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New Careers After 50

If you want to be a model, a bike messenger or a ball boy, it pays to be young. However, if you want a job in which you’re expected to convey reliability, wisdom or gravitas, people over 50 have the advantage. They’ve been around the block a few times, and they have years of hard-earned knowledge with which no amount of postgraduate education can compete.

However, job-hunters over age 50 may be apprehensive about what’s out there. Will they be written off prematurely thanks to ageism? Will they have to take a big step down in salary? Will they find anything stimulating? Are there brand new jobs opening they should be aware of?

Bruce Blackwell, a consultant at the Career Strategies Group in White Plains, N.Y., thinks the over-50 set shouldn’t worry. “There are some very challenging and energizing careers for people with some gray in their hair,” he says. “By 50-something, one should have developed good ‘people reading’ skills and have heightened emotional intelligence. This gives a person an ability to listen well and respond appropriately, two critical factors in sales and client service success.”

Workers over 50 aren’t strictly limited to jobs in those areas. Older adults bring qualities to the table that make them well-suited to diverse jobs in different sectors. Click ahead to see what some of the new careers are for workers over 50.

By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 28 December 2011

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images