Prepare For A Midlife Career Change

Posted by | 25/03/2017 | Career Advice

How many times have you heard someone say that had they knew something was going to happen in their workplace, they would have left their job and gone somewhere else? It’s not an uncommon situation. When you consider the technological advances that continue to be made, jobs are constantly being replaced by automation. In other cases, the cost of doing business has risen to the level where companies are forced to downsize in order the stay in business.

It is a scary situation for any employee, but what if you are in your 50’s or 60’s? Do you take the changing employment landscape as a signal to just empty your desk and opt for early retirement? In some cases that is the logical choice but what about those mature workers who are not in the financial position to retire early? Or what if quitting work is not an option for other reasons not related to income or lifestyle?

There has been a lot of pressure coming through the aging of Baby Boomers in the workforce. Early retirement at 50 or 55 are not the typical options for many who are cash-strapped or healthy enough to continue to work well into their 70’s. In fact, while decades ago you would only see senior employees holding down ‘token’ positions, that is no longer the case. A midlife career change is forcing more and more 50-something workers to stay on the job longer.

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What makes this even more interesting is that more and more employers are turning to mature workers when staffing needs a fresh perspective. Where younger employees are facing job loss due to downsizing or layoffs, mature workers are being encouraged to join teams because of the skills they currently have from their years of experience.

Mature workers have created the movement of a midlife career change and taken control of their futures as a result. Known for leadership qualities, loyalty and fewer days off due to sickness or family commitments, mature workers are keeping companies alive that may have otherwise suffered a different kind of fate at the hands of younger, inexperienced entrepreneurs. That’s because the average mature worker has 30 or more years of employment under their belt. They’ve gone through the rough stuff and have become resourceful.

Statistics also show that the number of successful new startups making news today are ones that are either created by or operated by entrepreneurs in their 50’s and beyond. Need a smart business partner who won’t cheat you, tell it like it is, has realistic goals and won’t fall for the average get rich scam? Find someone on the edge of making a midlife career change and you will make the best investment in the life of your business. What pushes a senior employee into this category is the immense list of transferrable skills they picked up along the way which literally took a lifetime to amass. So, the next time you see a grey-haired co-worker at the water cooler and hear a conversation about changes coming to their department, be sure to watch what happens. That’s because if that person makes a third quarter transition, you’ll want to hitch a ride and become part of their success.

By W. George Elliott

 

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