Rob Palmer I have been blogging and living the digital nomad lifestyle since 1999. I help people create an online income so they can go anywhere, do anything and be anyone.

New Job at 50? How to Change Your Career without a Degree

14 min read

Get out of your rut, create true financial freedom and enjoy a whole new career path that builds a better and brighter future.

What You Will Learn

  • Why it's never too late to start a whole new career 
  • Ways you can make money starting right now
  • Why this is the best time for mature adults to start a business

Your Second Chance

Are you ready to begin a whole new and exciting phase in your life? Because there has ever been a better time for mature individuals to start a brand new career from scratch.

Even if you have no college degree, you’ve been fired from your job and you seem unemployable, the future is rosy. You have the opportunity to be begin the most exciting, profitable and rewarding phase of your life right now.

Here’s why...

If you are over 50, then you grew up in an era when starting a career usually meant embarking on a job for life. You followed your chosen trade or profession for your entire career, probably working for the same organization for over 40 years.

It was safe and secure - but also rather boring. Who the heck wants to do the same thing for their entire life? Why can’t you have two or three careers...or even more? Thankfully, in today’s world, you can.

We live in a world where there is more career flexibility than ever before. It has become perfectly normal for people to switch careers multiple times and enjoy varied and interesting career paths.

Sadly, it is true that some employers discriminate against older workers, and it can be harder to pick up a job or freelance work in your later years. But that’s OK; we don’t care about that. Because you don’t even need an employer - you can create your own new career, right out of thin air.

“There was I, in a hospital bed, a little television in front of me which was absolutely horrific, and what was I going to do? I could see out between the curtains there was ‘No Admittance’ written across a doorway. And I looked at it and thought ‘I could make words out of that’. And so I started making words out of the letters there.”

Millie's idea was developed into an iPhone app, making her the world's oldest app developer at 98 years young. Millie’s Game sets players the task of listing a continuous string of interconnecting words until they have used every letter in the alphabet.

Now Apple has given the green light for a second game, `Buzz Words’, and a third is in the works. Millie is keen to develop even more apps.

“I’ve got to fit a lot in in a short time," she says.

​Millie Browne  

Melbourne, Aus.

So you’re over 50? That’s great! It means you have a wealth of experience to offer. You don’t have a degree? So what! You have five decades of knowledge to share, all gained in the best college in the world - the university of life.

If you are ready for adventure, and willing to accept the challenge, this could be the most exciting and profitable time of your life. You can do something you love, and get paid a lot of money for doing it.

Take Control of Your Future

This is an amazing time to be a mature adult. Not so long ago, being over 50 meant you were heading towards the scrapheap. As soon as you hit retirement age, you would be out of a job forever.

Career opportunities would dry up, and you would have to get by on whatever passive income you had managed to create. That meant living a limited and meaningless life in retirement, while your health went downhill fast as you aged.

Not anymore. We have the great fortune to live in a time when life and health expectations have been transformed. Forget dropping dead in your 70s. Today’s baby boomers can look forward to being fit and healthy into their 80s, 90s and beyond.

So you’re over 50? That’s great! It means you have a wealth of experience to offer. You don’t have a degree? So what! You have five decades of knowledge to share, all gained in the best college in the world - the university of life.

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Kathleen Gage of Power Up for Profits is still enthusiastically growing her business well into her 60s. She says:

"One of the greatest secrets to success as we age is living a healthy, vibrant lifestyle. This includes what we eat, our level of exercise, time for reflection through meditation and surrounding ourselves with others who understand the power of health.

"We are only able to do our life’s work to the degree we take care of ourselves. Live consciously and you will surely succeed!"

Great advice that could change your life. Take good care of yourself, and it's entirely possible that you could still be living an active life at the age of 100+.

If that sounds far fetched, check out Fauja Singh - ‘the turbaned tornado.’ He started running when he was nearly 90, and was still running marathons at the age of 104. If he can do it, you can, too!

So you may have decades of healthy life ahead of you. That’s wonderful, of course, but it also creates a problem. How are you going to fund this second half of your life? Conventional career options simply aren’t designed to fund such long and healthy lives.

Thankfully, there is a solution. And a pretty awesome solution it is, too! You don’t need to be young to get started - in fact, maturity is an asset. And you certainly don’t need a college degree. You just need the determination to make it happen.

Who Needs an Employer?

