At fifty, many of us feel we finally know what we are doing professionally, have a lot to offer others, and are wiser than ever before. On the other hand, we may also be sensing that this is our last chance to make our mark on the world; that our energy, while strong, is beginning to wane; and that others – amazingly – see us as ‘old’. If this is your situation, how do you think about your career?
Broadly, you are likely to be in one of three situations. We have some thoughts on each:
- In a job, but feeling unfulfilled, and perhaps beginning to be bored. (see blog: Unfulfilled and Bored)
- In a job, but feel that changes are coming, and you may not be there much longer (see blog: Changes are coming)
- Out of work.
In each situation, the key to is take control of your career by putting yourself through a process of thinking about your options, and then taking action.
Out of Work
Try thinking about your situation as your chance to take your work life in a new direction. Your skills, experience and knowledge, gained over years, are hugely valuable, to someone, in some sector. In addition to asking yourself what sort of work you want as above, ask yourself:
Is there a sector you would like to work in that is different from where you have been working?
If you’ve always been in business, do you want to experiment with working in government or the third sector? If you’ve worked in public service, there may be many businesses who value your contacts and insider knowledge.
Asking yourself these questions is challenging, and generating useful answers is easier if you work with someone else, ideally a person with training as an executive coach or mentor (Meet the team), as they will listen most skilfully, and help you tease out answers that suit you. An older person who has lots of life experience can also help, as can people with experience of HR or learning and development. Once you have got clear on these questions, it is much easier to move forward and take control of your career.
Similar career blogs:
- Career challenges at 50: Bored and Unfulfilled
- Career change at 50: Change is coming
- Other career blogs for over 40s and 50s
Author: Simon North