Deepa Sahay, who is 53 years old, used to be very busy throughout her life. She took care of her husband and children and managed their daily schedules.
However, her son had moved to the US for a new job, and her daughter lived in another city, leading a settled life. Suddenly, Deepa found herself with a lot of free time.
She had never worked outside her home and wasn’t sure about her special talents beyond managing household affairs.
One day, at a social event, a friend mentioned opening a new art gallery and was looking for someone organized and reliable to manage it. Deepa, though uncertain at first, thought this opportunity might be suitable for her and asked if she could be considered.
This marked a new chapter in her life. After being a homemaker for 30 years, she started using her skills in a different way.
Many women, like Deepa, may find themselves wondering what to do with their lives as they get older. Some may already be working and want to explore new opportunities, while others may have more time on their hands after their children have grown up and left home.
Starting something new at the age of 50 or above can feel daunting, especially in a world that often values youth. We see young millionaires, and technology is advancing rapidly. So, what kinds of job opportunities are available for people in their 50s and beyond?
Whether it’s your first time entering the workforce or making a fresh start, there are indeed fewer options for women over 50, but there are still plenty of opportunities to consider.
8 Career Options for Women over 50
1. Social work
For those of you who are not looking at money as the main motivation, this would be a good option. NGOs always need volunteers, and schedules can be flexible to suit your needs.
Social work is diverse and dynamic, and women can choose projects they are comfortable with–from promoting environmental issues and working with children or women to standing up for social causes.
There are also courses available on social work, if you wish to study and qualify for the pay package.
Another flexible work option is tutoring. Many look at tutoring as only associated with school subjects, but it can be diverse. Sheila, 58, tutors kids in different painting techniques.
“I was an avid painter in my younger years, but it was never looked at as a lucrative profession. I took up a job and then, between work and family, my painting was well forgotten.
When I retired at 55, I knew I could not sit idle. So, I went back to my old passion. Today, I have reacquainted myself with old and new styles of art, and in the bargain, make good money teaching kids and adults,” she says.
Besides school subjects and art, other tutoring options could be singing, different dance forms or musical instruments etc.
3. Designer (Interiors / clothes / jewelery)
Always had a keen eye for clothes or jewellery, or been fascinated by people’s homes? Do you see design in everything? While others see a plain cloth, you give it shape, style and form? A few pieces of rock form a beautiful ring in your mind’s eye, or you have found the perfect corner for the shabby box on sale? Then you should try your hand at designing.
There are courses available for clothes, jewellery and interior designing, if you wish to hone the skill. If starting out alone, this might require some investment from your end; you can participate in exhibitions to promote your brand, or alternatively tie up with other boutiques or professionals.
This one entails your years of talent in the kitchen being put to lucrative use. Some women are fond of cooking and enjoy feeding people.
A mother-son duo in Mumbai have started a home dining experience to introduce the world to their community food. The mother is skilled in the kitchen and the son puts his marketing talents to work and promotes her expertise.
Theirs is now a full-time venture. Women can also start tiffin services or take up party orders.
There is a growing need for counsellors in today’s age. Being in the counselling profession, I have noticed that people are more comfortable with women counsellors. To add to that, a woman with worldly experience is an added bonus. Women interested in counselling need to be certified.
There are many courses available, and one can specialise in their field of interest, be it counselling marriages, children, substance abuse or educating people on sexual issues.
While I was doing my course, there was a retired school principal in my batch; her motivation to become a counsellor was simple: She said she had guided her students all their lives, and they still came to her for advice; so why not do it professionally and channelise it better!
6. Real estate agent
While women real estate agents are very popular in the West, this is not the most popular choice in India. But, if you have a flair for marketing, can be aggressive yet polite, and are quick with follow-ups, this is a good option.
You can tie up with local estate agents and work flexible hours to show properties. Some would prefer working around the vicinity of their homes–this also helps in sales as they have local knowledge. Salaries for agents vary, as most work on commision of sales.
Remember those poems you wrote in college? Or those stories you made up for the children and grandchildren? It’s time to put that imagination on paper.
Writing is something most take for granted and few pursue as a career choice. Short stories, life experiences, fantasy and fiction–all genres are open and up for grabs. There are courses on creative writing in most cities.
If you are not sure where to get your work published, you could start a blog: it’s free and easy to operate. Many sites offer worthwhile payment options once the blog picks up.
For those in love with nature and some open space to spare, it would be ideal to open a nursery. Plants need care and nurturing, and can keep you busy for hours.
Read up on plants that suit your climatic conditions and begin potting. Learn flower arrangements, and decorate for friends and family at their next few parties. If you can manage to employ, keep a few delivery men at hand once the business picks up.
Being a florist is not only a lucrative business, but the interaction with plants has been scientifically proven to keep one calm and happy.
There is no dearth for work opportunities for women wanting to start over. Women I know, well into their fifties and older, contributed with many more ideas.
One has a booming chocolate business which she operates from home, while another makes knitted articles like bags, tea cosies, table placements and more through the year, and then exhibits them during the festive season, making a thriving sale.
An aunt of mine chanced upon a pottery class, and now has a beautiful shop selling handmade ceramic pieces. All of these women have proved time and again that it doesn’t matter how old you are; after all, age is just a number.
Conclusion on Career Options for Women over 50
- In conclusion, the journey of exploring career options for women over 50 is one of empowerment, reinvention, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment.
- As we’ve delved into some of the top choices, from consulting and entrepreneurship to part-time positions and skill-based transitions, it becomes evident that age is not a limiting factor but a reservoir of experience and wisdom to draw from.
- Women in their 50s possess a unique blend of skills, resilience, and a deep understanding of life, making them valuable assets in various professional domains.
- The key lies in embracing change, staying adaptable, and harnessing the wealth of knowledge acquired over the years. The road ahead may be different, but it holds exciting opportunities for those who dare to embark on a new chapter and redefine success on their own terms.
- The world is ready to witness the remarkable contributions of women over 50 in diverse careers, and the possibilities are boundless for those who are willing to seize them.
FAQ on Career Choices for Women over 50
FAQ 1: What career options for women over 50 are available ?
Answer: There are several career paths for women over 50, including consulting, freelance work, entrepreneurship, part-time positions, and retraining for new industries. Your choice should align with your skills, interests, and goals.
FAQ 2: Is it too late to start a new career in my 50s?
Answer: It’s never too late to pursue a new career. Many successful individuals have made significant career changes in their 50s and beyond. Assess your skills, seek additional training if needed, and leverage your experience to your advantage.
FAQ 3: How can I overcome age-related bias in the job market?
Answer: To combat age discrimination, focus on highlighting your experience, adaptability, and willingness to learn. Networking, updating your resume, and considering industries that value mature workers can also be beneficial.
FAQ 4: What resources are available for women over 50 seeking career guidance?
Answer: There are various resources, such as career counselors, online courses, mentorship programs, and support groups tailored to women over 50. These resources can provide guidance and help you navigate your career transition effectively.
FAQ 5: What are the advantages of pursuing entrepreneurship in my 50s?
Answer: Entrepreneurship can offer flexibility, the ability to follow your passion, and the potential for financial independence. Your life experience and skills can be valuable assets in starting and running a successful business at this stage of life.