Reinventing Yourself at 50

Series: My Morning Routine

30 October 2019

After a devastating job loss, Sylvie managed to find the motivation to completely transform her life. For her, being 50 is not the end of something, but rather the beginning of an exciting and liberating time. And who knows, maybe 50 is the perfect age to start over. Discussing the matter with us is career management consultant, Claire Savoie.

Is it recommended to make a career change after 50?

Claire Savoie: It’s quite feasible when it’s what the person wants. Nowadays, we work much longer than we used to, and remaining active as long as possible is a trend I’m seeing with my clients and in my entourage. However, you have to be very motivated to change careers after age 50, because any transition is riddled with emotions and doubts. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself properly.

What are the most common triggers?

It can be the loss of employment, a burnout, or being fed up of the environment or workload.

When there is still 10, 15 or 20 years left to work, it can be very interesting to go acquire new knowledge. People want to end their busy lives with smiles on their faces, not just “do their time” like prisoners!

How should someone prepare for the transition?

We must first identify the nature of the work we want to do, choose the context and the environment. Should I go back to school? Do I want to work for myself? With a partner? Or, for a new employer? When all this becomes clear, it’s time to speak with people who have been doing the job for a long time, and see if it really corresponds with our expectations. This prevents any demotivating missteps.

When clients tell me: when I retire, I will do this or that, I encourage them to start now, to feed their projects. To start volunteering, for example.


Image de Sylvie

In Sylvie Perencin‘s case, job loss triggered a complete life change: her job, her physical health, her self-esteem…

These changes often affect other spheres of our lives because they allow us to slow down, reflect, see what we’re missing and what we’d like to accomplish. People often lose themselves. So yes, this transition allows them to get back into shape, pay attention to their diet. It is beneficial for their self-esteem and it prevents them from losing themselves again.

“Job loss can be difficult to overcome, but it’s often hiding an opportunity, a gift that is unwrapped later. We must allow ourselves the time to realize that such a loss also brings gains.”

Starting a business seems to be a seductive avenue for many…

Creating one’s own job by becoming a “solopreneur” or self-employed seems to be a trend. Many retirees choose to become certified for coaching or consulting as a way to stay active.

Would you say that professionally, 50 is the new 30?

I wouldn’t go that far, because I think people know themselves better at 50 than they do at 30. They have learned from their experiences, and that has a positive impact on the choices they make professionally.


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About the author

Mélissa Proulx

About Mélissa Proulx


Mélissa Proulx is a journalist, news contributor, and copywriter. Passion and creativity have been driving her to create rich and diverse journalistic content since 2002.