Career Change for Seniors: What You Need to Know

It’s your time to be active, working and enjoying the rewards. Here are some tips for reinventing your career and doing what makes you happy.
An attractive smiling older woman with gray hair sits in front of her laptop

Finding what makes your heart sing takes time. Fortunately, as we get older, we get better at it. Numerous studies confirm that stress, anger, and worry drop as we age.

Research findings from the Stanford Center on Longevity confirm that older people get happier. Surveys show that people over 55 are the most positive, and happy, and enjoy the greatest satisfaction daily.

For many people, a career shift for seniors is a key ingredient to smiling and feeling purposeful in this phase of life. is a nonprofit that helps seniors leverage their skills in new ways. Whether you are looking for a traditional job or a part-time gig, you can get started on building a new career. Many people are choosing to start their own businesses. In fact, seniors working are becoming increasingly common and they are, in fact, the fastest-growing group of new entrepreneurs.

Some people are coming to a new career because they were laid off. This could be due to ageism, industry changes, or other issues.

If you’re planning on changing careers as a senior, then this Senior Assistance Club guide can help you!

Benefits of Making a Career Change at 60

  • Happiness. What’s especially interesting in seniors embarking on a career change is reports of happiness. More studies confirm that as a group, people over 55 are loving their new work. Why is that? Often, it’s because they’ve done the work of learning from their experience. They aren’t just filling time, collecting a paycheck, and doing what is expected. They’ve made an effort to find something that provides a sense of fulfillment. It’s not just a job. It’s a passion. And it’s making them smile. If you’re looking to boost your happiness and boost your income, now is the moment for career reinvention.
  • A new challenge. One of the great things about starting a new chapter later in life is that it provides you with a fresh challenge. If you're feeling bored or stagnant in your current career, a change can do you good. Trying something new can help you reignite your passion and sense of purpose.
  • Improved mental health. Studies have shown that people who make changes later in life often experience improved mental health. If you're feeling stressed out or burnt out from your current job, a career shift could be just what the doctor ordered. Take some time for yourself and explore your options. You might just find that a change is exactly what you need.
  • An opportunity to learn. A career shift later in life can be a great opportunity for seniors to learn new skills. Whether you go back to school or simply do some research on your own, learning about a new industry can be both exciting and rewarding. For example, if you're interested in shifting into a more creative field, taking some art classes or doing some research on the latest design trends can help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to be successful. Or, if you're looking to make a switch to a more analytical field, studying data analysis or brushing up on your Excel skills can give you the edge you need to stand out from the competition. Whatever your goals may be, making a career shift later in life provides an excellent opportunity to learn something new.

How to Change Careers for Seniors

Reinvention often starts at a certain age. For some, this age is 50, 60, 65, or 70. Experts note that the enemy to starting career reinvention is not age or time. It is inertia.

If you aren’t working on your plan, you are losing time.

If you’re interested in shifting careers as a senior, here are some tips for older job seekers to take note of.

Assess Your Skills and Experience

The first step is to take stock of your skills and experience. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What transferable skills do you have? Once you have a better understanding of your strengths, it will be easier to identify potential career paths that are a good fit for you.

If you're not sure where to start, consider taking an assessment test like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This test can give you valuable insights into your personality type, which can help choose a career that suits you. You can also talk to friends, family, and former colleagues to get their perspectives on your strengths. Just keep in mind that ultimately, the decision is up to you.

Research Potential Career Paths

Once you have a general idea of the type of work you might be interested in, it's time to start researching potential career paths. If you're not sure where to look, try talking to people who are already working in your desired field. They can provide valuable insights into what the day-to-day reality of the job is like and what kind of training or education is required. The internet is also a great resource for researching potential careers. Try conducting some searches on job boards or online directories like LinkedIn.

Get the Training or Education You Need

Depending on the field you want to enter, you may need to get some additional training or education before making the switch. If you're thinking of making a switch, it's important to do your research to see what's required in your desired field. Depending on the industry you want to enter, you may need to get some additional training or education before making the move. For example, if you want to become a registered nurse, you'll need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX exam. Alternatively, if you're interested in getting into web development, there are dozens of free online courses that can help teach you the basics. Once you know what's required, you can start taking steps to make your dream a reality.

Create a Plan

Making a successful career change takes time, effort, and planning. So, once you've done your research and decided on a new career path, it's important to create a plan for how you're going to make the transition. Start by setting some achievable goals—like completing your training or getting your first job in your new field—and come up with a timeline for achieving them. Then, put together a portfolio or resume that highlights your relevant skills and experience. And finally, reach out to your network of family and friends and let them know that you're looking for opportunities in your new field. With a little hard work and perseverance, making a successful career change is possible—even as a senior citizen!

Opening Up To Possibilities

For many people, it helps to talk with a counselor, mentor, or coach. Professionals can help provide objectivity, explore emotional factors, and shed light on psychological issues.

