outside your field. This shift in careers will require additional education and clinical hours, and much will depend on your previous degree and experience.

You can accomplish this while still holding down your RN job. One way to do this is to look for an online DNP program for RNs looking to become nurse practitioners.

  1. Engineer to Teacher/Instructor

After working most of your career in the corporate world of engineering, you may feel it’s time to share your knowledge with others. Teaching provides an excellent opportunity to pass what you know to others while also helping them understand more about their area of interest.

Depending on the degree you hold, you may be considering becoming a high school STEM teacher or a community college instructor. While states may differ slightly in teaching requirements, you will most likely need a teaching credential of some type. A teaching certificate or license is relatively easy to earn.

While university professorships are limited and hard to break into, you can begin part-time or accept a full-time position if you have a doctorate, experience, and one or two connections.

  1. Sales Associate to Fundraising Manager/Director

A successful career in sales requires good communication and interpersonal skills. These skills are easily transferable to a career in fundraising and a practical way to shift your career. Fundraising allows you to use your skills, including creativity, to raise funds for a particular cause. You can find these causes in charities, universities, museums, community organizations, and many others.

You will identify key selling points, strategically plan fundraising campaigns, and build relationships. While there are usually no specific requirements for entering this field, some training and certifications are available.

  1. Paralegal to Compliance Manager

Taking a step up from a paralegal role to a compliance manager or other type of position is a practical career shift for people in their 50s. By now, you have knowledge and experience, particularly in a specific area of law, and can translate that into a compliance role.

For example, if you have a background in financial transactions and contract law, a financial institution compliance role may suit your needs. Everyone, however, needs compliance professionals, so mine your skills and experience to find a position that fits you.

Training-wise, whoever you work for may likely have a training program or certification requirements. You may also want to pursue a higher degree. 

Taking action to make a career switch in your 50s may mean searching for that online DNP program for RNs looking to become nurse practitioners or earning a teaching certificate to move into the education arena. Once you decide what is the most important to you and how you can best utilize your years of knowledge and experience, a practical career shift can flow seamlessly.

LivingBetter50 is a magazine for women over 50, offering an over 50 magazine free download for women with spirit!

About Living Better

LivingBetter50.com is the No.1 resource and magazine for women over 50 in the world with 500,000+ readers. LivingBetter50.com covers everything for a woman from “Beauty-to-Business” with our primary goal – To encourage women to live better physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

5 Practical Career Shifts for People in Their 50s