Did you know people over 63 are the fastest growing segment of the Australian workforce?

Many people want to keep working into their 60s and beyond, often by changing careers, starting businesses or adding volunteering to the mix. Here are some possibilities:

 Encore careers

Encore careers result from exploring new directions, new experiences and self-reflection. A new career after 50 is often flexible in terms of time, but may involve a serious commitment – it will definitely take you in fresh directions. Career re-invention is at the core of encore careers. Those who succeed generally have access to support and resources to make it happen – you may need creative thinking and guidance to realise the possibilities.


Ever thought about starting your own business? ‘Seniorpreneurs’ are the fastest growing category of entrepreneurship in Australia. Some see their own business as a practical alternative to finding a job. Others want to monetise a hobby or create a socially useful paid project. Some are looking for a small supplement to their income, others are risking all on a dream.

Research shows older entrepreneurs may be more open to taking measured risks, and are generally more capable of starting and managing a business, due to their depth of experience, solid networks and larger resources. They are also highly motivated – they value and appreciate the flexibility and autonomy of running your own show.

 Same same, but different

Maybe you are happy in your current career, and want to plan their next decades within that context? Plenty of experienced workers would prefer to work fewer hours – 40% of full-time workers say they intend to switch to part-time for a few years before they retire. For others, flexibility is more about their start and finish time, and being able to take unpaid leave for caring responsibilities or travel. Being able to work from home on at least some days is often important.

And for some people, their 50s and 60s are a time to ramp up their career, not wind it down. For example, women who have interrupted their careers to raise children or care for others may see this period as a chance to achieve their longstanding career aspirations – and to accumulate some superannuation for their eventual retirement.

I want a job

Many Australians over 50 have plenty of options for their next step, and internal and external resources to help them along. But there are also a significant number of people in this demographic who are not working, but would like to be employed. Check out recent posts on Job Hunting and Acing Interviews for tips.


Plenty of over 50s are upping their volunteering activities, whether that’s taking care of grandchildren, teaching in the community or helping out their favourite charity. I think this is just as much ‘work’ as the other choices, and providing you can afford to spend some or all of your time this way, it is at least as rewarding as paid work.

Lots of options. Lots of possibilities.

What do you want to do?

(If you’d like to explore this further, come along to our next Journey Without Maps workshop on 13 August in Sydney. Save the date, more info on the website soon.)

Joanna Maxwell


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