For a long time, the idea of working in retirement was the furthest thing from an older American’s mind. After all, retirement is supposed to be the time when you stop working, relax, and do those things you enjoy most.
However, the last few years have disrupted many of the “usual” business and financial norms. Changing careers late in life in just one of them. According to a survey by the American Institute for Economic Research, some 29 million American over the age of 45 have changed careers. And, although changing your career is listed as very stressful, 82 percent made the change successfully and raked in a nice payoff as a result. 87 percent reported being happier and 67 percent said they were less stressed after the change.
Another driver of this trend is what’s known as “The Great Resignation.” A recent Bankrate study found that 55 percent of adults are looking to change jobs within the next 12 months, and a recent survey from Resume Builder found that 40 percent of workers age 54 and older have considered switching jobs because of the new opportunities available.
What are these new opportunities that are so attractive to older Americans? One side effect of the Great Resignation is that companies are short of good workers. Many Boomers have skills and experience. The AARP reports that their work ethic and experience are in demand in this hot job market.
Tips for Making a Career Change Late in Your Career
Analyze why you want to make the change. Is it a genuine interest in another career, or is t perhaps driven by some other issue in your life? Is your desire to change coming from something other than your work life? If you are unhappy in your relationship or social situation, a new career won’t solve that.
Take a deep dive into what your work goals are and what kind of career you truly want. What would make you happy and fulfilled at work?
If your new career choice requires new skills, do you have the time and money to acquire those skills? For example, if you want to work remotely and you don’t have the necessary technology skills, you may have to take courses to get up to speed so that you can apply for the career you want. If you are heading in a completely new direction that requires academic training, you may have to attend college and get a degree.
Consider the options once you are ready to make the move. What will the rewards be? What opportunities will be open to you? Can you easily find a job, or should you consider starting your own business or practice?
Retirement may look different for the current crop of Boomers, who are active and engaged. Many of them are looking at their third act as an opportunity to achieve goals they may have abandoned when they were younger. And, if their new career brings them more happiness and financial success, their retirement will be even sweeter when it comes.
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