Entering a new career at a later age in life can be risky. Changing careers past 50 is sometimes motivated by the desire to try something new; at other times, circumstances force it.
That said, there are a number of options available when it comes to looking for a new career post-retirement. In almost all fields, older women can effectively leverage their rich professional experiences and personal wisdom and maturity.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
If you have the resources, starting up a business of your own is a good option at this age. By the time you’re 50, you will have accumulated thirty-odd years’ worth of experience in terms of work, time management, and interacting and understanding other people – good qualities to have to have in the entrepreneurial field.
Additionally, you get to be your own boss, about as nice a change as could be for the majority of us out there. Build on your interests to fuel your venture with passion.
If you’re the creative type, think dance academies, libraries, art centres, social organisations; if you’re into technology, think of becoming a tech brand’s franchisee. If you like animals – why not start a kennel or grooming centre?
Teach an Online Course
Online education has become a very lucrative field, with many corporates recognising online degrees and diplomas for the purpose of recruitment. As someone with a lifetime of experience in your field, you can set up an online course at websites like Udemy and Teachable.
Of course, you’ll have to get comfortable creating video tutorials and a course syllabus for that. But you can do that with simple tools like Powerpoint, which can then be used to create a video. Getting your family and friends to take the course and give you feedback will help you improve your course until it is perfect.
Setting Up a Tutoring Centre
Running a tutoring or tuition centre from home can be a low-investment, high-returns venture, provided you start simple. The most you’ll need is an area of your home you cordon off from the rest of your family during work hours, a table, some chairs, and stationery.
Depending on your educational qualifications, you can teach any age group of children an unlimited number of subjects. Spread the word around through flyers, advertisements, and social networking websites, and in time, you can have a steady income throughout the year – sometimes with bonuses during exam time!
This is another excellent option for women over 50. A vast number of companies abroad prefer to outsource their administrative, clerical, data entry, and even content and creative writing assignments directly to individuals in India.
Fiverr and Upwork are just two examples of websites which connect clients to potential freelance workers. You can choose to offer any number of services on these websites such as writing, creating art and illustrations and many more, depending on what your talents are.
Network marketing does often come off as vaguely dodgy and pyramid-scheme-like, but there are a few well-established companies out there with whom one can earn and save good amounts of money.
Always research thoroughly first into the history of the company, and try to get reviews from family, friends, and acquaintances not directly in their employ to get a good idea of how they work.
Amway, Herbalife, Avon and Oriflame are examples of established direct-selling companies that use network marketing to sell their products.
Unusual Career Options
If you’re looking for an additional source of income (as opposed to switching careers outright), the concept of mystery shopping might appeal to you.
This is when a company commissions individuals to shop at their stores and review the quality of the goods and services provided – but secretly, without identifying themselves as reviewers.
The entire experience can be pretty fun overall, and will certainly appeal to those who prefer unconventional avenues. International Service Check is one such company with several Indian and international clients.
Points to Note:
Sometimes, going solo by creating your own job as a woman past 50 is just not possible. You may not have the finances, resources, or support to do so.
When searching for a job past 50, the biggest factor that goes against you when it comes to employers is that they will automatically assume that you expect to be paid as highly as you would’ve been in your previous job/career.
Consequently, when filling positions, they prefer to exhaust their pool of younger (and cheaper) applicants before they can consider you. It’s best to indicate on your letter of application that you’re willing to be paid at the same level an entry-level candidate would receive.
Don’t be disheartened when new colleagues assume you’re stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to technology – prove them wrong. If you actually do need to brush up on your tech skills, though, try to do so as soon as possible.
Expecting to replicate the level of success of your previous job/career can be unrealistic – remember that it took you close to thirty years to get where you were before.
At the same time, it’s not a bad thing to continue to be ambitious and to want to grow. Try to maintain a balance between your expectations and reality.
For more ideas, also see Careers For Women Over 50: A New Inning In Your Golden Years
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