“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. “ —Nelson Mandela
“You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude. ” —Eleanor Roosevelt
“When people are ready to, they change. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” —Andy Warhol
As evidenced by the famous quotes above, change means something different to each of us. Yet most people agree on one aspect of change: it’s hard.
Making a career change is difficult in today’s job market—and it can be even more trying if you’re a Baby Boomer. You’ve seen the working world move from a set of steady 30-year career tracks into recession and then emerge as a totally different animal. Career change can be overwhelming and frustrating, but it’s all worth it when you find the right fit. As you forge ahead, consider these three industries for your new career path . . .they may surprise you.
1. Finance. Think finance is only for fresh-faced MBA graduates? Think again. As reported by TIME.com earlier this year, portions of the financial sector are making room for workers over 50. Barclays and (to a lesser extent) Goldman Sachs have both implemented programs designed to bring the skills of older job seekers into their businesses. These companies value the life experiences Baby Boomers bring to the table and may be a good career change fit. After all, would you rather apply for a loan from someone still awash in debt or a longtime homeowner who knows her way around a mortgage?
2. Green jobs. For many Baby Boomers, career change isn’t just about paying the bills. It’s a search for something that matters. An “encore career,” as it’s been dubbed, is an excellent way to both work and contribute to a greater cause. If sustainability and the environment are important to you, consider a green job. Green jobs span a wide range of industries and can help you connect with your local community. Whether as a recycling plant worker or an energy services consultant, going green may save you from career burnout blues.
3. Healthcare. Specifically, retirement care. This might seem odd given that many Baby Boomers will soon be implementing their own retirement plans. However, the number of jobs available in continuing care is poised to grow by 21 percent over the next five years. And the diversity of job types available within that sector makes it an attractive, flexible career change choice. Other health sector employers, such as the National Institutes of Health, specifically place a premium on caring for and retaining workers aged 50+. (One of their biomedical researchers is 95!)
Michael Jordan (who turned 52 this year, making him quite a successful Baby Boomer!) said it well, I think:
“If you accept the expectations of others, especially the negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”
There are countless reasons for Baby Boomers to seek a career change, from flexibility to finances to a desire to give back. Much of the career advice offered to Baby Boomers who wish to continue working focuses on work that, put politely, might be described as “less than engaging.” Considering the possibilities available, Baby Boomers could instead turn to one of these three exciting career paths.