Career Change at 50? Yes you can!

7th June 2019

In generations gone by, the last decade plus of your working life was viewed as the golden age of employment.  You had reached the stage that your knowledge and ability were at their highest, and at the same time, the major outgoings of mortgage and children’s’ education had been paid off.  You could view this phase as a coast towards retirement, no longer an ugly scramble up the greasy pole.

But the technological revolution has put paid to that.  In every workplace, the application of technology does not simply support our work, but actually drives activities, offering the chance for organisations to both automate lower-skilled tasks as well as address more demanding projects in a cost and time-efficient manner.  And many hard working people have suddenly found themselves out of work and seeking alternative employment, and finding the recruitment world a very alien place for which they have had no preparation.

One such client was Michael, 54*.  Following a successful 30 year career in a range of financial institutions, Michael found himself out of work and not sure what to do next.  Said Michael: “I found redundancy very difficult, especially because I still had the pressure of big bills each month.  I was certain my age was a factor although I could not prove it.  But I definitely felt that younger people were being kept.”

This is a scenario that Emma May, Director of Operations and Employment at Work Avenue, the community’s leading employment and business support organisation recognises only too well.  “We see countless clients who have found themselves in this situation”, she comments.  “But people should not panic.  This can be your opportunity to establish your new priorities and your strengths.  Be honest about your contemporary skills, and if necessary, look to upskill yourself.  Upgrade your CV so it reflects where you want to go rather than where you have come from.  And think about all the contacts you have made over the years who can assist you now, in person and on Linkedin.

Michael added: “I did despair at first.  But after reshaping my skills and my focus, I am now enjoying my second career in the not for profit sector and my life actually feels so much more purposeful.”

Emma commented: “Above all, you do not have to make these changes alone.  There is so much support available: it really is never too late to transform your career.”

* name changed to protect identity.