More Mid-Agers Upskilling or Shifting Careers

With a greater life and health span to look forward to in older age, many mid-life adults are shifting careers and returning to school to learn new skills or change direction to find jobs that will withstand economic turmoil or offer more meaning and fulfillment. 

According to a recent Financial Post report, a study by LifeWorks and Deloitte Canada found that a year ago, during the height of the pandemic, 47 percent of Canadian employees were re-thinking their positions.  More than half of leaders in senior management positions were considering leaving, retiring or “downshifting” to a position that more closely aligns with their values or is less stressful. 

The past year, with all it’s challenges, has also been a time of reflection and growth for many people.  Those working in service sector, retail sales and office support positions have been hardest hit by COVID-19, according to Statistics Canada.  As a result, organizations like Palette Skills, a national non-profit that helps workers upskill into technology jobs are increasingly valuable. 

While some jobs may not return in a post-pandemic workplace, skilled tech workers are in even greater demand as more companies rely on automation and digitalization.  As more middle-aged adults are motivated to return to school for skills training, or entirely new careers, they will empower others to take on new challenges and shrug off ageist stereotypes.  Employers who can see the benefit of experience, combined with a relevant skillset, are likely to benefit from hiring more seasoned employees. 

A recent global survey by Microsoft’s Work Trend Index of more than 300,000 people in 31 countries found that more than 40 percent of respondents said they were considering leaving their employer this year.  Following the pandemic, workers want more career advancement opportunities, benefits that enhance economic well-being, and a company culture that values employees.  According to Forbes, workers considering shifting careers are also seeking a workplace that allows for a more even work-life balance which may include continued flexible remote work schedules.  

Learn more about mid-aged career shifts by following this link to Mid-Life Coach Sara Smeaton’s website and blog articles that inspire middle-aged and older adults during what Smeaton calls the “Power Years”.