Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

About Me

My photo
Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Starting a new career…at 50 plus

Sometimes it is more what is NOT said, than what IS said. That is certainly true with the 50 plussers. The first thing that I discovered when starting this company was that 50 plussers didn’t want to acknowledge the term “50 Plus”. Boomers is fine. Mature is OK. But 50 Plus? A definite no-no. Unfortunately I always "calls ‘em as I sees ‘em", and since Gen Plus is specifically for those over 50, then this demographic – you – are most likely…50 Plus.

Once I got that out of the way, I wanted to see what 50 plussers wanted to know. And in the past year, the searches that have brought my site to visitors have included anything from “dating after 50” to “finding employment at 50 plus” to “hiring managers” to “retail resume” to “active living for 50 plus” and many, many more search queries.

But in the past few months, there has been a frequency on a search term that is unusual: “Starting a new career at 50 plus” and “Finding a new career path at 50 plus” and “Making a new start at over 50”. Basically the same query in different forms and all with one commonality. The word “new”. And that is what has occupied my thoughts for the past few days. New.

If you are a subscriber then you’ve read many of my articles on personal branding, repositioning, tactics and strategies for finding a job at 50 plus. (If you aren’t a subscriber, simply type in your email on the right hand side of this screen and you’ll be automatically subscribed…you can unsubscribe at any time.)

So I'm not a big fan of the word “new” in this context, because you have likely followed a strong career path for many, many years. In reality, at 50 plus, you are looking to reposition your skill set. You are marketing yourself to opportunities in companies that are strapped for management experience, loyalty, skilled workers. You are bringing your strengths to the market and really, looking for ways to make the market notice you. A correct mind set is half the solution to finding employment at 50 plus. And in my opinion, THE correct mind set is one of positioning and not of finding something new. The only thing new is the advantage that you bring to the company that hires you. Phew. Got that off my chest!


Anonymous said...

I never thought of it that way. It's very frustrating to find a job at my age. But I'm no longer going to think of it as a NEW career. Makes me feel quite a bit better about trying to beat down closed doors.

Simone V. (30 years of job expertise!)

Anonymous said...

Why "new"?

1) Because you really are sick of your old skill set.
2) Because life in the 50s often has a lot of sadness and loss, so you crave a fresh challenge to energize yourself.
3) You were forced out of your last job with that skill set because you're over 50, the job went to Bangalore, the company failed, etc., and your memories still sting.

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Point well made. Sometimes "new" is necessary.

Anonymous said...

I need help figuring out what I am going to do with my life. My wife has taken a job in a different state. I am selling my business and going to join her. I am so excited about starting something new or doing something different. My problem is figuring out what to do. I have a very diverse background. I think I might like to start an internet business but I am not sure what to do. I have been the President of a High Tech electronics company. The business I am selling is a Screenprinting and Embroidery business. I have worked for Japanese and German owned businesses as well. I have traveled internationally for both companies. I tell you this because I want to explain that even though I have a diverse background I would be willing to do anything. I have even considered lawn care or pressure washing decks and I have always considered opening a pub or restaurant. So please guide me, is there an aptitude test for not so new folks like me? All of us out here know who George Plimpton is or was. If not he's the guy who tried many many pro sports. I kind of feel like the George Plimpton of the real world. Seriously though I am looking for guidance .

Thank you,

Janet Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Hi JC. I've just dedicated a full post to your dilemma. Head over to this link: http://genplus.blogspot.com/2008/10/in-july-2006-i-wrote-article-on-what-it.html

Best of success!

kbriver said...

No fair! You fooled me into reading this blog. I really do want to know about starting a NEW career at 50+. I worked my way into my last career, NO COLLEGE DEGREE, making $95k+, laid off, and after two years of searching realize I'll probably never get back into my old niche. I'm looking at descriptions of Associate Degrees, Certificate Programs, etc. How can I find out which career is more friendly to older applicants? For instance, I'm considering Para Legal (possible La, or Web Design, or Physical Fitness Trainer. Am I fooling myself into thinking anyone will hire someone close to 60 with new degree/certificate in hand?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I raised kids now I need to actually start job/career. I want to go to school but what direction. There are definately some positions suited for younger applicants. I want to be pointed to the ones better suited for older applicants. When I finish school I will be over 50.

mdm said...

I actually still have my "old job", excellent project management position in an excellent company. However.... I am 57 now, and I would like to work right into my mid-seventies. I can't see keeping my current job that long or even WANTING it for that long.

What I want is a new challenge that will better adapt to my needs as I enter my sixties and seventies.

Something that lets me dictate more easily how much I want to work, and what I want to focus on.

So, here is what I have come up with:

Get a 4-year Bachelor in Psychology. Hopefully, complete it in less than that, since I am enrolled in a University that lets me study online, at my own pace (i.e. fast and furiously)

Get a Masters, and start a PhD (I always wanted one, but didn't see the need for it in my current career)

Then start my own practice. In the meantime, get into some type of counseling where a Masters and PhD are not prerequisites. Lots to choose from (weight loss, life skills, career counseling, you name it).

Anybody who knows me thinks this is the right plan for me. Are they only telling me what I want to hear, and am I deluding myself?

Or is there a future for a (female) psychologist who sets up shop around age 63?