55 Yet? Time for a Career Change

By on September 28, 2020
Career change

We need to shed this idea that by the age 50 your career should be set in its ways, and you should be working to retirement. When you reach 55yrs old, it may be time to reconsider your career change. If you are in a job you love, then stick with it. If not, consider the fact that state pension age in ten years will be at least 67, and if predictors in life expectancy are any indicator, we may see people working deep into their seventies. The president of the USA is 74, and he is not planning to retire for many years, so maybe it is time to consider your long-term options.

The Reverse Expectation

Not to labor the point, but even if you only plan to work until the age of 65, that is at least ten years after the age of 55. You may think there is nothing you can achieve in ten years, but you would be very wrong.

We have this sort of reverse expectation about how somebody can leave school and make it big in ten years, but somebody who is ten years away from retirement is somehow less likely to rise to the top in a new job. In truth, there is quite a bit you can do in ten years, which includes taking up a new career, taking courses to learn a new skill and getting qualified for your new career, and making a big splash with lashings of success.

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Stereotypes Help 55yr+ People Excel

There is this odd notion that stereotypes harm older people. A common stereotype is the doddering old fool like Grandpa Simpson, Grandpa Walton, or Grandpa Joe who went to the Chocolate Factory with Charlie Bucket.

Yet, there are hundreds of examples where an older person will get a job and the requisite respect simply because he or she is older. For example, people feel less confident taking advice from a younger doctor, especially younger psychologists. For example, a financial adviser who is over the age of 50 is most often viewed as more reliable. In short, positions of authority, and especially positions where people are supposed to give advice, are better filled by people who are older.

If you are not happy with your current job, ask yourself what you do with your downtime (a problem we all faced during the 2020 pandemic), and see if you can turn that into a career. It is not just about being a sculptor or something artistic. You may find enjoyment growing apples, tiling your bathroom, or even playing PC games. Ask yourself if the things you enjoy during your downtime can be converted into a full-time job.

Becoming an Educator

A common career change is to become a teacher, especially if you have qualifications already and only need to take the teaching courses in order to start working in schools, colleges, etc. However, you should strongly reconsider. Teaching is not as fun or fulfilling as you think, it is more like a factory floor where you recite the same lifeless content over and over again and deal with the same problems day in and day out. 

Teaching is often portrayed as a profession with a great deal of personal fulfillment, but that is just not the case in real life. However, if your career has been in management, or your career has been in teaching, then consider swapping. It turns out that people who have lots of experience in management make excellent teachers, and the opposite is true too, teachers make good managers.

Becoming a Carer or Child Care Worker

This is another profession you should seriously consider “Not” doing. Both are fulfilling jobs, but they all require far more physical activity than most people realize. If you make friends with a few carers, especially carers for the elderly, you will see that the stout women have arms like a bulldog’s hind legs, and the men have backs of iron. 

Dealing with children is less strenuous than caring for the elderly, but you spend most of your time bending down. If you are in good health, then do consider these jobs because they can be fulfilling, and each day often offers something a little different (though that is not always a good thing). Just be aware that the physical demands take their toll very quickly.

Tech Jobs and Government Jobs

Older people always do better in government jobs, even in simple clerical jobs. Again, this is probably down to the fact that older people are seen as more trustworthy and reliable.

Most tech jobs can be done from home, and it is very easy to keep up with other people in the industry because their qualifications expire around every five years. Try coding, graphic design, web design, web development, video editor, music editor, and so forth.

Do Not Rule Anything Out

Did you know that social media has very few older influencers when compared with younger people and people in their middle ages? This is probably going to change over time as middle-aged people keep posting on social media as they get older, but at the moment there is niche content that is not being filled. The Prager University was founded by a man who has long past his retirement age, and often features older speakers, and the channel is a successful worldwide powerhouse full of new ideas, influence, and respect. Do not rule out any sort of career, even emerging careers such as social media influencing, green tech, fracking tech, and AI.

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55 Yet? Time for a Career Change