Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Change Careers After 50

careertrend article image
Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision/GettyImages

How to Change Careers After 50. If you are 50 and over, chances are you may be considering a change in career. Millions of midlife Americans are doing it every year. But it can be a difficult task even for the most determined boomer if you don't have a clear plan.

Evaluate your financial situation. Changing careers can sometimes mean a pay cut. Make sure you can handle the financial adjustment if it happens.

Talk to your family and friends about your plans. Make sure they understand how your career change might affect them. Having the emotional support of friends and family is important for everyone's well-being and stress goes along with any change.

Make a list of all those jobs you wish you had. This time it is not about making money; it is about personal satisfaction. We all need money to buy food, but self actualization feeds the soul. Think about what would you like to see yourself doing.

Talk to people in your newly chosen field or a career counselor. You already know how valuable experience is. Ask questions. People will be happy to help you.

Keep an open mind to opportunities in your chosen work. It might not be a full-time job that is your best choice. Consider part-time work or even some volunteering to begin with. Look for options.

Make a list of the requirements for your new job and a list of your strengths and skills next to it. How do they match up? Update your resume emphasizing the skills and experience you have that matches the job requirements.

Use your personal network for contacts. You have friends, colleagues, former employers, teachers and relatives. Don't forget the alumni association at your alma mater. All of these people can help you achieve your goal

Stay focused and strong. Exercise is great for stress and the anxiety of the job search. Reading books is good for the mind, particularly ones on maintaining a positive attitude.


Patience is a virtue, particularly when you are trying to land your dream job. It's not going to happen overnight. Brush up your computer skills if they have become rusty. Or, do some research on the technology required in your dream job and make sure you are up to date. Community colleges or vocational schools offer many computer classes. Be sure to ask about continuing education classes. George Eliot once said, "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Believe it.


Be completely realistic about your goals. If you are over 50, chances are that becoming a cowboy is not in the cards. But, working for an animal shelter or training in animal rescue is. Understand your limitations.