Retirement may traditionally be seen as a time for trips around the world and spending time with the grandkids. But this notion is seeming increasingly outdated: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of people 55 and older in the workforce in 2013 was 40.3%, up from 29%. In 1993, a report from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement found that “Boomers are just as likely or more likely to be engaged in their work than are the younger Generation X or Millennial generations.”
Another report, New Careers for Older Workers, from the American Institute for Economic Research, looked at people who changed or tried to change jobs after age 45 and found that 82% of people 47 and older who took up new careers in the last two years were successful, and 50% saw a salary increase.
What I’m trying to convey with these statistics is that you shouldn’t believe the myth that baby boomers can’t have successful careers after a certain age. In fact, that period in your life is the perfect time to figure out what new path you want to pursue. Reinvention doesn’t just happen for the younger folks. You have a wealth of career experience that you can use to figure out a good fit based your skills and areas of interest. Also, many boomers actually decide to become entrepreneurs (need some inspiration of your own? Here are examples of baby boomers who started their own second act after retirement).
When deciding to take that new direction with your career: ask yourself the following:
- What transferable skills do I have to join another company?
- What’s been the underlying theme of my entire career path? (Marketing, business management, coaching/training)
- What other types of roles would be a good fit for me based on my skills and interests?
- What other types of industries are of interest to me?
- Are there any hobbies or passions that I’m particularly good at?
I help clients all the time with this kind of self-discovery. Learn more about my Elevate Your Career program designed to help individuals figure out their next steps toward their dream careers.