Starting Out

Can I Have a New Career at 50? Freelancing as a Senior

At the mention of freelancing or working from home, thoughts of young people come to mind, right?

Not so true because according to available data, a good number of freelancers are over 50 and are seniors.

Can I Have a New Career at 50? Freelancing as a Senior

37% of people who do freelance work from home are between the ages of 65 and above according to AARP.

Some of them are retired from their jobs while others decide to have a new career at 50.

With rising job insecurity, where some people are forced into early retirement and workplace age discrimination, the majority have taken to become a freelancer.

Thirty-seven percent of people who do freelance work from home are between the ages of 65 and above according to AARP.

Data made available by Upwork and Digital Information World also has it that 30% of Gen X and 20% of Baby Boomers are freelancing full or part-time.

A New Career at 50: Why Do Seniors Need Freelance Work?

Working as a freelancer at 50 and beyond is a good option for seniors who wish to continue working during retirement.

This is because of the flexibility provided by freelancing where you get to choose your work hours and do not have to commute to work.

It also affords seniors the opportunity to work and earn money, irrespective of their health challenges.

1. To Transfer Knowledge

If you are a professional, you may feel you still have a lot to offer even after retirement and as such setup consultancy practices to keep giving back.

That gig and many others are easy low-stress jobs after retirement that you can start easily.

Freelancing also feeds the desire to remain relevant.

By this means, people over 50 have the opportunity to pass on knowledge to the next generation.

This is typical of older workers who were forced into early retirement, those who had careers where they had to retire while still young like football and other sports.

2. Financial Reasons

Although money is not a major factor, some people over 50 – upon retirement – still have financial needs and therefore take up freelancing to meet these needs.

Through freelancing, some earn enough to meet their needs, while others earn far more than they did while working actively.

3. Freelancing Helps You Keep Up with Trends in Your Industry

After putting in a greater number of your active years into paid employment in a sector, freelancing offers you the opportunity to remain up to date about industry practices.

4. It is a Means to Pursue a Creative Passion

Changing careers after 50 means you can let out your creative passion

This is a major driving force behind older freelancing and switching careers.

5. To curb the Effects of Loneliness

Loneliness has been known to be one of the downsides of aging.

Being busy with freelancing occupies your mind and fills your time with something meaningful and worthwhile.

Working reduces the impact of loneliness because your mind is kept busy.

What Does it Take to Start a New Career After 50?

Being a senior is not a disadvantage, it doesn’t stop you from switching careers and starting a new career.

There are a good number of organizations spread across the globe set up to hire seniors such as Hire.Seniors.

Howbeit, freelance work could be done from home (work from home) or outside the home.

To start up any of these, you must have:

1. The Passion to Work

Passion motivates you to do work.

When you are passionate about something, you show up and get the work done.

Doing something you are passionate about increases your zeal, makes work enjoyable and easy.

When you discover your passion, you may then go-ahead to build a business around it.

Passion is important in starting a new career at 50 because at this point, you may have worked on jobs you didn’t like all through your career.

Money may no more be motivating so you need to be passionate about what you do when you switch careers.

2. It is Getting Paid to Live Your Passion

Let’s say your passion is travelling and you worked all your active years as an administrator.

Upon retirement, you could take up travel blogging/Youtubing as a freelance gig, while you travel around the world.

What a wonderful thing to have – getting paid for your passions!

3. Develop Skills to Make Money

You need to develop your passion, and horn it into a skill that can be exchanged for money.

If you are passionate about children, you need to learn how to take care of them or teach them, then be a skilled teacher or caregiver before you can provide the services of teaching or caregiving.

It takes training to horn your skills. A person who is passionate about dogs can train to become a dog trainer, walker, or sitter.

It is your skills that will sell you.

4. Leverage Your Experience In a Particular Field

In fact, most employers who hire people at 50 and older do so based on their experience.

Experience makes you an industry expert.

Employers also believe that by hiring you, you will transfer your knowledge to the younger workforce.

What Freelance Jobs are Available When You’re 50?

For some, retirement is a time to take the back seat, rest and enjoy life.

It is also a time when some prefer to pursue their hobbies and passion.

Yet for others, there’s still a desire to work during retirement born out of personal reasons.

If you belong to the latter, a variety of industries offer freelance jobs which can help you fulfill your passion while generating income for yourself. Freelancing is not age-specific, it solely depends on expertise and availability.

Below are some freelance jobs that provide seniors with a work-life balance, enabling them to remain active as they enjoy their golden years.

This list is by no means exhaustive, a lot more jobs are available than can be contained here.

1. Data Entry

For someone with strong attention to details, and the ability to perform repetitive jobs accurately, the field of data entry may be a good option when you start a new career at 50.

It involves entering and updating information in an electronic database. A strong verbal and written communication skill is also required to excel in this field.

Data entry is one of the most popular freelance jobs out there which you can do from the comfort of your home.

If you worked in administration, this could just be the freelance job for you.

2. Customer Service

Customer service is a means whereby organizations interface with their clients to solve their problems, answer brand questions, receive and provide feedback.

As a customer service person, you will interface with clients on behalf of an organization by email, phone calls and chats.

You require excellent communications and research skills to make a good customer service person. Most companies will help you set up your home office for an easy start up.

You also get to choose your work hours.

3. Writing for Businesses

If reading and writing is your thing, writing for businesses may be your perfect option for women in their 50’s.

Writing for businesses offers you the opportunity to get paid while doing something you love.

To help you get started, take this free course offered by Elna Cain, expert freelance writer.

4. Editing Services

You may also opt for editing. Editors are proofreaders.

They are attentive to details and correct written pieces for publication.

Editors make a decent wage – up to $45/hour for editing articles online.

4. Translation Services

If you are really knowledgeable in more than one language and have a passion for translation, this may be just perfect for you.

Whether you have a career change at 40 or a career change at 40 or 50, having a translation side gig can earn you some extra cash and help you stave off loneliness.

5. Become a Virtual Assistant

VA’s are virtual or online administrative assistants.

They carry out administrative tasks for people and organizations from their own locations.

You could help manage emails, organize activities, and manage schedules for individuals and organizations.

If you had worked in an administrative role, transitioning into virtual assistance will be natural.

6. Teaching and Training

Of all available freelance jobs, teaching attracts the highest number of middle aged women.

It could be done on site or virtually.

Virtual learning has become a thing in our world today.

You could be in the US teaching people in China and around the world.

There is no cap on what you can teach, from languages to IT to other endless options.

If you are passionate about teaching, you could teach virtually or package your knowledge up as eBooks and video series.

7. Work in Information Communication Technology (ICT)

With the digitalization of the world today, ICT persons are in high demand.

Working in ICT is very versatile and profitable.

The beauty of ITC is that you do not have to work from a specific location, all you need is your skillset, a working internet connection and a computer.

Starting a New Career at 50 Have Never Been Easy Before

Freelancing is not only for the young, its open to all ages.

Millions of seniors the world over are actively freelancing and loving it.

If you’ve ever thought of a means of earning an income, living and exploring your passion, giving back, and staying up to date with industry trends, then freelancing is the way to go!

Ekei Joy is a freelance Christian, health, and fitness writer for hire who specializes in creating in-depth content such as blog posts, articles, Emails/Newsletters to help grow client business.  With a background in Religious and Humanitarian Studies, she is passionate about curbing the effects of violent conflict on the girl child and other vulnerable populations. Find her on LinkedIn.

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