Ask the Experts: New career after age 50

I’m in my mid-50s and have recently been laid off from work. Is it too late for me to make a career change?

It’s not too late. In fact, now may be the perfect time for you to explore a new career. As someone who went from 15-plus years of senior human resource roles to 15-plus years of senior sales and marketing roles, I know that there comes a time when you can take advantage of your transferable skills and start along a new career path.

How many times have you heard or read the stories about 65-year-olds who retired and went back to school to get a university degree? My very dear friend retired at the age of 65 and decided to start his own business. He is now 78 and still runs a successful business that employs his son and daughter.

Career change is doable if you are ready to make some sacrifices and approach it with a very positive attitude. Today’s volatile economy means now’s an excellent time to look at your years of experience and take an inventory of the transferable skills you have developed over the years that will take you down a new career path. This is the ideal time to take a hard look at things you have always wanted to do but were never in a position to pursue.

If you are unsure of how to inventory your skills and don’t know how to apply these skills to a di erent career path, set up a consultation with a professional who can help you identify those skills and focus on how to channel them.

A wise man once said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. With the pressure of being unemployed in a downturn economy, now is the time to “go for it.”

— Mike Harvey is director of new business development at Prime50, specializing in working with mature workers. He can be reached at [email protected].