The good, bad and ugly truth about your career after 50
Many people have left the corporate world – or entered it – to follow their passion. (Flickr: Kompania Piwowarska)
Good luck Over 50 and searching for work?
Half the salary but I love it.””I spent 28 years in finance. Mr Alexander’s work took him to three Olympics, but while he loved his work he found himself “losing a little bit of passion”. (Supplied: Latrobe University)
Mark Alexander was physiotherapist to the Australian Olympic triathlon team, and was known to ABC Radio Melbourne listeners for many years as a fitness expert on Hilary Harper’s Saturday program. “I was teaching young physios to be elite sports physios, and I saw their passion and I thought I need to move aside and let them move up into the Olympic role.”Having made some mistakes with a business venture, he decided to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) which he said “opened up my eyes to the corporate world”.He now runs the Centre for Business Analytics at Melbourne Business School, pursuing an interest he has had since childhood.”I was a maths nerd at school … Sharon said she encountered a lot of negativity about her decision from women her own age.”They would say to me: ‘Do you think you’ll get a job? At 49 I switched to alpine ski instructing. “It was easier to get up in the morning and I was more enthusiastic about all aspects of my life.” “It was just heaven. The prospect of changing careers in your 40s or 50s can be daunting.People changing careers mid-life face ageism and financial uncertainty, but it can be done. “When I got divorced I didn’t have any qualifications to speak of, so I was working as a carer getting very part-time work.”I felt I was in a poverty trap and I wanted to get out of that.” At age 53 she started retraining as a paramedic and begins working in her new field next week. Working with young people was rewarding and energising, he said, and he encouraged others to follow their passion when contemplating a new career.”If you’re driven, if you’re pointing yourself in the right direction, things will work out.”
Video: How to change your career after 50
A big switchSome of the stories listeners told us involved dramatic changes of career.”After 20 years in sales and management I am now a flight attendant. I just absolutely loved it. Easier to get up in the morningAnn from Box Hill spent 20 years working in nursing, but loved children and was a passionate reader. Here are some success stories from ABC Radio Melbourne listeners.From disillusioned to energisedWhen Brunswick East resident Chris had his 45th birthday, he realised he was closer to 50 than he was to 40.”I was in the corporate world for a while, over 10 years, and I just became a bit disillusioned.” He said he wanted to find a job where he helped people, and a previous positive experience working for six months in a school led him to retrain as a youth worker.Chris did a work placement at a youth drugs and alcohol service as part of his course, and he was offered a job by the boss of the service.”I had no intention of working in the drug and alcohol field, but I ended up working there for three years,” he said, adding that he had since moved to a job in youth justice. I loved everything about maths and data,” he said. Do you think they’ll take you?”Of course, I’d already done some research within the industry and I was assured they would.” Newfound passion
Mark Alexander says doing a masters degree “opened his eyes” to the corporate world. Best decision of my life.””I went from corporate retail to dog groomer — never been happier.”Doing the research Sharon, 57, began her working life 30 years ago as a nurse.”I put my career on hold for family reasons and worked in my husband’s business,” she said. “By the time I was heading towards 40 I was thinking I’ve got at least 20 years [working] ahead of me — what should I be doing?”She retrained as a librarian in her early 40s and secured a job setting up and running a school library. Love it.””I transitioned from a factory worker to an aged carer in my mid-50s.
ABC Radio Melbourne
Simon Leo Brown
August 06, 2017 09:00:00