Many people think turning fifty is like entering the last stretch of a race towards retirement. The truth is, it’s not. We all know the appeal of a comfortable, financially stable life, but not all realize that it could always be taken away in a heartbeat. These days, it’s not as unusual to see people work well into their 60s or 70s—whether it is for supplementary income or for a simple sense of fulfilment for others. One thing I’ve learned, you may get to a point where you are no longer as fit or technologically “hip” as younger workers, but you can always steer your career where you need it to be.
Moving forward with career shifts
The thing with careers is that there’s never a set path for people to follow. In fact, I doubt two persons have ever faced the exact same challenges moving forward. When you change careers, you don’t just drop one and pick up another—you build up from all the bits and pieces of experience you get. Some people can go through several jobs and career shifts in a single lifetime—so remember that there’s no age limit on finding one that will stick. Another thing to remember is not to compete on other workers’ terms; stick to your guns, and show everyone what you personally do best.
Breaking up with the office
With the right discipline, a home-based job lets you earn money while freeing you from the grasp of a clingy office job. After all, the office may have been your territory in your earlier years, but it’s not necessarily the case as an older worker. You can set yourself up as a Consultant or an Independent Contractor. The downside to home-based jobs is having to pay for training and costs to set up. But the upsides are: you can save on gas money and avoid that stressful everyday commute to the office. Working from home, you can itemize your tax and take advantage of certain tax deductions – such as property tax if you use your home space as an office space.
Focusing on what you can control
Face it – everyone’s getting older. You cannot turn back the hands of time, but you can change the factors you can control. Rethink your goals; revise your resume; learn new skills. Don’t focus on the fact that you’re aging, but instead try to think of how you can use any changes in your life towards a better managed career. You’ll be surprised at how much you’re actually capable of doing if you just stop sweating the inevitable.
With each tick of your clock, you turn the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever get. Even when I notice that extra candle on top of the birthday cake year on year, I’m content with the fact that I’m the one who decides which direction my career takes next. So what if you’re getting old? You still have a lot of possibilities to consider. That low key retirement in the tropics can wait.