NewsSwitching Careers After 50

Switching Careers After 50

At FiftyUp Club we often tell members to compare, switch and save when it comes to household bills like energy, life insurance, health insurance and more.

But what if you want to switch careers?

While we don’t have an offer for FiftyUp Club members on career switching, we can provide tips and help guide you into finding the new career.

Dawn Graham, Director of Career Management for the Executive MBA Program at The Wharton School and host of Career Talk on Sirius XM Radio, says “seize success”.


Your plan should include:


Your plan will fall in the sweet spot where all three meet (see Venn diagram below).


Are you a whiz at analytics? A know-it-all in rocket science? Your skillset is everything you know from your current or previous jobs/careers. They may be things you want to keep doing OR they may be things you never want to do again. You’ll need to decide if you want to learn new skills or use what you know.


If you spent most of your career miserable and in a job you hated, you are more than likely not wanting to go back into that field. So what are your interests? Stamp collecting? Dog walking? Volunteering at a shelter? Reading to others? Take what you love to do and make it your new career.



Now that you have mapped out your skills and plotted out your interests, it’s time to look at the job market. You’ll want to find jobs that match your skills and interests. To find them, there is of course, the traditional route like job ads in a newspaper, but you need to think “bigger picture” and look at LinkedIn, Facebook (yes, they have a jobs board), Gumtree, and networking!

Most online applications use a computerized Applicant Tracking System (ATS), that scan online resumes and applications for the right keywords and experience the employer is seeking. This is where networking will help you get past the computerized bias. You can network face-to-face, online by reaching out to hiring managers, or in meetup groups.

Example: if you know someone at a place you want to apply, have them introduce you to the hiring manager or send your resume through OR if you are on LinkedIn, do not hesitate to reach out and introduce yourself to the hiring manager.

Now that you have a list of jobs you want to apply for polish up your resume to reflect your skills to match what the job application is looking for. Each resume sent should be customised for each application since not all job applications want the same thing. It is handy to create a list or spreadsheet of jobs you have applied for and what resume you sent out.

If all of the above sounds daunting, don’t hesitate to reach out to a career coach to assist you in your career switch.

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FiftyUp Club
Switching Careers After 50

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erhard from QLD commented:

I found this article is too general, it's good to start talking this issue but not much help at all. We all know to find a job, once passing 40's, it's already not very easy, don't mention when we are over 50 now. I will hope the members who are in the Hiring department/agency can give us more help on how do you do the resume or offering some free advices for the members who are looking for a new careers. Thanks. 

christine from NSW commented:

Can FiftyUp Club lobby Government to address our ageist labour market? Surely there must be some collective voice that can be directed to address this huge and very well hidden problem. 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

What about starting a product and service comparison site, make a great return from commission from people switching over. Oh yes make it sound like it is a club for over 50’s not a big money making enterprise. Ha ha well done, I wish I had done that 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

As someone who is studying a Master of Ageing and with a particular interest in mature workforce (being 56 myself), I find little or no help in this article. Particularly the comment "So what are your interests? Stamp collecting? Dog walking? Volunteering at a shelter? Reading to others? Take what you love to do and make it your new career." To me this just underlines the stereotypes. You could have talked to people about investigating the $10,000 the government will pay employers to employ over 50s. You could have talked about the number of jobs advertised as "young and dynamic" - even in a country where ageism is illegal. There are so many real issues for us over 50, but I guess we could all start collecting stamps and walking dogs. 

Maree from NSW commented:

Now that I have "retired" I do alterations and repairs to garments for a minimal charge. The most important return for this "job" is that I see people almost every day and it satisfies my need to be useful. It stimulates my mind as I often have to plan the alteration. It keeps my hands supple and active and I feel like a much needed cog in the wheel of my community. So much better than having that "no longer needed" feeling. 

Sue from QLD commented:

Thank you - I will look into that, it seems a waste to just sit in a corner and wither away. 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

Hi Team, does anyone edit these articles? or perhaps it is a Freudian slip given the majority of comments made your line "If all of the above sounds taunting, don’t hesitate to reach out to a career coach to assist you in your career switch" at the risk of being labelled as a pedantic so and so shouldn't taunting be daunting?... 

Shelia at Fifty Up Club
Shelia at Fifty Up Club from NSW commented:

Hi! We do have editors but we all do make mistakes. Thank you for that catch! 

Mary from NSW commented:

The advice in this article is all very nice in theory, but has little to no validity in real practice in Australia. Based on official Australian unemployment figures, there are approximately 714,000 registered unemployed people of working age, including new entries into the workforce, plus 1.1 million underemployed and another 1.05 million so-called "hidden" unemployed, totalling somewhere around 2.9 million people. Given that there are only about 175,000 job vacancies to go around, it doesn't take great mathematical skills to realise that chances are very slim for working age Australians in general, let alone us "over 50s", of finding a new (or even any kind of) job. The chances of success are particularly poor for those who have acquired higher qualifications and experience in one or more advanced technology sectors, like myself. At this point, our only realistically viable choices are to consider either following the industries that have already packed up and moved away to another country, or "dumbing down" our resumes to fit the lower level of jobs still available in the country. Unfortunately, for those who own a house and have a mortgage to pay, moving away is not really an option. In most other cases, even the latter option is highly impractical, due to the fact that we are constantly stonewalled by the misguided attitude of those responsible for hiring, who themselves lack experience and have not yet realised that they are in fact impoverishing the companies they work for when hiring inexperienced staff, or when letting go of their older staff members. Perhaps somewhere down the line, the management of these companies will begin to realise their mistake, as they watch their companies lose competitiveness and market share, and finally correct their hiring strategies and steer their companies back onto the right course. Unfortunately by then, if and when they do, it will most likely be too little and too late for most of us now in the "over 50s" category. 

Tim from QLD replied to Mary:

Spot on Mary. 

Kevin from SA commented:

What about if your 65 can you realistically expect to be hired although age discrimination is supposed to be against the law is it realistic to expect to be hired or to study for a completely new career and then expect to be hired how many times do we hear of people over 50 applying for job after job with no success so what chance does a pretty fit 65 year old have. Center Link expect you to look for work until you are sixty five and a half now the new pension laws have come in and that age is only going to rise every year until it gets to 70 god help a 69 year old been told they have to still look for work until they reach their 70th birthday that is if they are still fit enough. 

Anonymous from VIC commented:

I'm 55. I have had success with jobs at elections and ABS - census. I've found 5 jobs in the last two years. They are not full time but have been great to get back into the workforce after not working for 20 years raising my family. Jobs are there. I now have permanent casual work plus a new 4 month contract with the government..keep looking..not all employers are ageist. 

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