Article by Ceri Wheeldon
When it comes to a career change over 50 , success really can be a matter of mindset. Whether you are looking for a complete change of career direction, are looking for a new role as a result of redundancy or returning to the workplace following a career break, how you feel about your can make all the difference – if you believe it will be a barrier it will be.
When Ronald Reagan decided to run for President of the USA at the age of 69, the elephant in the room was his age. He decided to confront it head on in a positive humorous way in one of the debates saying:
“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
Of course, if he were to say that today it could be considered ageist and divisive – times have changed. But the fact that he said it – and believed it- enabled others to believe it and see it as a positive too. And of course he won a second term at 73!
Be positive about the advantages of age
Think positive and list all the things you can offer based on your age and experience. In this post lockdown world skills are coming into play that the over 50s can demonstrate in abundance! These include, adaptability, resilience, leadership, emotional intelligence, crisis management. The ability to demonstrate that you have a growth mindset by having continued to learn new skills is also key.
We must believe in the advantages that age can bring.
A far greater percentage of businesses set up by the over 50s succeed than those set up by their younger counterparts. Life experience counts for so much. When confronted with problems we are able to see the bigger picture and prioritise to find solutions. We have the experience and ability to communicate across the generations. We have proven that we can adapt and embrace change.
Ronald Reagan was right – we do have distinct advantages over youth and experience. Although unlike Reagan we should be prepared to exploit them!