Fifty, never too old to make changes

Being a fifty something making changes I was interested to see this tweet seeking career changing thirty somethings. The responses were unexpected and so innovative and diverse.

But then more relevant to me personally was this article from The Times my friend sent me the very same day. Talk about coincidence…

article headline from the times

I was glad to see having a crisis of confidence for starting something new is common, it wasn’t just me. More than ever women in their fifties are making changes. The subject featured in the Times article by Camilla Cavendish is also the subject of her book Extra Time: Ten Lessons for an Ageing Society.

Wether it be redundancy or retirement or just sheer boredom. Women in their 50’s and 60’s are taking chances on new careers. Things they’ve dreamt of doing and in lots of cases it’s working.

There are now more women over 50 in work than ever before. Starting businesses or re-training for a new career and being their own boss. Employment in the UK is at its highest since 1971 and workers over the age of fifty are a key factor in the peak. Including 38% more women than 10 years ago.

I kept saying I was too old. Too old to go to a networking event, too old to start new challenges, especially too old to be with all the thirty and forty somethings in the social media world.

But learning new things keeps our brains in shape. These articles remind us that we are capable of change at any age and are never too old to try something new.

For many women looking for something new is about a change of pace. Looking to replace stressful roles with part-time or alternative careers, and job satisfaction is key. It’s about flexibility, working from home, choosing your own hours. And if you are working long hours spend it doing something you love. 

What Camilla discovered. She says, the message from the women on these pages is that none of us need to have any desire to retire. Most of us, it turns out, are still growing up.

Starting a new blog seems minuscule to starting a company or new training but it’s all about finding a sense of purpose. This could just be the beginning. Remind ourselves we are capable of change, and who knows where it will lead to next.


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  • I love this, Lorraine. It’s so inspiring to seeing women ahead of me in terms of age really paving the way for change. I hope I’m never too old to try new things or start something new. It would make life really boring, right?!

    • Thanks. It has really encouraged me to just do the things I have always wanted to do and not associate them with age.

  • This is ringing really true for me. Left my career (teaching) in my late 40’s. Now I’m 50 and thinking about going into art therapy (mainly felting!). Thanks for your thought provoking article!

    • Mandy, that is a brilliant idea, especially with your felting. I imagine it to be very therapeutic and also a perfect chance to talk while you are occupied making something.

  • I think trying new things, not dismissing things until you know more and enjoying being around young people is a good way to keep you open to change. (Tho I often have to google what they’re saying as I can never tell if they’re making fun of me or agreing with me….ha!) Never too late to change, and more importantly, never too late to ENJOY change. Nice post #MLSTL

    • Thanks, you’re right about young people although I am sure my teen thinks i’m crackers sometimes, haha.

  • I do believe that we are all never too old to learn. Though starting up a business at 60, I could think of a million less stressful fun ‘things’ to do in my “retirement”! A thought-provoking post!

  • Hello Lorraine and welcome to #MLSTL. I’m now looking at 62 this year but for me life is just not about numbers. I totally agree that our generation of Women Over 50 are not retiring and hiding away but actually taking on new adventures in career and in life. I started my blog when I retired but when I think about it I haven’t really retired at all. I love your last sentence about reminding ourselves that we are capable of change – that doesn’t have an age limit at all. Have a fabulous week and I look forward to connecting with you.

    • Thanks Sue, so glad I came across #MLSTL I know what you mean about retired but not retired, sometimes life seems busier now than when working, haha.

  • Blogging was the best decision I’ve made so far in my 50’s Lorraine. I love the connections, the encouragement and the growth that it’s brought to me. None of it was expected and it’s been an absolute joy. I find that the more I engage with others, they more they give back.
    I changed career paths at 52 – well I moved from dental to medical and then to surgical reception positions – somc similarities but a LOT of learning curves to get my head around. Now at 57, I’m suddenly “retired” and I had no plans for that at all, but I’m actually loving it. I may not stay retired, but we’ve made enough provision for this that I can if I want to – and it’s so lovely to not be focused on work, and to just do what I feel like every day – bliss!
    So glad you linked up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading and sharing the other linked posts x

    • Hi Leanne, it was great to find the MLSTL community, sometimes I feel I’m the oldest kid on the block. I’ve commented on some of the linked up blogs but think it’s gone into their spam. I’m sure it will settle down the more I join in. Totally agree with you about blogging and the engagement. I’m finding my way through sharing the other posts & have really enjoyed reading them.

  • Good for you! Starting something new is always exciting regardless of our age so I applaud anyone who makes such changes. I had to re-find myself at 56 after being made redundant and I’m still learning new things. Visiting from #mlstl

    • Thanks Debbie, you’re not the first to mention redundancy forcing big changes, hope you’re enjoying all the new things.

  • A few years ago, I was downsized/retired by my company after 25 years of service. A bit of a shock on one hand and a bit of relief on the other. I’d been working in Management for 24 of those years, the last two as a Senior Operations Manager. That meant on call 24-7, 10 hour days, and stress galore. After the downsizing, I became a Caregiver for my Mother for the last two years of her life and now I’ve finally returned to work, at 57. But no management role for me. I’m just a Rep. I get to go in, do my job, and leave at the end of the night without any worries about the business. I only need to worry about my results, not the results of many. I’m loving it.

    • Jennifer it’s great to know that you’re loving it, it must have been a massive change in the beginning. I’m glad you were able to take care of your Mother. I hope lots of good things are on the way for you. x

  • Hi Lorraine, great post! I made a huge life change when I turned 40, but now I’m 52 and looking for the next one. Hoping to find my sense of purpose in the coming years. Thanks for giving us something to think about. Visiting from MLSTL and pinned. 🙂

  • Hi! Visiting from #MLSTL link. This year I’ve set a goal to try 101 new things. Some are minor – new restaurants or stores. Some are bigger – we went Axe Throwing a few weeks ago! No it’s not starting a new career, but I’ve really enjoyed this approach for my retirement. I really do not have any desire to work for compensation, but rather live & enjoy each day as it comes.

    • It sounds as if you have an interesting life ahead, much better than going to work. My friend’s did Axe throwing, they loved it. I like the 101 new things idea.

  • Hi Lorraine, I agree that we are still growing up. Continual learning and having a sense of purpose helps us thrive. Thank you for a relatable post:) Erica #MLSTL

  • I think that once women get to a certain age, we gain a different type of confidence – one that tells us that life is too short, so do the thing!

    • Suzanne that’s spot on, I’ve got more confidence now & a lot of things that I worried about before I can’t be bothered about now. Thanks for reading x

  • I am 50 too, and I agree that you have to keep changing and developing in work and all aspects of life. A big part of that is to stay open minded and not think that you’ve seen it all before (although it’s inevitable to feel like that sometimes). I think the world will open up to us, but we have to open up to it too.