What do you do when you realise you are in an unfulfilling job – many people will look for a new job, but others will think this is outside their reach. I’ve spoken to a client enquirer recently; in her mid 50s and unsure if she would be able to get another job. A lot of people feel like this, and one of the things I say to them is that if they think they are too old, or if they are positive for a career change they are right. So much depends on our beliefs.
I chatted to a sales assistant in a store that was closing down and asked the lady if she had got a new job lined up. “Who would want to employ someone of 59” she said. As I love to help people, I asked her about how she applied for jobs and how she wrote her covering letter. She said that she started with her age and was quite apologetic in manner – I suggested she focused more on her managerial experience, she looked youthful so emphasise her energy and good customer relation skills.
There are plenty of people working into their 60s and 70s and you can hold down as demanding a job as you choose to – it’s partly being clear on what you want to do and why – something that is relevant no matter what age we are, and also looking for examples of how you demonstrate the competences they seek.
You also need to think about how you present yourself – your haircut, makeup and glasses, the clothes you wear and the way that you carry yourself.
So no, 55 is not too old to change careers, but you need to be aware that there may be prejudiced people out there – but keep resilient and believe you can do it and you probably can!