A record-breaking 20 percent of those over the age of 65 are still working despite being past the traditional retirement age. Reasons range from lifestyle preference, a lack of savings, to simply wanting a change of scenery. With Americans working longer than ever, it may be beneficial to explore “second careers” to keep life fresh and fulfilling. Do you need a change?
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to pursue a second career whether you’re 30 or 65 and up… because education is cheaper than ever. No, I’m not talking about going back to school (although it’s certainly an option for some, especially if you want to take up a new trade skill). I’m talking about the rise of online education.
The Internet has created an environment where virtually anything can be self-taught. Sites like Khan Academy and Udemy teach subjects ranging from economics and math to Internet marketing for free or a small fee. Even universities are hopping on this trend, offering Massive Open Online Courses. For more technical expertise, “boot camps” have become a popular way to learn coding or computer science. Being self-taught can also display impressive dedication and entrepreneurship to potential employers.
In fact, more-experienced workers may have much to offer employers compared to their younger counterparts. A 2012 study from PayScale revealed that Gen Y spends just two years on average with a company, compared to 5-10 years among those in older generations. For employers searching for reliability and professionalism, an experienced employee could be an attractive option. Soft skills you’ve acquired in your first career can also help you market yourself to employers or clients. It’s never too late.