Why would you or any woman give up a successful career to make a second act career change? Like lots of middle-aged women, you could experience burnout, an urge to pursue a lifetime dream, or the simple desire to devote more time to family obligations during your second act. At the same time, you might hesitate because you assume after you’ve turned 50 or even 60, you’ve lost your chance to change your fortune. You might even think that only younger adults have the privilege to switch direction.
Honestly, lots of women over 50 have very good reasons to entertain the idea of a second act career change. You can find plenty of opportunities to enjoy as many benefits from your second career as you did from your first.
Naturally, your own choice of a second act career may depend upon your experience, financial situation, and goals for the future. Even if you think you’ve only got experience in one kind of career, plenty of the skills you’ve picked up working, raising kids, and even volunteering for PTA will transfer nicely to other opportunities.
Most importantly, you should consider a second act career that can help you fulfill your goals. With those goals in mind, consider some career changes that can help you achieve them.
Would you enjoy waking up in the morning to a job that makes a difference in your community or even in the world? Every nonprofit needs people who can help increase awareness, improve efficiency, and most of all, raise money. Saleswomen, marketers, managers, executive assistants, and even women with volunteer experience can impress hiring managers at nonprofit organizations.
You may not have to give up a decent income for a nonprofit job either. For example, the Association of Fundraising Professionals reported starting salaries in the mid-sixties for average, full-time fundraisers and much higher earning potential for professionals who know how to bring in large sums. Many nonprofits also offer flexible and part-time hours for the right people. You can feel great about the work you do and feel better about your daily schedule.
Would you like to spend more time traveling or even visiting exotic destinations overseas? You might consider a couple of growing opportunities that will allow you to get paid while you travel:
Lots of Baby Boomers simply want more time to enjoy their hobbies, care for an aging parent, or simply relax. Of course, you might seek part-time or freelance work that’s based upon your prior experience.
If you still have ambitions to earn a decent income during your working hours, you should know that some professions, like working as an insurance agent, real estate broker, or financial consultant can lend themselves very well to a flexible schedule and a shared or home office.
You can enter professions like these by taking a class, passing a test, and filing the correct documentation. Of course, your skills in sales, management, and marketing can help you thrive. Depending upon your experience and goals, you might also consider at-home customer service jobs, submitting your writing to paid blogs, newspapers, and magazines, computer and web development, and many creative, analytical, sales, or technical professions.
For instance, if you’re simply skilled with spreadsheet or accounting software, you can find clients who need your help but would rather not hire a full-time employee or have to provide an office.
As you age, you may find yourself less able to tolerate the long commute, stressful work environment, or long days that your job demands. If you’ve already achieved certain financial milestones, you could be ready to downsize your job before you’re entirely ready to retire.
At this point, you might have valid concerns that you will have trouble getting the sort of simple job you want because the bosses will consider you overqualified. If so, be sure to read a previous article to learn how to avoid getting labelled as overqualified by simplifying your resume and learning how to handle questions that may arise during your interview.
You may find it tougher to switch careers after age 50 than you would have when you were younger. You’re probably more set in your habits and a little apprehensive that you won’t have time to recover from a mistake. Some of you may even wonder what your spouse, grown children, or friends will think of you.
While you may have other people in mind while you consider switching paths, you need to make the decision based upon your own goals for the future. Realistically, assess the benefits of pursing another line of work and then figure out what you could offer new employers.
After that, don’t wait to take action. Start connecting with people who already do the kinds of work you would enjoy transitioning to and especially, the people who can help you land your job or gig.
Once you understand your future goals and have considered realistic steps you need to take to reach them, you simply need to make plans and take action. Remember you’re not just setting out to change your career — you’re making plans to change your life. If you rely upon the intelligence, work ethic, and skills that have helped you enjoy success in the past, you’re bound to land on your feet.