Career Change in Your 50’s

For years, surveys have revealed that over half of the workforce around the world are unhappy with their current jobs. Could this be because of compensation, benefits, work hours, or the work environment? Perhaps this is why many employees are switching jobs and changing career paths as this often the quickest solution. However, this is an easy move for younger members of the workforce but for workers over 50, the decision is more challenging because they often feel that staying in their current role until retirement is the only option for them.

While there is a certain truth to that because you are closer to retirement when you reach your 50’s, but it is never too late to begin exploring what else is out there. Whether for a new experience or because you are not as satisfied as you used to be, considering to switch jobs is not a bad decision as long as you know where you really want to be and what you want to be doing. After all, being passionate in what you do, and having purpose, is always something we would take over a unfulfilling 9-5 job, right?

At 50 though, your age plays a bigger role than your skills and experience in deciding whether to switch or not. Chances are, you have already been in the workforce for more than 20 years and that alone is already enough to get you qualified for any job you would decide to pursue. However, since age is the key player in this situation, some jobs may not be comfortable enough for you anymore. This is why most people would say “just wait until retirement”, but if it bothers you and you really are unhappy, thoughts of switching will not leave your mind. It will always be there, and it might also affect the quality of work you do in your current job and many other aspects of your life!

But before you take the risk, make sure that you do your research and that you fully understand what you desire first. Are you changing your career because you feel burned out? Is it a job change that you really want or maybe just a few days off work to refresh your mind? Are you looking at changing your career path completely, or maybe just switch positions and stay in the same field? These are just some of the many questions you should ask yourself to make sure you are doing the right thing in taking that leap.

Here are a few reasons people decide to switch jobs and go down different career paths even when they have spent most of their lives working somewhere else. Check out the list below to help you decide if you should switch careers or just stay in your current job and wait out until your retirement

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Too much stress

No matter how long you work in the same job and master your tasks, stress will always be around. One of the main reasons people think of switching jobs is the stress they feel in their current employment. Even with many rewards and other benefits, it is only a matter of time before your stress builds up to the point where you would just say that you have had enough.

Many workers over 50 find that since they only have a few years left before retirement, the stress they go through just isn’t worth it anymore. There are a lot of people who work at higher positions and ranks who are willing to step down and start anew at this age because their main goal is to reduce stress.

Follow their Passion

When beginning a career, young workers often have more given limited options for employment. Most people are more drawn to making money and living with a more stable income to support lifestyle, and perhaps new young family, than pursuing what they are passionate about. This can sometimes be the main reason for burning out too early into your career and then wanting to pursue something else.

Given the tenure you accumulate when you reach your 50’s, a lot more options become available for you. Most people who switch around this age decide that living with a little risk and earning less than what they used to is more worth it than sticking to the desk job they have had since they began working. A lot of those who move to a different path often pursue something in a more creative setting or drift to entrepreneurship to gain more control over what they do.

Investment and Entrepreneurship

No individual dreams of being an employee for the rest of their lives. Upon reaching a certain age, you will start to have thoughts on investing the money you are earning for a better future.

 As you get closer to retirement, you may feel a stronger urge to make this happen and switch from working your day job to investing your money in something that will give you more even after retirement. Entrepreneurship becomes a common move for those who decide to change careers at this age and invest in something they are more passionate about. According to, people over 55 are more likely to succeed in entrepreneurship than those in their early 20’s. If you have been thinking of a business to start, this may be the best time to begin.

Explore new skills

Another popular reason to shift careers is the desire to learn and gain new skills. If over the last 20 years you have worked in the same field, chances are you have developed a certain set of skills that are useful to your current job.Having the same skill set for most of your life keeps you in the same area of expertise, where your tasks and responsibilities become a routine.

Routines may seem like a good thing when you are in your early 20’s as the structure will help you discipline yourself into becoming an effective worker. But upon reaching your 50’s, you may find this boring and have a stronger craving for learning something new. While there are courses you can take online to gain new skills and learn something new, not everybody is given the freedom to take these in their free time and switching jobs become the next best step.

Preparation for retirement

Not everybody plans for their retirement at an early age. Most people tend to begin planning for their retirement when they start getting closer to it. Similar to investing and beginning a business, many workers are deciding to switch careers and move to different industries to prepare for their lives after retirement.

Being part of this age group and given the years you have put into the workforce, you have already earned your way towards great offers for jobs that you would like to pursue. Whether it is in the same industry, or a completely different one, your tenure and experience are sure to get you those offers with higher compensation and better benefits. By reaping these rewards for all your years of hard work you should now have time to reviewing your life goals and plan for your lifestyle in your 50’s and in retirement.

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