As a women over 50 starting life over is difficult?
Divorce, losing a job, making bad decisions with money, health issues, relationship breakdowns, a global pandemic, mental health crisis, dependent parents...
These are some of the events which culminating in our fifties can hit us hard physically, mentally and emotionally. But you can start over!
Here you’ll find proven solutions for starting life over after 50. What it takes is baby steps while working through practice solutions, one at a time. It also takes a willingness to shift your mindset. Here's how!
Nine Mindset Shifts to Start Over at 50
But first, here’s 9 mindset shifts I used on the uphill journey from depression and anxiety to living the life of my dreams.
- Let go of past failures
- Create new expectations
- Worry less about what friends & family think
- Test new ideas with an open mind
- Practice self compassion
- Learn, learn, learn
- Forgive yourself, and others
- Create new experiences
- Stop making judgements
Practical actions you can take today to start over
Now you've adjusted your mindset let's look at some practical actions to start life over at over 50 in three key areas of our life.
How to Start Over at 50 Financially
Manage your money
Budget. Start to track your spending.
I use an online application called Pocketsmith to track every bank transaction.
The application is really smart. It pulls the transactions automatically from my bank account, bundles them into categories, which I can then review before producing reports.
I know exactly where I’m spending my money. It’s a bit scary seeing it all in black and white, but now I can make better decisions and it also means I’m taking full responsibility for my financial situation. Are you?
Create income streams
Here are a few ideas to earn a living other than having a job.
- 1Rent out a room
If you have extra room in your house, you can earn money renting it out to visitors on Airbnb.com. It’s a pretty cool way to make money and meet interesting people from around the world at the same time.
- 2Write a book. You know something that you can teach others, or you have a story to tell. Learn about how to write and publish at the Self-Publishing School.
- 3Become a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is a person who provides support services to a business from a remote location. What skill do you have that others need? Editing, book-keeping, data entry, making appointments, social media etc.
- 4Teach English online
- 5Online Surveys. You won’t make much money but you can do it while binge-watching Netflix. Here’s a couple of sites - Respondent.io which operates worldwide and https://join.surveycompare.co.nz/ for New Zealand only survey sites.
- 6Start a farmers market stall. If you can't see yourself doing this alone, get together with a friend. What can you find, grow or make to sell on a market stall?
- 7Have you got a craft you can sell on Etsy?
- 8Drive for Uber etc.
- 9Become a freelancer. (Lots more details on how below.)
- 10Become an affiliate for products you love. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people's (or company's) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. Most items are promoted on websites or social media.
Get a raise
Chose to be frugal and buy less
Explore CoLiving or CoHousing
Confidence, Motivation & Purpose
What to do when you've lost our confidence, motivation and purpose?
How does it happen that we lose our confidence, motivation and purpose?
We’re used to being competent and confident. That was until we faced menopause, a career bottleneck, job loss, relationship breakup, mental health crisis, or simply the realisation that there is less life to come than there is behind us. That’s when we can find ourselves stuck and overwhelmed.
I know, because it happened to me, and many of the women I coach.
- 1What are you good at?
- 2What did you love doing as a child?
Become a virtual assistant. What skill do you have that others need? Editing, book-keeping, data entry, making appointments etc.
- 3What do your friends say you're good at?
If you're not sure, then why not ask them? Send an email right now to three friends that you trust “Please tell me what you think I'm good at? “ You may be surprised when reminded of the things you have forgotten about yourself.
- 4What energizes you?
On a day you're feeling confident and your energy levels are up, what have you been doing to make you feel that way?
- 5Gosh you make that look easy!
What do other people admire in you? What are you proud of?
- 6Be kind!
Who have you helped today? It maybe is simple as smiling at the person behind the supermarket checkout.
While these small actions make a difference to others, they also make a big difference in how we feel about ourselves. This pdf shows us how kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals our wounds, reduces anxiety and boosts our confidence!
- 7VolunteerWhen I was emerging from depression and anxiety I got a job for half-a-day each week at a local charity that provided second-hand curtains for low-income households. At that time I was a successful businesswoman however, the many months of depression and anxiety had affected my ability to think, as well as my confidence. Working in a small team where my practical skills were needed as we sorted, measured and sewed curtains was a perfect way for me to feel part of something useful again. I was there as an extra pair of hands not for my intellectual prowess, and that suited me just fine. ( I did eventually regain my cognitive ability but it took many months but with that, my confidence returned.)
Envision the Future
How describing an ideal day will change your life.
