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Jobless after 50 - Explore Your New Options

Updated on July 14, 2014


Let's be brutally honest - the current economy and job market presents a challenge for anyone job hunting. If you are over 50, the situation offers unique opportunities and problems. Job searchers over 50 need the right mindset and attitude before they even consider doing an interview.

First, honestly assess your reasons for the job search. If you are over 50, unemployed and need a job for survival, the job search will be very different than someone over 50 looking for a part time job. The part time job presents a little extra cash and enables you to remain mentally and physically active. If you have some financial stability, this can be an ideal situation. If you are in survival mode, you may need a couple of part time jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the health care industry and education industry actively recruit people over 50. Depending on your skills, education and experience, your age can be an advantage. Because some industries continue to shrink, evaluate how you may be able to transition to a new career. If you plan to work another 15 years or more, a new career can be the perfect choice. Changing careers can be an exciting life-changing move.

If you project a positive attitude, self-confidence and lots of energy and enthusiasm, the age factor can be minimized.

"You can be pitiful or powerful, but you can't be both at the same time."

Joyce Meyer




Do you love clothes, electronics, furniture, jewelry, cosmetics? A job in retail may be perfect for you. Many retail positions are part time, do not require special education and age is not typically a major consideration. Part time retail jobs can provide some income for the unemployed and, if you are in survival mode, this can be extremely important. The hours are generally flexible which provides time for continued job hunting or, perhaps, a second part time job.

While working in retail, communication and sales skills can be developed and strengthened. These are skills that will serve you well in any job. Another advantage of working in retail is the employee discount; this can provide significant savings. Another advantage to a part time job in any industry is the possibility that it can lead to a full time position. Depending on experience, education and goals, you may be able to move up to a management position. And there seems to be something magic about looking for a job while you are employed. It seems to increase your chance of receiving another job offer.

Frequently hobbies or special interests provide opportunities for a career change. For those with a serious interest in photography and a flare for creating unique photos, do some research to determine which niche in photography needs your special talent. You can also search for freelance photography work on the Internet. Consider setting up a web page where you can display, market and sell your photos or schedule appointments for portraits or weddings. You might want to consider part time work for a photographer while you build a portfolio of your work. This is a great way to learn the business side of photography.

Are you skilled in carpentry or woodworking? This is an excellent field with numerous options. If this is your hobby, you probably have most of the necessary tools. Anyone with this skill set can do cabinetry work, build custom furniture, wooden toys, or wooden signs for businesses. The list goes on and on.

Think about combining a hobby, a special interest and skills to make a career change. For example, has golf been your passion and hobby for years? Is your golf game pretty darn good? How about providing golf lessons or look for work in a store that sells equipment and supplies to golfers.



Our world has changed in so many ways and that includes the job market. This is especially true for those over 50. A recent report by AARP confirms that a majority of the over 50 unemployed, spend at least 44 weeks looking for work. So, what can we do?

Let’s take a fresh look at the situation. It is time to borrow a page from the business owners that stepped out of the unemployment line and into a new adventure of starting a business. By creating your own job, you take back the power and control over your own finances, career and quality of life.

Yes, it will take time, hard work and some money. But there is some good news: it’s being done by thousands across the country. More good news for those over 50: there are excellent resources, at no cost, that can provide expert advice and guidance as you start the journey. AARP is one of the best resources – just go to their website and get started on your new job.

OVER 50 AND UNEMPLOYED - You can overcome the age hurdle

How to Find a Job After 50: From Part-Time to Full-Time, from Career Moves to New Careers
How to Find a Job After 50: From Part-Time to Full-Time, from Career Moves to New Careers

A great guide for anyone over 50 looking for a job. New ideas and tips will open doors for you in the search.

Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer
Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer

If you're over 50 and job hunting, you probably need more than one resume. This is especially true if you have a varied background. You will find the help you need in this book.

Finding a Job After 50: Reinvent Yourself for the 21st Century
Finding a Job After 50: Reinvent Yourself for the 21st Century

This book shows you how to beat the younger and perhaps better educated competition. Your experience makes you valuable.

Land the Job You Love!: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50
Land the Job You Love!: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50

Fresh ideas and strategies for the over 50 job seeker. This book was written for today's job market.

Job Hunting After 50
Job Hunting After 50

Looking for a job after 50 presents new challenges. This book will help you establish a new mindset and new ideas for job hunting in the current market.



We all know that age discrimination is illegal. Right? But it happens every day disguised as something other than age that keeps you from a job.

So, take that time you spend complaining and being angry and devote it to exploring your options. Depending on your background and experience, free lancing or independent contracting may be perfect. Consider part time jobs that have the potential for expanding to full time.

And, of course, seriously consider your own small business. There are hundreds of possibilities and most can be home-based.



In the current job market, everyone needs as many resources and tools as possible. Finding a job in this economy is not easy for anyone. New college grads face the experience issue - they have none! Age can be a factor because you're too young or too old. Unfortunately, in some industries "old" is defined as over 50. This doesn't mean you won't find a job and it doesn't mean you can't change careers, but it does require all the ammunition you can find. Prepare yourself with good information, take a healthy dose of self-confidence and then move forward.

I have been very pleased with every product purchased from Brian Tracy. FOR SERIOUS HELP, THIS IS GREAT:


IMAGES: All images on this lens have been purchased or are public domain or have the required attribution link for credit



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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Many good ideas here on creating new options for yourself.

    • Mel Otero profile image

      Mel Otero 5 years ago

      @Jo-Jackson: After working as a manager for over 20 years, I agree 100%. The older workers also have the experience that a college degree does not provide.

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 5 years ago

      I actually think the over 50s make better workers in general for jobs that don't require much physical work. They take less sick days and tend to be loyal and hard-working.

    • profile image

      CoverLetterINterview 5 years ago

      Good work on your lens here.

      One way to ramp up your chances of finding a job is to hit the road.

      There is work out there if relocating is an option. For many people, it is understandably not an option. For many of those folks is is merely a choice.

      Dave Potts

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 5 years ago

      Being jobless and over 50 is awful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hope things change for the better soon enough! Thanks for the pointers!