The number of people aged over 65 years will double to 6.8 million by 2040 leaving a shortage of young workers. Yet people in the mature age bracket often shy away from a career change because of age discrimination, lack of opportunities and the need for a steady income.
Unfortunately, ageism is a very real and major issue in the Australian workplace with 27% of Australians aged 50 years and over having reported age-based discrimination in the workplace. But there are some strategies that you can employ to help avoid such discrimination.
How so? Because mature aged workers actually have far more going for them than is appreciated and promoted. In addition to better business experience, developed networks and superior technical and largely managerial skills, over 50's have a lot of transferable soft skills that will serve them well in a new career. These include:
- Time management skills
- Working in a team
- Being calm under pressure
- Dealing well with conflict
- Being solution focused.
In Australia today, the average age of a seniorpreneur is 57 and they work about five fewer hours than younger entrepreneurs each week and have almost double the industry experience.
Attracted by work life-balance and a stronger financial position than younger entrepreneurs, 34% of all young firms in Australia are now led by seniorpreneurs.
So, changing your career after your 50s is not only possible but can be extremely beneficial. That said, being well planned and prepared is essential for a successful transition between roles or careers. Tips when considering a career change are:
- Prepare – spend the time working out why you want to change career, and which change will best meet your needs
- Use your strengths – analyse what you do well and how this can be applied in different work contexts
- Research and gather intel – look up resources that will help you, find out about the industry you want to go into
- Retrain – it may be necessary to undertake a qualification or course in order to get the grounding you need
- Identify transferable skills – which softs skills do you have that could be useful in a new industry?
- Reach out to your networks – let everyone know once you have decided on your change, to help get the word out
- Build or buy a business – if you are in a position to do so consider setting up on your own
- Back yourself – confidence is contagious and is the best way to increase your chances when looking to make a change.
Download some more of our helpful resources:
Interview preparation tips
Top tips for resume writing
Top 10 interviewer questions
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As seen on Today Extra, Monday, 4th June 2018