Far from winding down slowly towards retirement, more people than ever choose to change their career at 50.

If you’re considering a change, for whatever reason it may be, take a look at our guide to help understand if this is the right choice for you and learn how to maximise your experience and skillset.

Why is 50 the perfect age to refresh a career?

There are a variety of reasons people may consider a career change at 50. Perhaps you have a desire to learn new things, follow your passion, take on new challenges, or are desperate to reduce your stress levels. Refreshing your career at 50 could give you a chance to improve your happiness and wellbeing for the better.

Alternatively, some people may be considering a change in career if they are facing redundancy. Redundancy can be a worrying prospect. However, you can make the most out of this unexpected life event by refreshing your career and taking on a new role where you may be more comfortable, happy, and satisfied. If you are facing redundancy, take a look at our redundancy assistance guide.

People over the age of 50 are attractive candidates to employers for many reasons. They have accumulated years of useful experience, tend to have a strong work ethic and are confident, level-headed, and well organised.

Don’t forget that if like many people, you plan to retire at 65 or later, you still have 15+ working years ahead of you. Even if you require a few years of extra training or education, you will still spend a decade of your life working in your new role.

It’s important to remember that changing careers often becomes increasingly difficult as we get older, partly because our responsibilities increase with age. At 50, you are more likely to have financial restraints, such as a mortgage or children to provide for. The best way to make the most out of a career change at 50 is to research and prepare.

How to embark on a career change at 50?

Once you have decided that a career change is the right choice for you, the next task is to determine the type of career you are keen to pursue.

An essential part of the career planning process is self-assessment. Take the time to consider your personality type, interests, work-related values, and goals. Explore the reasons why you felt unsatisfied with your previous career and establish your priorities for your new role.

It may have been a while since you updated your CV. Spend some time adjusting your CV to highlight your years of experience and diverse skillset. Take a look at our CV template to help get you started.

If you are struggling to decide which career is right for you, we have dedicated guides to inspire you. Changing career at 50 is a big step, and you need to be confident you are making the right change. Don’t be afraid to seek professional advice from a careers counsellor.

Before committing to a particular career path, ensure you have extensively researched the responsibilities, outlook, wage and hours, and any additional training or education requirements. Don’t be put off if further education is essential for your dream career. Some options allow students to earn while studying, including the Open University and part-time college or university.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that in 2018 82% of the UK’s employment growth was fuelled by the over 50s and so, naturally, the government is embracing the skills, experience, and economic potential of the older generation. They actively support training programmes, including adult apprenticeships, to help over-50s enter into industries in desperate need of reliable workers with diverse skillsets.

Undoubtedly you will face new challenges as you embark on your career change. Technological advances are one of the most significant changes since you first started work, but it does not need to be a barrier. If you feel less comfortable with modern technology, there are numerous, often subsidised courses that allow adults to brush up on their technical skills and confidence in IT. These include out-of-working-hours night courses.

Fifty year old man working

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