If you have been a regular employee for most of your career, then your thoughts around a new career probably revolve around getting another full-time job. But that is probably not your best option.

Recent U.S. research concludes that when people over 50 leaves their company, their career as an employee takes a downward turn. The next job they find usually entails a big drop in salary and benefits. They are given less responsibility and their career is on a sharp downward slide.

“When I entered my 50s, my career took an unexpected and brutal nosedive. After losing my position [with Discovery Channel], I couldn't get hired. I'm sure age was a factor. It was a daily effort to maintain a sense of dignity amid the rejection.”

“This searing experience, however, led to one great thing. It inspired me to become a career coach, so others could benefit from what I learned.”

​Wendy Braitman  

Career Coach

Justine Irving, from The University of South Australia's Center for Work Excellence, reports:

"Our interviewees believed that younger managers can feel intimidated by older workers. This may be based on concerns regarding an older employee's ability to take instruction from somebody younger, learn new work methods and technologies or readily adopt change."

The center found that age discrimination was rife and a third of the people surveyed felt they had been treated unfairly because they were older. The Human Rights Commission's 2016 inquiry, Willing to Work, also found that the older you get the longer it takes to find a new job.

"In November 2015, the average duration of unemployment for mature-age people was 68 weeks, compared with 30 weeks for 15-24-year-olds and 49 weeks for 25-54-year-olds," the report reads.

But don’t panic - that doesn’t have to happen to you. Because you don’t need a full-time job. And you don’t need an employer.  You can create a fantastic new career all on your own.

Rethink Your Career

Mature-age workers can absolutely change careers, according to work coach Joanna Maxwell. A former lawyer who now coaches people on making big career changes later in life, Joanna has written a great book on this topic: Rethink Your Career

The book was born out of her own experiences in making a major career change at a more mature age:

"For me, it was a very long and messy process, extracting myself from that career and finding something that would be more satisfying for me," she says. "So I got really interested along the way in what makes us happy at work and how to help other people to do it in a slightly less messy way than I did."

Joanna says the first step is to take stock, assess your current skills and strengths and consider your options.

"You may find that you've got things that are much more transportable than you think," she says. "One of the things that you need to be, particularly as you get into the 40s and 50s and beyond, is a bit flexible. "You need to be prepared to try a few things. It's not one size fits all."

So if you have some life skills and you are prepared to be flexible, a massive opportunity awaits you. Here’s how to take advantage of it...

Profit from Your Experience

Whatever you have done in the last three decades of your career, you have undoubtedly picked up a vast range of skills, experience and expertise. This could include any or all of the following:

  • A trade or craft skill 
  • A profession or vocation
  • Skills in a certain hobby
  • Practical life skills 
  • Knowledge of the world at large
  • A second language
  • Familiarity with another culture

There is no doubt that you are unique. No-one has ever lived a life exactly like yours before, and nobody ever will again. You have a very special blend of life skills and experience that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can now share this vast store of knowledge with others around the world - and get paid handsomely for doing it. Thousands of people are making substantial incomes doing exactly this, and creating a multi-billion dollar market.

There is very good money to be made from sharing your knowledge and experience. Check out Pat Flynn or John Lee Dumas, who both make over $2 million a year this way.

Best of all, age is no barrier to running an online business of this type. You don’t have to pass an interview, and you won’t face any discrimination. Quite the reverse, in fact. Your maturity and wealth of knowledge becomes a real asset that works in your favor.

“I spent several weeks learning Pinterest and created pins for all my blog pieces. I also joined every Pinterest group on Facebook where I would share my pins. As it turns out, Pinterest actually drives a lot of traffic!”

Great marketing advice from Faith, who quit her regular job in her 50s and started a second career as a digital nomad. She makes money from anywhere as a travel blogger, social enterprise consultant and social media manager.

She and her husband have escaped the freezing Canadian winters to enjoy warmer climes around the world.

Faith Coates  


After all, when it comes to coaching a valuable skill, how can a raw millennial compete with someone who has 30 years of experience?

If you just want find a way to make some extra money, that is certainly doable. But if you set your ambitions higher - and want to make millions of dollars a year - that is possible, too. When you make money online, there are no limits, and there is no-one to stop you.

A New and Wonderful Career

If you have spent your career working in a full-time job, you might balk at the idea of making money on the Internet or running your own online business. But don’t worry - it’s all a lot easier than you might think. If you know how to check your email, you have all the tech skills you need to generate an income.

