As the saying goes, “a change is as good as a rest”. Perhaps you’ve been in the same job for a number of years and it’s become somewhat monotonous. Or maybe you’re interested in retraining so that you can refresh your skills. These days, it’s commonplace for older workers to change their careers. In fact, studies from 2022 show that 38% of UK employees say they are currently considering changing jobs.
If you’re an older worker who’s interested in starting a new career route but are unsure of where to begin, read our quick guide to help you find the perfect next step for you.
Popular Jobs For Older Workers
Older workers possess transferable skills that help them to thrive in a variety of roles. These skills, coupled with job experience, allow them to access industries that other age groups stereotypically dominate.
Here are just some of the roles that other older workers often find work in.
Older workers’ greatest assets come from their experience working with a wide range of people. They have soft skills that are hard to find in younger employees. This sets them up to thrive in management positions. In turn, this gives them access to emerging industries as they don’t need all the essential training required to work on the ground.
2. Social Support
As people grow older, especially those who have had children or grandchildren, they tend to become more patient. Their experience has helped them become excellent communicators, particularly in face-to-face communication. This has always helped older workers to flourish in social settings.
In turn, you often see older workers taking up support capacities in childcare, medical institutions or community-based work.
3. Tutoring or Consulting
You have a wealth of experience that younger workers would pay to have. Literally.
An increasing number of older workers are beginning to take on consulting, tutoring or mentoring roles to help other workers flourish in their jobs.
It’s not uncommon for older workers to steer away from jobs involving technology. Well, why not help those who use technology in their jobs by tutoring them or consulting on other aspects of the job that you are well-versed in? Your experience could be worth a lot more than you think.
4. Flexible or Part-Time Work
Oftentimes, older workers might already find themselves in their perfect role. They like their job and the people they work with. They simply want to take things more slowly and start backing away from the full-time aspect of the job. In this scenario, an increasing number of older workers are requesting to make their hours more flexible, or just cut them permanently. Many employers benefit from having part-time workers who are flexible to cover shifts when needed.
Be sure about your own expectations and communicate with your employer in writing.
Popular Industries for Older Workers
Despite the wealth of benefits that older workers bring to the workplace, it’s becoming more and more difficult to compete with younger candidates whose lives revolve around technology and social media. There is now a generation of workers who grew up using tablets and mobile phones. They have a natural affinity for tech and are able to apply and understand different technologies quickly. This sets them apart from other generations in the workforce.
However, this is most common in technologically advanced sectors, or in the rapidly emerging digital industries. It doesn’t mean that older workers can’t and don’t still work within these industries, especially if the older worker has management experience. Despite this, there are a host of industries in which older workers thrive and where they make up a large percentage of the workforce:
1. Public Administration
Lots of experience working in numerous changing industries will help you see the big picture as no other age group can. This is something that the public sector demands. Older workers have the ability to work with people from a range of backgrounds. They can mediate and implement government policies in a range of forms. According to this report, the median age of workers in the UK Civil Service is 46.
2. Health and Care
Having patience and understanding when dealing with patients is half the work in the healthcare system. This makes older workers ideal for almost any role, dependent on you having the right skills. If you don’t have the skills, it’s never too late to retrain. The average age of workers in the NHS workforce is 43 and this is predicted to rise.
It is no wonder that older workers choose to enter education more than anything else. Whether you are working with colleagues or young people, passing on your wealth of experience and knowledge is rewarding and beneficial for all parties.
The transport sector is a great area for older workers who are looking for a career change. Chances are you’ve gained many more years of experience behind the wheel than younger candidates. There are many options within the industry, such as driving taxis or private cars, delivery vans or lorries, trains, or even planes. There is flexibility around working hours and, in many jobs, employees are able to choose their own hours.
Whether you’re looking to change careers at 30, 40 or 50 and beyond, there are lots of options out there. As an older worker, you have a wealth of transferable skills that set you apart from those with less experience. However, it’s important to know how to emphasise these skills. Settling into a new career later in life can be daunting, so be sure to check out our dedicated page for advice and useful resources.
Looking for a career change? Our specialist job board is packed with exciting career change job opportunities for older workers.