I want to share this exercise which I regularly use myself and also with my coaching clients. The Day in My Life exercise is where I journal about a day in the future.
In this post, I describe how you can use this exercise to envision your ideal future so that your decision-making processes are innately linked to how you want to be and feel. It takes the pain out of decision-making because you will find yourself making the right decisions intuitively and painlessly. Here’s a direct link to the pdf.
Spend 25 minutes now. This could change your life!
Career, Job, Earning a Living
What are the best jobs and careers for starting over after 50?
Consider this! At 55 years old you may have a 15-year career ahead of you. Doesn’t that make it a good reason to find work you love?
When I talk about doing work you love I also mean earning a living. Many of us might be happy continuing with the 9-to-5 job either in our existing career or doing something new.
However, another option is to look at how you could make a living doing something completely different, and that might mean doing a mixture of things to the money you need.
In the section above on starting over at 50 financially I showed there are many ways to use your skills, talents and resources to bring in money.
Now, let’s go through several other options for trading time for money.
Freelancing is where you trade your skills and talents, often through an online portal, through your networks, or using a recruitment agency that specializes in placing contractors or temporary workers.
As a professional freelancer, you are rewarded directly for the work to do, and you have the flexibility of choosing your assignments. There are many benefits, but there are also risks in becoming a freelancer, some of which I've outlined in this article.
While the number of full-time jobs is declining, the number of freelance opportunities is growing. Now is the time to learn about freelancing and the multitude of opportunities available to earn a full-time income, or to earn a bit on the side.
So if becoming a full-time freelancer is a step too far at this point then you could consider starting a side gig by doing a few hours each week. You don't know where it might lead!
I have one friend who has started a small business as a result of the projects she did as a personal concierge - helping people with the tasks they didn't have time to do themselves.
Here’s a tiny sample of the freelancing options available.
Online portals where you can advertise your talents.
On Upwork, you run your own business and choose your clients and projects. Just complete your profile and Upwork will highlight ideal jobs. You can also search for projects, and respond to client invitations.
The name Fiverr comes from it’s original $5 asking price attached to all tasks when the company was founded in 2010 in Tel Aviv. Now it provides freelancers with the full range of work options and all price levels but you’ll still find $5 gigs which makes it a great place to start..
Jobs can be small, large, or anywhere in between. You can get paid hourly or on completion of the project. You specify your skills, availability, and price.
As a client 99Designs will help you find a designer with just the right skill set or you can invite the entire creative community to say help design your logo. Designers submit ideas and you pick your favorite. So if you’re a new designer on the site you’ve got nothing to lose except your time.
Guru.com is a freelance platform where independent professionals collaborate with employers from all over the world. This marketplace is a pool of freelancers with their fields of expertise. In September 2020, there are 1,738,878 freelancers offering 4,396,720 freelancing services.
Here’s an article about the 20 Best Freelance Websites for Beginners and Professionals in 2020.
Get a job you love
I’ve worked in the recruitment industry and as Work & Life Coach for more than 20 years. And of the 1,000s of questions I've asked people, it’s these three that have been the most useful over that time.
What difference could I make in my life right now if I had a job I loved? Then check out this article and download the worksheet.
Answering these 3 questions will help you discover your true motivation and calling.
Getting a job you love may seem a bit unrealistic when you’re starting over after 50. But I’ve learned that unless you know what you’re aiming for you’re unlikely to achieve your dreams. It’s all part of the plan. What have you got to loose?
Start a Business
Going into business might seem like a pipe dream when you’re starting over at 50, but don’t be put off.
The first goal might be to first get a job- any job! But once you’ve done that then start planning for the next stage.
To help, let's explore the 5 Decisions You Must Make Before Starting Your Business.
First, get yourself moving again then look at all your options, including starting a business if that’s your dream.
Starting over at 50, or 60, or 70 takes courage.
But the great thing is we all have many years of life experiences that we can use to help us start over again. Whether, starting a new career or finding a new way to earn a living, or building confidence, motivation and purpose, we have decades of experiences to draw upon.
But often we need help. And that's when reaching out to friends, family, and support networks can help. Or consider engaging a coach. That might be a career coach, a life coach or a business coach. Learning from other people's mistakes can save a lot of time and heartache. You don't need to do this alone.
Starting over after 50 is hard work but can be exciting and rewarding. I know because I've done it.
Please share your experiences of starting over at 50? Let's please support each other. There’s power in sharing our stories.