No matter your age, never underestimate the possibility that you can start a new career or business.
In a typical economic downturn, older workers are more likely to hang onto their jobs than younger workers, who have less experience and tenure. But that hasn’t been the case this time around. In fact, during the early months of the pandemic, people over 55 were nearly 20% more likely to become unemployed than younger people. And that doesn’t even take into account the pandemic’s economic toll on small-business owners over age 50 who’ve been forced to scale back or shut their doors. Taken together, people in midlife and beyond who have had their businesses, careers or retirements impacted or derailed undoubtedly number in the millions.
Often people over age 50 is that we all have skills and abilities that we used earlier in life but have forgotten about, or may never have used but lie within us, which can be put to work with surprisingly positive results. In fact, the leading neuroscientist in this area, Michael Merzenich at the University of California, who pioneered the phenomenon called brain plasticity, is a proponent of people over 50 uncovering their hidden skills and abilities by trying out new careers or retirement work that intrinsically interests or fascinates them. I have counseled many people who have done undergone career changers or redirections in their mid-life. But the bottom line is this: no matter your age, never underestimate the possibility that you can start a new career or business, or earn extra retirement income, by tapping into personal capabilities that you may not be aware of or have forgotten that you possess.