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Embarking on a career change after 50 can feel like a daunting endeavor. But who says midlife can’t be the perfect time for a vocational rebirth? Whether you’re looking for a more fulfilling role, reentering the workforce, or eager to turn your long-standing passion into a paycheck, it’s never too late to redirect your career path. The transition can be smoother than you think, especially when you’re armed with wisdom from experts who’ve been there, and done that. Our curated list of ‘Must-Reads for Career Changers Over 50’ provides the insights and strategies you need to make your next career move both exciting and successful.
In What’s Next? by Kerry Hannon, readers find an all-encompassing guide to career transitions later in life. The book blends practical tips, real-life stories, and strategies to help those over 50 evaluate their career paths and pivot towards more fulfilling roles. Hannon covers critical topics like networking, job interviews, personal branding, and leveraging social media, supplemented by case studies of individuals who have successfully transitioned careers. Whether contemplating a job change within your industry, starting a business, or monetizing a hobby, this book serves as a roadmap to navigate the complexities of shifting careers after 50.
Reinvent your own career or pursue a long-held dream.You may never have a better chance or reason to do so--to get excited about work again and feel passionate about making a difference in the world.
Too Young to Retire
In Too Young to Retire by Marika Stone and Howard Stone, the concept of retirement gets a revolutionary rethink. Rather than viewing life after 50 as a time to slow down, Stone encourages readers to consider this phase as an opportunity for new vocational adventures. The book serves as both a motivational manifesto and a practical guide, laying out various avenues one might take when “retirement” is too small a word for the ambitions of those in their later years. From exploring encore careers to volunteerism, or even turning hobbies into income streams, Stone offers a holistic approach to reimagining life after 50.
With Americans living longer, healthier lives, the conventional idea of retirement is obsolete. Millions of Americans are working past the age of sixty-five—not because they have to, but because they want to.
The Encore Career Handbook
The Encore Career Handbook by Marci Alboher is a go-to guide for those over 50 looking to make a career change that combines personal fulfillment with social impact. The book covers essential topics like financial planning for the transition, skill acquisition, and effective networking. Drawing on real-life examples and practical exercises, Alboher offers a streamlined roadmap for making a meaningful “encore” career a reality.
Until recently, most Americans equated the end of a successful career with the beginning of retirement. No more. Now they want to stay in the game (or better, change the game). They want to leave a mark. Make a difference―and continue to make money.
Second-Act Careers by Nancy Collamer provides over fifty ways to profit from your passions during semi-retirement, making her insights ideal for those considering a career change later in life. Covering a diverse range of opportunities, from freelancing and consulting to starting a small business or monetizing a hobby, Collamer’s advice aims to help people achieve both financial security and personal satisfaction. With actionable tips and real-world examples, this resource offers a comprehensive blueprint for reinventing your career at any age.
A career guide that rethinks the golden years, this handbook offers 50+ income models for creating flexible, fulfilling, and profitable work during the encore stage of one’s career.
Life Reimagined by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber is a guide for those facing life and career transitions, particularly later in life. The book offers a mix of practical exercises, psychological insights, and real-life stories to help readers identify their unique gifts and passions. The authors tackle key topics like self-discovery, life meaning, and goal-setting, providing a roadmap for anyone looking to enrich their “second act” in life. The central message is that it’s never too late to live a fulfilling life true to oneself.
Here is your map to guide you in this new life phase. You can use the powerful practices and insights—enhanced with online tools and exercises at AARP’s LifeReimagined.org website—to help you uncover your own special gifts.
Designing Your Life
Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans uses design thinking as a framework to help you construct a fulfilling, meaningful life and career at any age. Though not exclusively targeted at those over 50, the book’s principles are universally applicable, making it an invaluable resource for people in midlife or later who are contemplating significant life or career changes. With a focus on problem-solving and creative innovation, the authors guide you through a series of exercises and real-world examples to reshape your life trajectory.
In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are.
Pivot by Jenny Blake offers a methodical approach to career changes, focusing on assessing what you already possess and what you need to move forward. Particularly useful for those considering a midlife career switch, Blake’s strategies help you leverage your existing skills, identify new opportunities, and plan actionable steps for a seamless transition. Through practical exercises and real-life case studies, the book serves as a comprehensive guide for career reinvention.
No matter your age, industry, or bank account balance, Jenny's advice will help you move forward with confidence.
Repurpose Your Career
Repurpose Your Career by Marc Miller is a tactical guide specifically tailored for Baby Boomers aiming to pivot into a more fulfilling career later in life. Miller leverages his own experiences and expertise to provide step-by-step advice, covering everything from self-assessment and networking to job search strategies. The book is filled with real-world examples, practical exercises, and actionable insights, making it a comprehensive resource for career reinvention.
In this age of disruption, digitization, and the gig economy, people need a new mindset and strategies to become continual learners, create their own flexible careers, and cope with ageism.
The Third Chapter
The Third Chapter by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers stories and practical advice for individuals over 50 contemplating major life changes, including embarking on a