Many people realize that they are operating with old instructions—such as a limiting belief system. For example, if your high school teacher told you, “You can’t do that” – you know how this belief can limit your efforts.

The thing is your teacher is no longer the absolute authority. He or she was speaking with limited insight. The comment happened decades ago. Yet, the impact lingers on.

If this sounds familiar to you, take a step. Contact a career coach. Talk to a career advisor. Explore options for online training. Check out the cool programs for career reinvention.

You don’t have to live the rest of your life under old rules, outdated judgments, or limiting beliefs.

Some of the popular programs for career changes for seniors include:

Onsite Courses

Programs for career reinvention are increasingly popular. The Modern Elder Academy is one that offers 5-day and 7-day reinvention workshops. Offered at a resort-like location in Baja, this exclusive immersion program may appeal to you.

Virtual Career Coaching

Google your area for virtual career coaching, “reinvention after 50” or “career reinvention.” You may want to explore options for online learning to successfully plan your next move.

You are likely to find a workshop or coaching offer that fits your needs, and your schedule.

Weekend Bootcamp

The University of North Carolina offers weekend boot camps to help older people reinvent themselves. Discover yourself in a weekend boot camp, Paths to Creative Retirement, offered at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Ashville, North Carolina.

Check your local community for boot camps and workshops. You’re likely to find resources in your own town or county.

Possible Careers for Senior Career Shifters

It's never too late to make a change. If you're a senior who is looking for a career shift, there are plenty of options available to you. Here are 6 job opportunities for seniors to consider.

1. Social Media Manager

Are you looking for a job that will let you use your creativity and problem-solving skills? Do you enjoy working with people and helping others? If so, you may be well-suited to a career as a social media manager. As the name suggests, social media managers are responsible for creating and managing a company's social media presence. This includes coming up with original content, managing timelines, and engaging with followers. In order to be successful in this role, it is important to have strong written and verbal communication skills. Social media managers need to be able to clearly convey messages to their audience, as well as listen to and respond to feedback. If you're good at multitasking and have a knack for building relationships, a career in social media management could be a good fit.

2. Caregiving

Caregiving can be a very rewarding experience, as it allows you to make a difference in someone's life. It can also be a great way to meet new people and stay connected with your community.

If you're looking to change careers as a senior and are interested in becoming a caregiver, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you'll need to be patient and compassionate. Second, you'll need to be able to handle a variety of tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and providing transportation. Finally, you'll need to be able to work flexible hours. If you think you have what it takes to be a caregiver, don't hesitate to contact your local senior center or home health agency to learn more about opportunities in your area.

3. Coaching

For seniors who have a passion for sports, coaching may be the perfect job opportunity. Coaching is a great way to stay involved in the sport you love while helping others learn and improve their skills. If you have patience and a knack for teaching, coaching may be the perfect job for you. Check with local teams or sports clubs to see if they are in need of coaches. You may also be able to find coaching opportunities at schools or community centers.

4. Customer Service Representative

As a customer service representative, you are the face of the company. You are responsible for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and orders efficiently and effectively. In today's world, more and more companies are hiring customer service representatives who are able to work from home. This allows you to have a greater work-life balance and provides customers with the convenience of 24/7 customer support. If you’re a senior who wants to shift to this career, you must be patient, efficient, and have excellent communication skills.

5. Data Entry Specialist

If you have a strong background in Excel, you may want to consider job opportunities for seniors in the data entry field. A data entry specialist is a person who works with large amounts of data, collecting and entering information into computer systems or databases. This role typically requires strong attention to detail, good typing skills, and the ability to work efficiently and accurately under pressure. Because this position involves working with sensitive or confidential information, it often requires a high level of trust and security clearance.

Other common requirements for data entry specialists include basic knowledge of computer programs such as spreadsheets or word processors. For seniors looking for a career shift, if you have the necessary skills and qualifications, a career in data entry could be a great option for you.

6. Administrator

As an administrator, you would be responsible for providing administrative support to an organization. This can include anything from managing schedules to handling customer inquiries. If you're organized and have great attention to detail, then you should definitely consider this job. The most important thing for an administrator is to be able to think on their feet and problem-solve. Oftentimes, things don't go according to plan and it's up to the administrator to figure out a solution. If you're up for the challenge and thrive in a fast-paced environment, then this is the job for you!

Get Better With Age

Here’s a book to dive into: Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging.

Author Alan D. Castel is a UCLA psychologist who writes about the value of becoming what you want to be. He asserts that youth and middle years were a kind of training for what you’ll do in the next chapter of your life.

Assistance Club Summary

As you are looking for reinventing your career, as you get older, look for ways to find purpose, give back, and create meaning. The #1 big idea: do what makes you happy.

This is your time. This is your life. If you’ve been hankering to explore a skill, now is the time for discovery.