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Career Reinvention for the 50+ Worker: Part one

Career Reinvention for the 50+ Worker: Part one

By Barbara Jaworski
Workplace Institute
You’re over 50 and your current job or career isn’t making you happy. You desperately want to shake things up and make the second half of your life into something you want it to be, but people are telling you that’s not possible – “You’re too old,” “No one will hire you,” “It’s too late,” “You’re only going to retire in a few years, so why bother?”
But, as a KAA-Boomer (what I call Boomers because they’re in the midst of creating an explosive second act for their lives), mid-life is the perfect time to reassess and reinvent. After all, you’re part of the healthiest generation in history, a generation that has no intention of slowing down. 
According to a study by Sun Life Financial, nearly half of Canadian KAA-Boomers believe they’ll work past 65 – and not just for financial reasons. Most want to work.
They want to feel they’re contributing to society and that they’re both valued and valuable. They want the social networks that the workplace may provide. Now the kids have grown, they want to pursue old dreams and travel new roads, start their own businesses and do what they’ve long wanted to do!
For KAA-Boomers, 50 is just the beginning of life’s second exciting act and the perfect time for second chances.
But what if you want – and need -- changes but don’t know what those changes should be?
Transforming Your Life

Begin by making sure you want to make changes for the right reasons. Get some clarity by asking yourself some questions. While the following questions apply to making a career change, they can also provide a framework to gain perspective on other areas of your life.
  • What do I enjoy doing? Why?
  • What do I not enjoy doing? Why?
  • What do I enjoy about my current job?
  • What do I not enjoy about my current job?
  • How do I want to spend my day—in an office, on the road, outdoors?
  • What type of hours would I like to keep?
  • How important is salary? What is a realistic base salary for me? If I change careers or start my own business, would I be willing to take a cut?
  • Do I want to relocate? Am I willing to relocate? Where? Why?
  • Do I want the same level of responsibility? Less? More? Why?
  • What is my dream job?

A New Attitude

Once you’ve assessed whether or not you’re making changes for the right reasons, you need to believe that the world is still your oyster and that chasing dreams is NOT something only the young can do. 
Listen to your heart – your intuition or gut – and not your pride.
So what if people think you’re a fool to start your own business? So what if people laugh at you behind your back because you’re over 50 and going back to school? So what if your family disapproves of you starting a new career? Place your trust in yourself and listen to that inner voice. Once you get over your initial fear, you’ll realize that nobody is laughing. That fact is that most people will support and even applaud your efforts!
Remind yourself that by 50, you’ve acquired 30 years of business experience and 50 years of life skills and can look forward to at least another 30 years of making even more of a professional impact if that’s what you desire.
Far from 50 being the beginning of the end, 50 is actually the beginning of the best and probably most productive years of your life. Go for it!

Read Part Two of the How to Reinvent Your Career
Barbara Jaworski is Canada’s leading expert on boomers, chief KAA-Boomer of the Workplace Institute and author of Rebel Retirement – A KAA-Boomer’s Guide to Creating and Living an Explosive Second Act. You can find out more about Barbara at

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