It can be a daunting prospect for women over 50 to pursue a career or start over at this stage of their lives. Life often seems steeped against you. Women face the double prejudice of ageism and sexism. As a result, women are disadvantaged by things they cannot control, such as the effects of aging.
Women are more disadvantaged by ageism than men. Research shows that females are evaluated more severely than their male counterparts, in large part because many people think that one of their perceived assets — beauty — may be diminishing. In the meantime, males over the age of fifty often experience higher earning potential and more social respect.
Despite these obstacles, it is still possible to pursue your career goals when you’re over 50. Below, you will see how you can attain your goals, break through obstacles, and even start over successfully.
Align your goals
One assumption is that females do not have enough stamina to work long hours after fifty. Some people may say that this age is the starting point for what they consider to be old age. Some may also believe that aging occurs earlier for women than for men. It’s important that you declare your ambitions, pursue them boldly, and not let other people’s assumptions deter you.
One way to do this is to attempt to determine what your professional goals are for the future. This way, you can align them with those you work with. That may put you in a better position to communicate your value to your employer. Set a time to sit down with your boss and discuss your future.
Update your skills and grow
Another assumption is that as people grow older, they become more rigid in their beliefs and opinions. Employers may not consider you to be a good candidate for certain jobs. Jobs involving information technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and emerging technologies may be seen as unfit for older employees and particularly women.
To counter these assumptions, take courses to expand your relevant professional skills. If your workplace offers skill-building activities, take the opportunity to pursue them so you may update your resume. Alert your employer of your efforts to upgrade your skills. This will help you communicate that you have the drive and the capacity to take on new challenges.
Some older women are conflicted in that they want to start over but feel they are too old to do it. This is especially true when others say that women over 50 do not have the drive or willingness to move forward. Your circumstances may be why you want to start over or you may be tired of what you’re doing now and are seeking a change. Regardless of your age or your situation, it’s still possible to achieve your goals.
You are more likely to fulfill your dreams if you avoid negative self-talk that puts you into the mindset that you have no choice. All that does is make you feel helpless and full of doubt. Whatever you have done in the past doesn’t matter. Everyone makes mistakes and life happens. There’s no reason to be embarrassed about starting over.
Sharpen your focus
After the age of fifty, it’s especially important to pay attention to your health to ensure that you remain productive. And, your mental health is just as important as your physical well-being. You may want to tell your family that you’re thinking about starting a new business or career opportunity. Make it clear that you would like time for yourself to focus on work. Stress that you may have to divide your time between work and home and that you need them to be supportive.
Maintaining focus isn’t always an easy task. In fact, some people become so anxious about pursuing a new career that they become dependent on prescription medications. Multitasking requires careful organization to avoid undue stress.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time alone to collect your thoughts and plan your strategy. We all need opportunities to focus or unwind and sometimes you have to make that clear to your support team.
When it comes to physical health, ensure that you get enough sleep even if you have to go to bed earlier than normal. Exercise is also important for your physical as well as your mental health and will improve the quality of your life. You may also want to consider taking up meditation or another mindfulness activity.
Turn to Others
Know that you don’t necessarily have to start over on your own. And, you’ll always be able to find people to support you or who will provide valuable information on how to pursue a career or grow a new business:
- Find kindred spirits: Seek people who share the same outlook on life and are in a similar situation as you. Kindred spirits can help provide much-needed motivation and social support.
- Intergenerational network: Make a point of networking with people of different ages. This way, you will receive information on the latest research and technology trends. Information sourced widely through these networks may assist in guiding your career in the right direction.
- Be proactive: Pursue your goals boldly. It’s all within your reach. Don’t let negativity and self-doubt become obstacles.
Setting and discussing goals, updating your skills, taking care of yourself, spending time with others, and embracing new starts may help you achieve after fifty or any time in your life.
Have you thought about starting over to pursue a new career? Please leave a comment below.