Asking what the best job is for a woman in her fifties is the same like asking what the best holiday destination for her is. Universal answer doesn’t exist, becasue every woman is different.
At the same time, however, what is true in your twenties is also true in your fifties: The best job is the one you enjoy doing. A position in which you feel fulfilled, a role in which you see a meaningful purpose. Simply something that makes you feel good waking up in the morning, eating breakfast and heading for work in the dark.
You say that you have never had such a job in your lifetime? Well, you’re not the only one… Maybe now, in later stages of your career, you will finally find your true calling.
* Identifying the ideal job is described in our article What job is right for me, don’t forget to check it out.
Back to freedom – and a lot to offer to the employers
Once in your fifties, you typically do not raise children anymore. You’ve done your duty in this part of life (if you’ve been lucky enough to have a chance to raise children), and now you’re back on your own (or with your husband).
This is great for the employers, since they can count on you, and you won’t skip work every other day becasue of your children. And when you interview for a job, you should definitely consider this your advantage.
Let’s have a look at some jobs that are good and popular in general for women over fifty, and jobs that can be great for you personally.
Build on what you’ve done so far
The only reason to start from zero, and look for brand new career ideas, is when you do not enjoy doing your job anymore. Then you should definitely change it completely.
In any other case, you should build upon your existing career. Schools you attended and jobs you had, all of that can guide you in your job search.
You do not necessarily need to look for the very same job. Everything relates to everything, and the connection is often obvious for the employers. For example, if you worked as an elementary school teacher for twenty years, you can use this experience in any job that has something to do with children, or with education.
If you worked in human resources, and did your fair share of administrative work (all HR employees do so), you can easily move to a position of a clerk, secretary, or administrative assistant.
Find the connection, and try to understand what you can do well. This should help you to find a job which you can get in an interview without considerable difficulties.
We can’t break the laws of nature
Obviously the vitality of someone in their fifties is not the same as of someone in their twenties. That’s life, and you will likely struggle in a busy fast-paced goal-driven environment of a big international corporation.
There is a reason why an average age of an employee in some of these corporations is 25 years, or even less.
What is more, we do not learn as quickly anymore. A woman in her fifties will struggle to learn a new programming language,or anything particularly difficult.
Now, I do not want to say that you can’t learn stuff. And I have interviewed some women in their fifties who were incredibly vital. But as a rule of a thumb you should look for a job in a slowly-paced working environment, and one where the learning curve isn’t particularly steep.
Manual labor might be the answer
You have likely heard about a burnout syndrome. I’ve met many women in their fifties who suffered from it, after a long career either in education, or in a the world of banking and finance.
You’ve worked with your head all your life, and the constant pressure to deliver was simply too much to bear for you. Nothing to be ashamed of really…
But you should not make the same mistake again, or care what your neighbors say. Manual labor (think waitress, cook, cashier, picker, agricultural worker) can do wonders for both your mind and body.
You do your shift and you can leave with a clear head, enjoying the rest of the day doing things you love. No more stress, no more responsibilities, no more thinking about work even while you sleep.
Think about your priorities and what you seek in the best job
Most young people (in the Western world) think only about money. They want to save for a new car, new house, they want to buy nice things, perhaps only for them, or to be able to provide for their families.
This is just how our world functions, at least for most people. That’s why they try to get the best paying job, and the thing they care the most about is the salary offer.
As a woman in your fifties, however, you have probably already achieved all these goals, or have understood the vain of the vicious cycle most people live in. You look for different things, and you should identify them before opting for one job or another.
Is it friendship you miss, a good company? Perhaps a sense of belonging somewhere? Or do you want to lose weight, look better, gain more strength? Maybe you seek self-realization, or after all those years you dream of learning something new, proving to your self that you still can do it, that you still can enter a brand new field and excel in it.
Whatever it is, you should identify it, and follow your inner voice when choosing a job.
All limitations are self imposed
Do not let anyone to ruin your dreams. You can get any job in your fifties. Some will be more difficult to get than others, but you can always be the exception to the rule.
Browse job boards, read the job descriptions without prejudice, and look for something that makes you excited. Learn how to write a great job application, and give it a go. You have nothing to lose, and everything to win.
Something like an ideal job for women in their fifties does not exist. Because each woman is different, and looks for something else in her job. Identify the things you are looking for in your new job. And then apply for such. I wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- Job interview tips – Advice that will help you to understand how to ace your interview.
- General career change ideas – If you are not sure where to head next in life, this guest post should help you find some inspiration.
- Career networking tips – Learn how to use the power of your connections to get a new career.