Are you a baby boomer forced to make a change due to a layoff?
Are you having a mid-life crisis and questioning who you are and what you are doing?
Do you feel the need to reinvent yourself?
The thought of making a major mid-life career change over the age of 40 or 50 puts fear in the hearts of many baby-boomers. But fear not! Whether you have been forced into a mid-life career change or it is your choice, you have many options. Often those who have been laid off find that in retrospect it was the best thing that ever happened to them, career-wise. I recently met Rick Deutsch, AKA Mr. Half Dome who was having the time of his life, traveling and speaking on his passion-hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. He never would have thought a career like that would have been possible until he was laid off from his 20 year job at a high-tech company.
Mid-life career change is becoming a much more common occurrence than for prior generations. The baby boomers are living longer, healthier, lives and find that by mid-life we can start a second (or third) career. Often people must work past the traditional "retirement"* age of 65 due to economic necessity. For previous generations, people got married and had children while they were in their twenties or thirties, so children were out of the house by the time parents were in their fifites. Today, however, many couples are not starting families until they are in their forties, which means paying for college tuition while you are in your sixties. Company funded pension plans are all but gone and for those haven't saved, "retirement" may not come at 65, if ever. Financial necessity may not be your reason to change your career in mid-life. Perhaps now that your kids are on their own, you no longer feel obligated to work at a job that is unfulfilling. Now it's your turn to follow your passions, to make a difference in the world, to give something back, to feed your soul. Whatever your reason, a mid-life career or job change is not only possible, but can be the best move you've ever made.
Take time for you!
Take the time now to really explore what is best for you at this stage of your life. Maybe you've always wanted to pursue your creative side. Perhaps you want to own your own business. Maybe you want to get out of the office and do something outdoors. Maybe you've worked in a very physical job all your life (like construction) and want something that is not so taxing. What is your passion? The environment, education, social issues, politics, health care, fitness or something else? Whatever it is, you can find a job, or an income opportunity there. See my Steps to finding work you love page for specific instruction.
Do you need more/different education to change your career?
Does the thought of going back to school seem overwhelming? Schools are seeing increasing numbers of older students. You won't be alone.
A job versus a business?
Better yet, rather than looking for a job, why not become an entrepreneur and start a business of your own? In her excellent book "Boomers Into Business: How Anyone Over 50 Can Turn What They Know Into Dough Before and After Retirement", author Lisa Orrell provides guidance on how anyone with a solid work history in any field can leverage their knowledge, experience and expertise to earn additional money or even create a new career. Lisa was kind enough to write a guest post on my blog. I am in my 50s and enjoying moving into yet another new career field. It keeps life fresh and exciting!
Do you want to have a home based business in which you can work as many or as few hours as you like? Consider starting a web-based business with SBI! I created this website with no previous training or experience in web design or online business and SBI has provided me with all the tools I need to be successful. Check it out with a risk-free trial and see if it is right for you.
*I feel that retirement is a concept that is changing dramatically and may not exist in another generation. Check out The Big Shift: Navigating the new stage beyond mid life, by Marc Freedman, on my resources page.