Changing Careers After 50: Your Midlife Comeback

Changing Careers After 50: Your Midlife Comeback

June 28, 2023

Many of us are familiar with the adages such as "Old habits die hard," "A leopard can't change its spots," and "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." These proverbs are often used to convey that it can be challenging to begin something new, particularly when it comes to something as all-encompassing as a new career. 

The truth is, age shouldn't stop anyone from making a change that's important to them or their happiness. In fact, both dogs and humans can learn new things even in their old age. We have an acquaintance who recounted a conversation with a friend "of a certain age" who expressed a desire to pursue a teaching degree at school but believed she would be "too old" by the end of the two-year course. However, he advised that age shouldn't hinder achieving one's career goals. He told her, "You'll be the same age in two years, whether you get the degree or not; the question is how you choose to spend the time." 

Career changes have been common for both Gen Z and Baby Boomers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Boomer has had about 12 jobs from age 18 to 48. The American Institute for Economic Research found that 82% of survey respondents successfully transitioned to a new career after age 45. With longer life expectancies, having a second or third career is also becoming more common in the future. 

As a worker aged 50 or above, what steps can you take to prepare yourself to pursue your dream? recommends several steps to follow when considering a career change. These include assessing your current skills and experiences to see how they apply to your new career path, identifying and obtaining any necessary new skills or certifications (and budgeting for associated expenses), and networking (which now requires at least a basic understanding of social media). Career coach Ken Coleman and others emphasize that the first crucial step towards finding your ideal career is to gain clarity about your passions and motivations. Take time to reflect and answer questions such as: 

  • What activities do I enjoy, and what do they have in common?
  • Which of my talents am I most passionate about?
  • Is there a particular group of people or interests I am drawn towards?
  • Is there a problem in the world, business, or community that I am eager to solve? 

As you think about the reasons behind your career choices, you will notice specific patterns that can help guide you toward a fulfilling pursuit that sparks your imagination and enthusiasm.

Triada Advisors is a fiduciary investment advisor specializing in providing research-based, market-tested guidance to family stewards and others who need to make smart financial decisions that benefit themselves and others. Whether you need to make a strategic plan for a mid-life career change or your goal is to provide lasting financial freedom for future generations, we can help you find the answers you need.