Are you worried about losing your job over 50?
The chances are that if you are over 50 it will happen to you. Studies show that nearly a third of UK over 50s are made redundant and in the US well over 50% lose their jobs. Many more over 50s feel insecure and worry that they are the next ones for the scrapheap.
It’s stressful and depressing.
So what do you do if you suddenly find you’re losing your job at over 50? How do you pay your mortgage, support the children through university or look after your aging parents? How do you survive until retirement without a job?
And in these days of corporate takeovers, the employees over 50 are the most likely to be losing their jobs. That’s enough to make anyone depressed, leave alone having to wrestle with the stereotypes of ageism when job-seeking at a mature age.
Everyone knows that it’s much harder to get another job when you’re over 50. People don’t say you’re too old, they just make you feel it. You’re not up to date. You’ll take more sick leave than youngsters. You don’t have the energy. You cost too much.
It’s a nightmare scenario, draining you of self-confidence and stressing you out.
If or when it happens to you, where do you begin? You have so many questions: how to change your job when you’re over 50, how to start a new career, what to do when you lose your job. Who do you turn to?
Here are 6 people who provide the ideas, answers, advice and help you’re looking for. Read their stuff. They will help you to repurpose your career, reinvent yourself and get you on track to that second act or encore job.
Marc Miller: how do you change jobs after age 50?
After 30 years with IBM, Marc Miller changed careers to become a high school teacher, got burn out and had to move on again. Marc has now changed countries too, having recently moved to Mexico. He knows it’s tough to move on, but he’s a shining example of someone who has gone into more than one totally new career when he was over 50.
Marc shows how you can ‘repurpose’ your career by taking the skills you already have and identifying new fields to which you can transfer those skills.
He breaks down the task of changing jobs into manageable chunks. Keeping one foot firmly on your existing ground, you ‘pivot’ towards your new job/career in small practical steps.
Through his website, Marc provides membership of a community where you can seek help and feedback on how to ‘pivot’, as well as courses and one to one counselling. Take a look at his book, ‘Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life’. It has lots of exercises to get you taking those steps towards your new career.
Marc is a Next Avenue Influencer on Aging
John Tarnoff: Can you start a second career in your 50s?
John gives you a new perspective on a second career. John’s route to a happier working future consists of one key paradigm – reinventing yourself on the basis of who you are, and one key assumption – resolving your past and shedding the old baggage and self-limitations that stand in your way. John show you how to reinvent yourself and look for opportunities where people need the skills you have. So much better than making your CV fit into a description of a job you probably don’t want anyway.
John Tarnoff preaches what he has already practised. Whilst some of his job changes were his choice, he’s worked out that 39% of his 18 job changes were through job loss. But he went on to reinvent himself. He knows the deck is stacked against older workers, but he’s offering ways to deal with the problems that so many of us over 50s face.
His book ‘Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50’ is a great source of inspiration. It’ll help you change your attitude towards your skills and abilities and show you that you still have loads to offer. John offers career counselling to help you regain your confidence and build a plan to achieve a great second or third career.
John is a Next Avenue Influencer on Aging.
Marci Alboher: How can you begin an encore career and make a difference?
Marci Alboher works with encore.org, an organisation dedicated to tapping the talent of people over 50 as a force for good.
Encore.org is looking to change our culture by providing leadership through a network of encore champions. The aim is to develop and cultivate new ways to engage encore talent in solving social problems. With a demographic bulge of older people and a relative shortage of youngsters, it’s time to pull the ‘active elderly’ back into the economy.
Marci is currently the vice president, strategic communications, specialising in encore careers. Her book, Encore Career Handbook, sets out a roadmap for doing well in an encore career which also satisfies the need to feel that you’re doing some good. Marci says that she wrote that book on the basis that people are seeking ‘purpose, passion and a paycheck’. She has been delighted to discover that people are using the book to create support and accountability groups.
Marci has commented that access to resources for people seeking encore careers are not accessible to everyone. She’s followed through and written a course that you can do online at LinkedIn, a terrific tool for finding a new encore career. How great is that as a place to start your career change!
Nancy Collamer: How can you work after retirement?
Nancy Collamer, tagged as a ‘semi-retirement coach’ concentrates on what you can do AFTER you’ve retired.
Many people in their 60s and 70s are full of energy and enthusiasm and they want to harness it into something interesting and useful. They have a contribution to make, want to leave a legacy and feel they’ve done a bit of good in the world.
Nancy shows you how to create a semi-retirement. She demonstrates how you can transform your passions into a new business or a job or channel your interests into a volunteering role, even if you are retired and in your 60s or older. You can use her book, Second Act Careers, for ideas. Her course, Design Your Second Act: The Ultimate Toolkit for Professionals Who Want to Work Part-Time During Retirement, takes you through the process on a step by step basis.
You can also read Nancy’s advice on working with passion in her articles for Forbes and Next Avenue.
Kerry Hannon: What do you do when losing your job over 5o?
Kerry Hannon has written a great article on the things to do or not to do when losing your job in the US. Don’t worry: the tips are good wherever you live and work.
Kerry offers advice on the topics of career transitions, personal finance, and retirement. She writes for AARP, NextAvenue.org, Forbes, Business Insider and USA Today. Her award winning books include Getting the Job You Want After 50, and What’s Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond.
Her latest book, Never Too Old to get Rich, published last week, is about creating your own job. It’s a guide to starting your own business mid-life. How about that as a career change when all seems lost?
John Lees: How to get a job you love after 50
John is one of the best known UK career strategy advisers.
He’s often on the BBC and he’s the author of ‘How to Get a Job You Love 2019 – 2020’ and 14 other books on the agonising nitty gritty of job search.
If you think you’re losing your job over 50, John has plenty of advice on how to get a new job or move into a different field. John helps you work out how to get from where you are now to a future that you’ll love – even if you don’t know what that different area of work is. He’s particularly good on moving to a ‘portfolio’ career, which can be such a good option for the later stages of your career.
You are Never Too Old to Work
So it happened to you. Your worst fears materialised and now you’re losing your job at over 50. Or maybe you realised that you couldn’t hack another 10 years or more of the same old grind. You had that epiphany about making a big career change.
It drove you into depression – after all, who wouldn’t feel depressed when your carefully laid plans for life as you age end up on the scrapheap?
But you picked yourself up, you read the books and did the courses. You realised how much you still have to offer the world, how you can give back for the bounty you’ve enjoyed in the past.
You got down to the work of sorting out a different future. You’ve taken the steps that the wise folk point out and you’ve got yourself a strategy to deal with losing your job over 50. It’s been hard at times, an emotional roller coaster.
Imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve landed that job which is oh-so-much-more-interesting than the one you lost? Imagine that you took a deep breath and made the jump into a new career. And all of this when you are well over 50! Yes, it takes time and energy, but now you know it’s doable.
So if you see yourself losing your job loss over 50 or you just need a massive life change, get reading, take advice, create a strategy to lead you to a more prosperous future. Make your action plan and put it into action, one small step at a time.
You are NEVER TOO OLD to work if you have the energy and application.