Changing Careers After 50: The Baby Boom Generation

By Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR

It is becoming more and more common to see people over the age of 50 changing careers. In decades past, many people stayed in the same career, and sometimes even the same job, for virtually all of their working lives. However, times have changed and it is becoming very common for people to change careers a number of times during their lifetimes.

A number of factors are contributing to the increased numbers of people in the 50 and over population who are seeking to change careers. One of the biggest factors is the sheer size of that age group. The market segment commonly referred to as the baby boomer generation isn’t made up of babies any more. The baby boomers are now in the 50 plus age group, so there is a larger workforce in this segment of the population now than ever before.

Additionally, in today’s world of advanced medical technology, people tend to stay healthy and live longer than those of generations past. This fact, paired with fears about dwindling social security benefits and the virtual disappearance of employer-sponsored pension plans has resulted in people continuing to stay in the workforce longer than those of prior generations.

However, just because people are working longer does not mean that they are staying in the same career longer. People’s interests, abilities, and financial requirements change as they age, and it is not unusual at all for people 50 and over to change careers.

Even those who have the opportunity to retire find that they are bored without a career to occupy their minds and their time. Some retirees find that they actually need to continue to earn income to maintain the retirement lifestyle they want to have. Many retirees who choose to re-enter the workforce go back into occupations similar to the ones they held previously.

The good news for those seeking a midlife career change is that there are a number of excellent opportunities to find and secure the type of employment that you desire. Many companies actively recruit older workers, and there are a number of occupations that lend themselves very well to those who are in the 50 plus age group.

When preparing to make a career change after 50, it is a good idea to give some thought to what you really want from your new career. You have probably had enough experience at this point to know what you like and don’t like about the types of jobs you have had. It’s never too late to acquire new skills and to pursue a career change in an occupation that will be both financially and personally rewarding.

About the Author

Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR is the Director of Training and Consulting Services for MTI Business Solutions, where she specializes in human resources, management, and public relations training and consulting. She teaches business training seminars in Mobile, AL and provides on-site corporate training and conference presentations throughout the U.S., as well as human resource management and public relations consulting services. She is also the author of 101 Human Resource Management Tips and 101 Successful PR Campaign Tips in the LifeTips book series..

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