One of the riskiest career moves we can ever make is deciding to change careers. This applies not only to those who have just begun their careers and have yet to decide on a specific career path but also to those who have already established themselves in their workplaces. However, one universal truth is the fact that those who are nearing retirement age or at retirement age have the most to lose, should they choose such a move; it is simply much more complicated for them, as age now becomes a huge factor.
There is less security to be had when you decide to up and leave your work at that age because not all companies and organizations are willing to hire a new employee or rehire you at 50 and up, should you decide to go back or transfer to a new company. Of course, there are some exceptions to that but that is undeniably the norm so before you choose to shift careers at that age, you need to think real hard about it before making the ultimate decision.
If you decide to just go ahead and take the risk, you need to know that it is not “plain sailing’. Many of those who choose this particular path end up being entrepreneurs, which can be considered as the most practical move when it comes to starting your next career at your age, although there are other career paths for baby boomers like you. Like any other, being the boss of your own business is tough, especially when you are just starting out and you haven’t a clue yet on what you should do.The same is true for those embarking on another career path without choosing to be an entrepreneur. You need to prepare yourself to make this life-changing decision fruitful so that when you look back, you can pat yourself on the back because you just made one of the best decisions of your life.Let me give you some tips on what you need to do to become successful in this venture:
Know your limitations. Just because you have the resources does not mean that you have to squander them all away for the sake of your business. You need to be practical and smart when making decisions involving not only your finances but also your other resources. While you may afford to buy an entire flat to convert into an office, the most modern gadgets, and a luxury car to take you to meetings, you do not need to do that. Just because you can does not mean you should. Remember, you are just starting out yet and you need all the capital you have for the entire business, not just to make a good impression on your possible clients. What good would it do if you have all those but you end up lacking the funds needed for production? Also, you are not getting any younger so you need to take your health into consideration. You do not have to take in all the tasks in a day like how you did back in your twenties, especially if you have to do mostly physical work, because there’s a big chance that you will fall ill sooner than later.
Research about your options. Being an entrepreneur is not only about having a product of your own that you sell to customers and you should know that you have other alternatives for a second career. You can go into consultancy and share your skills and experiences to other people who are of the same field as yours. You can also go into the non-profit sector and help in making a difference in the world. Or, if you still want to go into business minus the hassles of starting one, you should look into franchising.
Seek advice and learn from the experts. Because of the trend of people continuing to work or embarking on a new career beyond the retirement age, more and more people are coming out in order to support these people and those who are planning to also do this but have questions in their minds or are virtually clueless about it. Many of these organisations regularly conduct seminars and workshops focusing on second careers for people like you so if chance upon one of these, you should definitely attend one, even if you have already started on that path. You should always grab the opportunity to learn something new. If not, there are plenty of resources you can find online. AgeUK, Encore.org, and PRIME are some of the good places to start.
Make sure that this is what you want. Unlike when you were just starting out in life, this time you have to be absolutely sure that this encore career you are embarking on is what you really want in life. Retirement age is the time for you to devote your time to doing what you want in life that you haven’t a chance back then. Let’s face it – we are now on borrowed time once we reach this age so we have to make the most out of it. You may have been miserable when you were working for another company so there is absolutely no reason for you to be miserable now, career-wise, when you are your own boss. If you envision yourself doing it for the rest of your life, go for it. Otherwise, you have to think real hard.
Embarking on an encore career can be one of the most difficult choices one can make in life. When faced with anything new, we all have uncertainties and going on this path is no different. With these tips, I aimed to make your transition a bit easier and hopefully, I have accomplished just that. The rest is up to you.
Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.
Latest posts by Harry Parker (see all)
- The Business of Being Charming: Service Design for Customer Delight - January 15, 2016
- Older Entrepreneurs, New Habits: Conditioning for Success - November 12, 2015
- Don’t Let Innovation Intimidate You - November 5, 2015