Over 55? Thinking About Changing Careers?

Republished with permission of CareerOneStop.org


Many people make large and small career changes in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s. Maybe technology, the labor market, or other factors have negatively impacted your current career. Or maybe you’re itching for a change. Whatever the reason, there are steps you can take to help identify a new career that will be a good fit for you.

Get started by assessing your skills, interests, experience, and more

Try some or all of the below assessments:

  • Enter a previous occupation in mySkills myFuture to see careers that use similar skills and experience. You’ll also find the demand, wages, training and typical tasks.
  • Prioritize your work-related preferences on the Work Values Matcher to see careers and find workplaces that match your values.
  • Take the Skills Matcher to rate your skills and view occupations that are a good match for you.
  • Take the Interest assessment to learn how the things you like to do relate to different careers.

You can also visit the Occupation Profile to explore details about nearly 900 careers—learn about what you might do on the job, how much you might earn, and how much education or training you might need.

Encore careers

Are you ready to step back from your lifelong career and want to find something to help make a difference in the world? If this is you, you might be searching for what many people call an “encore career.”  The mid-life encore career typically pays less than a previous job but provides benefits such as more meaningful experiences, more value-driven work, and the potential to either learn new skills and/or help others. Jobs in education, the arts, or social and public services are typical. A recent survey showed that about 9 million Americans were working in encore jobs, with an additional 31 million who would like to. Learn more at Encore.org.

More ways to explore

There are lots of online resources that can help you learn about potential career or job opportunities.

  • Research your local job market. Visit the Job Finder to see what kinds of jobs are currently available in your local area. Or, visit the Business Finder to learn more about the businesses that typically hire for various jobs in your community.
  • Leverage your network. Friends, family, and past or present professional connections can be a great source of information as you explore career options. Learn more about how to network effectively.
  • Consider working for yourself. Learn more about the pros and cons of self-employment.
  • Explore work-from-home options. Ready to give up the commute or other aspects of typical employment—but not ready to give up working? Find a Remote Job lets you search job postings that don’t require you to be onsite every day.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.

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