Foundation Job Skills for 2nd Half of Life Career Pivots
You aren’t stuck doing one thing forever – explore!
There is no better time to follow your dreams than now. Age has always impacted job opportunities. From when you’re young and looking for just any experience to when you’re in your prime of work.
As we live longer and longer our career choices become more and more impactful. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 40 percent of people ages 55 and older were working or actively looking for work in 2014 and that is expected to increase rapidly through 2024 while the rates of those working under 55 are expected to remain the same. The number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to double by 2060 from 52 million in 2018.
Now more and more support has become available for older adults as they transition their careers at all stages of their lives. Retirement used to happen around one’s 60s, but these days people are living longer and healthier lives. As the baby boomer generation ages, many of them don’t want to retire or financially can’t. However, the kinds of work these older employees want to do and how they want to do it shifts dramatically.
Finding work after 50 is important, especially at this time. Unemployment rates for those 55 and over leaped up during the pandemic from 2.6% in Feb. 2020 to 13.6% in April of 2020 according to the U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
Leaders In Career Pivots and Shifts
Career transitions for those over 50 are nothing new, but now there are multiple communities that support these transitions. Marc Miller started Career Pivot to help people explore possibilities back in 2011 at the start of the recession. While Helen Dennis started Renewment as a community to support working women as they transition into retirement and beyond. Whether you are thinking about transitioning to another career, pursuing a passion, starting a business, or enjoying your shift in another way, a community of people to help support you on your journey can make a big difference!
There are many reasons that people transition from one career to another. As people age, they tend to re-evaluate their values and goals. Often this means that they also start to consider different paths to fulfilling their personal or professional goals. While transitioning can be a process full of uncertainties it can also be a fun and exciting journey!
Here are some of the reasons people transition:
- Purpose – Sometimes our sense of purpose and self shift as we age. Many times choose other career paths that align better with one’s values creates a renewed sense of purpose.
- Freedom – Most people need to keep working but want to do it on their terms. They want to work on what they want when they want and how they want.
- Change – Most have been raised to be an employee. Sometimes that becomes routine. New routines mean they learn how to be accountable for managing themselves, their time, and their end goals. This change can be exciting and fun! Plus new opportunities come with new learnings and new challenges.
- Broader Horizons – There are all kinds of ways to make money. Non-traditional employment is often unfamiliar to those over 50. Transitions can give them an opportunity to explore those and other areas that they may be passionate about that didn’t exist when they first went looking for work.
What Does Transitioning Between Jobs Look like for Real People?
Transitioning online is all about learning new skills to market, sell, or utilize the skills you already have – this is called upskilling. Through upskilling older adults are taking their next career moves into their own hands. They are building on foundation skills, learning how to start their own business, and assuring they have the basic internet skills to compete in an ever more technological world.
Linda S. – Sewing Teacher and Artist
While technically retired, Linda still teaches sewing out of her home and sells things online. Due to COVID-19, she has had to switch some classes from in-person to Zoom. Linda has learned how to use social media and e-commerce platforms to support her business.
- “I want to be able to use Instagram and Facebook for my business. Even though I might learn a little thing in each class – it is one thing more than I knew before. I like to look at it as I know a little more than yesterday.”
- “After I took the class I went on the Nextdoor site. It took me a while to find the different sections but eventually, I was able to click the right buttons. Had I not taken the class, I couldn’t have done it on my own.”
- “I always sell things on eBay but the class motivated me to revisit some of the listings I had on there. I actually sold some golf clubs there because he motivated me to add a new listing. They sold in two days!”
Wade Yarbrough – GetSetUp Technology Educator(Southport, NC)
Wade is 66 and went from learning in a 4 room schoolhouse in Tennessee to working in healthcare information systems. He didn’t see himself retiring so became an adjunct teacher and later a GetSetUp Guide. What started as a part-time gig at GetSetUp later turned into a full-time position. He’s not planning to quit working anytime soon!
- “I didn’t want to go work at the hardware store. I wanted something I found interesting and rewarding and challenging. At this age, it’s more about the mission than the money.”
- “I liked the [GetSetUp] mission about helping seniors feel connected — to find a career or have their virtual happy hour. It seemed very rewarding and it has been. I really enjoy interacting with clients and getting that ‘oh ok! Great!’ I love that. And the ‘Now I can do that!’ That is kind of what jazzes me! I get into a session and they get it. And they are so appreciative. That is the big reward.”
- “My dad will be 91 this year and he’s going strong. I think I attribute that to the fact that he never retired. My intention is to never retire.”
Related Business Class Series Customized For Older Adults
Not sure where to get started? Why not try some of these free classes on the topic that appeals to you most? Then look for a community to help you foster your business and professional goals.
Building Your Passion Using Your Strengths
For many older adults as they reach 50 and beyond they start to think about a career pivot, pursuing a dream, or starting their own business. These adventures give them opportunities to follow their passions, create their own schedule, and oftentimes do more meaningful or more fulfilling work.
Curious about starting your own business but not sure where to begin? These classes will provide you the foundation to get the ball rolling. From mindset to hard skills, you’ll get the chance to learn (and practice) it all.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking for ways to grow, make sure you know how to get the word out and effectively market your business for success. Taking all of these classes will give you a well-stocked toolbox to ensure your business thrives!
Promote Your Business Strengths
Got your ideas together? Ready to take the next step? Start to build your business with simple entrepreneurial tools. From starting your own website or learning how to effectively sell online, this series puts you together with other like-minded entrepreneurs to share your ideas and trade tips.
Hearing the Entrepreneurial calling? Join these classes to learn about what it takes to be an Entrepreneur. From mindset to skills, these will help you prepare for the journey!
Strengthen Your Community With Wisdom
Use your years of knowledge to update your technology skills and apply for a position in your local community. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work-based job training program for older Americans that is authorized by the Older Americans Act.
It highlights key technology skills that many older adults can benefit from learning on GetSetUp. These include how to effectively use Microsoft or Google Tools, financial planning tools, goal setting, and other technology-related skills. Being able to effectively navigate and use these tools helps to assure ease of integration into the ever more digital workforce.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work-based job training program for older Americans. Authorized by the Older Americans Act, the program provides training for low-income, unemployed seniors. Participants also have access to employment assistance through American Job Centers.
Looking to re-enter the workforce after some time away? Or maybe you’re looking to make a career change or start a side hustle? For any situation, these classes will give you the skills needed to confidently seek work and other opportunities across industries!
Where will your next venture take you?
This post was written by Liz Miller. Liz is a passionate advocate for lifelong learning. Currently, she works as the Communication Manager at GetSetUp an educational platform for lifelong learners to explore together!
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