Switching careers at any stage of your life can be a daunting prospect, but for those over 50 it can be seem like career suicide. Many older adults worry that by entering a new field they will need to settle for an entry level position and a reduced salary. Another concern is that senior workers will be passed over for promotion or important projects in favor of their younger colleagues. However, many employers actively seek out older workers to fill roles that require a certain amount of life experience. Older adults bring patience, wisdom and capability to the workplace and are often seen as much more reliable than their younger counterparts. If you are thinking about starting a new job in later life, the following jobs are an ideal place to begin building your next career.
A job as a career coach is a useful way for you to put your years of experience to good use. Career coaches guide people through the job market and help them take the necessary steps towards landing their dream job. This role requires excellent communication and organizational skills, and you will need to be familiar with certain computer software programs that analyze a person's skills and attributes to determine which career would be the best option. Older people are better suited to this job as they appear more worldly and trustworthy than a younger person that does not have much experience of life in the real world.
Retail jobs are ideal for those that do not have a long list of qualifications under their belt as employers generally look for other attributes such as people skills and the ability to work as part of a team. Jobs in the retail sector are relatively easy to come by and offer flexible hours as well as room to develop your skills. Retail work also provides diligent workers with the opportunity to work their way up the company ladder in roles such as floor manager, general manager or regional coordinator.
The real estate industry is generally easy to break into as many agencies are willing to take on workers with little to no experience and offer them training. There are also home study courses available that can help you get ahead of the competition. Once you gain experience as an estate agent working for an agency such as Blundells, you can then think about opening a real estate brokerage yourself and becoming your own boss.
If you have a head for numbers and enjoy interacting with people on a daily basis, then a career as a financial advisor could be an ideal path for you. Financial advisors assist clients with drawing up budgets, savings, investments and getting out of debt. When consulting a financial advisor, clients are literally putting their lives in someone else's hands, so those in the field need to be extremely cautious when advising clients to invest their life savings. Older workers are ideal for this job as they are less likely to advise risky strategies that could cause their clients to lose everything. Many employers are taking steps to hold on to senior workers in the financial sector as well as many other industries as a more mature worker can gain the trust of clients much more easily.
A job as a carer is an extremely fulfilling experience as you get to make a huge difference in a person's life. Companion care workers assist elderly or disabled people with eating, washing and toileting and provide much needed comfort and stimulation. You can also choose to branch out into skilled nursing where you will be responsible for providing medical services such as wound care, physiotherapy and monitoring vital signs. Care workers are always required by both the NHS and private agencies, and you can apply for a job as a health care assistant without any specific qualifications.
If you are unsure about what type of career would be best for you, you can search for voluntary positions in different fields to get a better idea of what the job entails. Apprenticeships are also available in most industries, and many lead to an offer of a full time job upon completion. If you feel nervous or anxious about switching careers later in life, remember that millions of workers realize what they should be doing in their 40s, 50s and even 60s. Remaining in a job that neither challenges nor inspires you is a much more terrifying prospect, so never be afraid to open up a new chapter of your life.
Isabel Parkes earns a living as an freelance HR consultant. She likes to share her tips and observations on career paths with an online audience. Isabel is a regular contributor for a variety of relevant websites.