How to Change Careers at 50 Years Old

Are you looking to change careers at the age of 50? Don’t worry, this isn’t as difficult as it might feel. You have a tremendous amount of advantages that you can use to gain an edge in the job market.

We’re going to cover what it might take to change careers when you’re over the age of 50. And what you might want to consider before starting your job search.

Let’s go ahead and get started.

Your Advantage As A Veteran 50 Year Old Worker

The biggest advantage that you have as a veteran worker is your experience. Even if you’d like to change career paths, by now you probably have a lot more experience than you might think.

Maybe your resume says that you’ve had the same job for 30 years, but it’s guaranteed that you’ve experienced more from your job than you might think. You probably were exposed to leadership, management, accountability and much more.

All of these experiences make you a great potential hire, especially for companies who are seeking someone responsible to help them run the business.

Think through all of the working experiences that you’ve had, write them down on a piece of paper and try to recall what you’ve been exposed to. This will help you in being able to position yourself for new job titles as well as finding applicable job functions for you during the search.

Just remember, your experience is your advantage. Use that advantage!

How The Job Market Has Changed

The job market has absolutely changed. If you are entering the job market after having taken a few years off, then you’ll be surprised to find out that things are much different. First off, applying for jobs is not the way to get jobs. You have to be proactive in your job search and reach out to hiring managers and leaders of companies to find out about open positions.

Online job portals are also great to browse. Websites like LinkedIn are better than job boards like Indeed. That’s because there’s more of an active network on LinkedIn. If you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, it is recommended that you get connected and import all of your email contacts to seed your network.

Pro fact: A study that was led by Lou Adler suggests that 85% of critical jobs are filled via networking.

What You Should Be Cautious Of

The reality is that you probably won’t know technology as well as the younger generations. This is simply because they’ve been exposed to it at an earlier age. When applying for positions, think about positions which use your age to their advantage, for example, management positions.

Try to avoid positions where it seems as though you are going to be on the cutting-edge of technology, because it most likely won’t work. For example, Software Engineering. That would not be a role for you.

How Can A 50 Year Old Change Careers?

If you’re looking to change careers at the age of 50, consider utilizing your relationships to your advantage. Here’s a few steps that you might want to take in order to change careers:

  • Reach out to previous colleagues or close friends.
  • Ask them about available management positions.
  • Ask them about positions that might be relevant to your work experience.
  • Be sure to meet in person or get on the phone to speak about any open opportunities.
  • Revamp your resume so that it’s updated and speaks to your work experience.
  • Prepare yourself for what interviews look like today, 3-4 hour sessions of intensive interviewing (practice with a family member or friends).
  • Plan any needs at home, consider what happens if you need to relocate.
  • Consider your transportation and how that might effect your decision to go with particular jobs.
  • Be forward about the fact that you’re looking for a job and seeking new opportunities.
  • Ask for a job.
  • Is 50 Years Of Age Too Old To Change Careers?

    There’s never too late of a time to consider changing careers. Most of the time, we don’t really change careers, we just move parallel to our previous career. For instance, someone who worked in the food industry might be applicable to working in technology startups today, as many of them are producing consumer goods.

    There are many ways for which previous experience can help you change job functions as well as business categories. Most of the time, they line up better than you might think. You simply have to position that to the employer so that they can see the value that you can provide.

    What Are The Best Jobs For Someone Over 50?

    Here are some of the best jobs for someone who might be over the age of 50. For the most part, the ideal job function is one that is about accountability, leadership, management and potentially bookkeeping. This will vary depending on your industry and experience. But here are a few starts to get the wheels turning:

    • Account Manager
    • Accounting
    • Vice President of Sales
    • Vice President of Operations
    • Director of Operations
    • Vice President of Finances
    • Sales Executive
    • Project Manager
    • Director of Project Management
    • Director of Product Management

    3 Tips To Help Find You A New Job Over 50 Years Of Age

    Here are three tips to help you in your transition either back into the workforce or from one industry to another when starting your job search.

    Utilize your network

    Your network is your strongest advantage as someone who is 50 years of age. You’ve made more connections than you might think. Consider the people you golf with. Or the people who attend local community gatherings. Consider your children and their contacts as well. You have a larger network at the age of 50, utilize that as much as possible.

    Utilize newer technology

    Being able to adapt is key. If you can use tools like LinkedIn, you’ll be able to expedite this process. Try researching job boards or communities where your job function often visits. Take part in those online communities or use them to find events where you can attend in person.

    Utilize previous colleagues

    This is the best tip of all. If you’ve had 50 years of experience, you’ve also had a ton of previous colleagues that you’ve worked with. Recall which ones you had the best connection with, try to get back in touch with them and see what opportunities might come of it. This is different than using your network. This is about recalling prior relationships and trying to rekindle them, to see where it leads.

    Career Change Resources

    author: patrick algrim
    About the author

    Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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