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  • Writer's pictureMichele Andorfer

Career Pivot in Your 50s: Exploring Second Act Professions

Looking to pivot to a new career in your 50s? Turns out, you’re not alone! According to the AARP, 62% of 50-somethings say that the pandemic made them reprioritize their lives and look for careers that fit their lives better.

So, if you’ve been feeling burnt out, unfulfilled, frustrated, or bored, take a look at what could be causing those feelings. Chances are, your career could be playing a big role.

Whether you’re actively looking for a change, you just got laid off, or you’re reentering the workforce after some time away, it’s never too late to make the transition and start exploring your second act.

Separate Your Skills from Your Title

If you’re one of those people who are considering a major career change, or even a tweak to your current situation, one of the first things you should do is to separate your current skill set from your actual profession.

For example, you may be a teacher by profession but you’re also a problem solver, a creative thinker, a classroom manager, a cheerleader, and so much more! Once you’re able to separate your skills from your profession, you’ll start to see how you can apply those skills to other careers.

Other popular second-act careers include:

  • Teacher to business owner - use your ability to work in a high-pressure environment, with different personalities, to accomplish difficult tasks to your advantage when starting a new business.

  • Retail store manager to event coordinator - Managers and coordinators have a lot of skills in common. Both need excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills to be successful.

  • Sales representative to marketing specialist - Use your ability to get to know a product from your sales rep past and transfer it to a marketing role.

  • Nurse to healthcare administrator - Who better to be in a healthcare admin role than someone who has worked the floors of a hospital for years?

  • Flight attendant to hospitality - Flight attendants and hospitality workers have very similar skill sets and know how to keep customers happy.

  • Journalist to PR specialist - A journalist is excellent at research and writing, which are both necessary skills for PR specialists.

  • Therapist to life coach - A therapist can transition their listening, observation, and communication skills to the role of a life coach.

When you really sit down and think about it, the possibilities for your next chapter are endless!

Network. Network. Network!

If you want to explore a new industry without making a full commitment, start talking to people who are already working in it. Connect with them one-on-one and find out how they got into this field, what they like about it, and what skills they use on a daily basis. This can help you understand if you would like to work in this field and what you could bring to the table.

Update Your Resume

When applying for new jobs, you’re going to need an updated resume. If you’re switching careers, focus less on where you’ve worked and more on what you did there.

For example, if you are a social worker moving into a career counselor position, focus on the fact that you helped people work through difficult situations. The more you are able to show the hiring manager how your skills transition, the better.

Now that you know you want to make a transition, you have to jump in and do it. Eliminate your limiting beliefs and start making the change! You won’t regret it.



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