Your Career After 50: Turning Passion Into a Job
What seemed like a good idea at 25 wouldn’t always be your first choice at 50. That goes for nights out, tattoos, and sometimes even careers.
It isn’t uncommon for people over 50 to feel stuck in a job they just aren’t passionate about. Many post-Depression Era baby boomers picked a career for its practicality, unlike Millennials and Gen X-ers, who are told to pursue their passion in a career even if it means living in a studio apartment with roommates (or on your parents’ dime). It’s not a surprise that those boomers now feel like work becomes stale when the practical reasons for pursuing that career in the first place are no longer there.
Boomers on the Job
But recent trends make it clear: baby boomers aren’t stuck. They have a slew of desirable qualifications that make them ideal job candidates. When Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York City this year, his first batch of appointees had an average age of 61. De Blasio said he chose “wisdom over youth.”
Mark Wayman, the owner of the executive recruiting firm The Foundation, LLC, wrote recently that in the last year he placed five executives all in their 50s and 60s—and all earning over a million dollars.
And if it’s a philanthropic career that’s more enticing, baby boomers are succeeding there, too. Tamara England-Zelenski asked for a leave of absence from work and joined the Peace Corps at age 57. She was surprised to discover that the Corps was actually looking for older volunteers. Sharon Keid, another middle-aged Corps member, parlayed her experience in the corps into a non-profit job and even developed her own company—a dating website for volunteer-minded people—at age 55.
So how can you make the transition into the career that’s fit for you after 50?
Find Your Fit
If you’re deciding whether to take your career in a new direction, first take some serious time to reflect. Ask yourself:
– Do you have a passion that could turn into your next career or job?
– Do you need to make as much money as you earn now?
– What kind of problems do you like to solve?
– What achievements or outcomes make you feel your work is meaningful?
– What would you like your legacy to be?
The answers to these questions can guide your search for the right career fit. Use them to begin developing a model job description—something that fits into your life and passions in a way your current employment doesn’t. If your ideal career involves some skills you haven’t used in a while, try joining a professional or volunteer organization to hone them a little. For example, if it’s PR you’re interested in, volunteer to plan the organization’s events. Then when you’re seeking out your next job, you can show that you’re both passionate and knowledgeable.
Contact an Employment Attorney Today
Wherever you are in your career, the lawyers at HKM employment attorneys are available for all your legal needs. Contact them today.