Career Change After
50-Career Planning from Clerical to Computer Wiz
"Clerical Retiree With No Computer Experience Planned Her New Job
into a Computer Tech Career"
Career Change after 50-career planning on a shoe-string by a retired
Planning for a new career after 50 does not have to be expensive. It does not need elaborate actions plans for
overall career success. What it needs is a passion to reach a career goal.
Here's the story of a 64 year old grandmother, whose name is Marie,
who had worked as an administrative assistant until she retired three years ago at 61.
Finding a Career After 50 to Match Your
Being too young to sit out her
retirement she began planning a second career. She always had an interest in how
After some study and reflection Marie decided she wanted to find a
career in which she would build and customize computers and other high teck gadgets. She had
absolutely no experience in the computer career field other than knowing how to turn it on and
operate basic office and spreadsheet programs.
Her career plan took advantage of her previous experience but there
was a big gap in the required skill level.
Career change After 50 to fit Your Interests
Marie decided computers, building and repairing them would be her new career field. It was a big career
change but she was confident of success. Of course her friends and family told her she would have little to gain
but failure trying to break into this career field-if you were male and under 25 maybe but not a 61 year old
Undaunted, Marie knew her new planned career
required that she learn some basic computer hardware knowledge. So, she signed up for an evening class on computer
building and repair at the local junior college.
Informational Interviews to get Career Planning Results
Marie developed an informational interview to learn more about
the skills and experience necessary to break into her planned career field. Her first interest was to find out
what qualifications were required to be considered for a job in this field.
At one small computer repair shop they couldn't
believe this grandmother was interested in building and repairing computers. She countered that they
didn't have someone to greet and take care of customers so she offered to work for two weeks and if they found her
services valuable she would work whatever hours were available.
And she asked in the course of working as a receptionist/customer
service person they would when time was available teach her the basics of computer building,
repair and troubleshooting.
Start Small But Keep Learning about New Planned Career
Three years ago Marie started working for this small company that
build custom computers, did computer repair and troubleshooting and sold some new computer related products. Her
customer service skills were transferable from her other career.
Gradually, they eased her into learning the jargon of the industry.
She continued to go to the junior college in the evenings. The company sent her to some area
workshops to learn computer diagnostic techniques and general troubleshooting.
Her experience and knowledge from her previous job helped her
provide and implement valuable suggestions to her new employer regarding marketing and customer
service. The employer continued to grow and in the last year got into setting up computer networks and selling and
servicing long term service contracts.
Leverage Previous Skills in New Career After 50
Marie acted as lead technician and contact with several customers, and
her prior experience as an administrative assistant helped her in selling the contracts and keeping the customers
Her current pay in her new career is 35% higher than what she was making in the job
she retired from. She is excited to go into work every day and is pleased that her career
plan got her this far.
Her friends and family can't believe Marie's success. Her new employer is her greatest
cheerleader, as they have plans to further expand the business into IT contract work,
business network relocation and custom computers and servers.
In the three years Marie has studied, got her hands "dirty",
learned a new language and been a catalyst in helping her new employer grow and expand. Overall a career
Summary of Marie's Career Plan
1. She examined her interests. She had a abiding interest in how things
worked. Computers were a natural direction.
2. She began an inexpensive course of study at a local junior
3. She started a series of instructional
interviews to find out more about the requirements and experience needed to secure a job in the
4. She leveraged her prior customer service
skills into an entry level job with a small employer that performed the type of work she was
5. Her skills from her prior job were
helpful in assisting her new employer in expanding.
6. She continued to study and was given
additional responsibilities as her new employer expanded.
Result: She enjoys going into
work everyday and made a unique career change after 50 (in this situation after 60) has become an
integral part of the employer's team as he expends into new services. (She also proved her friends and family