When you transition to making money online, you put all the problems associated with a full-time job behind you. Never again will you have the stress and worry associated with:

  • Age discrimination putting you at a disadvantage 
  • Having to waste hours commuting every day
  • Office politics making life unbearable
  • Working a strict 9-5 routine 
  • Being forced to live where jobs are available

...and you can fill in the rest. Being an employee is no fun at all, right? Thankfully, you can now put all of that misery behind you. Instead, you can enjoy all the benefits and freedom of making money online:

  • Work from home (or anywhere you like) 
  • Get up when you want (throw away your alarm clock)
  • Choose your location (anywhere in the world)
  • Make as much money as you want (no need to beg for a raise) 
  • Be your own boss (run things your way)

That’s just for starters. Maybe you’ve reached the ‘empty nester’ stage in life and you are ready to travel the world. Now you can do it! Pick up your laptop and walk - or fly - to another continent. Travel through South-East Asia, or the Andes (or wherever your fancy takes you), earning money as you go.

Perhaps you have grandchildren who live in a distant state or another country. No problem; now you can spend as much time with them as you want, and still make good money every week.

When you have an online income, you truly have the freedom to go anywhere, do anything and be anyone. Let’s see how you can make it happen.

How to Monetize Your Skills

If that sounds like an awesome lifestyle, that’s because it is. I have been living this life for many years, and I wouldn’t want to change a thing. But how do you go about turning the theory into practice? How do you actually turn your life skills and experience into cash in the bank every month?

There are numerous ways to do this, and new models are emerging all the time. But in this article, we will address the most popular, tried and tested methods of making money from your knowledge.

1. Consulting

We’ll start with consulting, because this is simplest model and the easiest to implement. And by the time you have reached the over-50 stage in life, you are sure to have valuable knowledge you can share as a consultant.

Christopher Brooks, Senior Policy Manager at Age UK, says that for mature professional workers it is accepted that becoming an industry consultant after leaving a full-time job is a logical step. “They  have a lot of expertise and experience and often, as they get older, they want to work flexibly,” he says.

“Part of the reason that people opt to become self-employed or set up businesses is that it is very difficult to get back into work when you are aged over 50. A lot of people over 50 really want to work. High-skilled professionals may also have a lump sum from redundancy to invest in a business.”

For sure, if you have some cash to get your consulting business going, that’s an advantage. But it is certainly not essential. You can get started simply be emailing your resume to companies that could benefit from your skills. Once you get your first client, you can build your business through referrals and networking.

"I was in the corporate world for a while, over 10 years, and I just became a bit disillusioned. I had no intention of working in the drug and alcohol field, but I ended up working there for three years. If you're driven, if you're pointing yourself in the right direction, things will work out."

When Chris was approaching 50, he decided to switch careers. He wanted a job where he could help people, so he retrained as a youth worker. He encourages others to follow their passion when contemplating a new career.


East Brunswick

Thanks to today’s technology, you are not limited to clients in your own local area. You can use tools like Skype and Zoom to have live video meetings, plus online project management and collaboration tools to work together across the continents.

One big mistake that fledgling consultants often make is undervaluing their services. You need to get away from the concept of charging by the hour. Instead, consider the value you offer to your clients, and charge for your services accordingly.

For more on this critical topic, read Million-Dollar Consulting by Alan will change your whole perception of how valuable your skills are - and how much you can earn.

2. Coaching

Another fantastic way to leverage your wealth of experience and knowledge is to offer coaching services. Over the last ten years, coaching has boomed to become big business. Life coaching, in particular, has become a very lucrative source of revenue for many.

Once again, your additional years really pay off here. Nobody wants to learn from a coach in their early twenties - what the heck do young millennials know about life? But if you are a baby boomer (or close), then you have decades of experience to draw upon.

Have ever thought to yourself, ‘heck, I wish I’d known what I know now when I was younger…?’ If so, you may well be a coach in the making. This is your chance to pass on that wisdom to younger generations. If you have particular expertise in a trade, profession or hobby, then this is a great way to monetize it.

The most profitable coaching programs are those that help people achieve real transformation in their lives. When you deliver massive, positive change in your client’s lives, they will happily pay you substantial fees. For more on this, check out Russ Ruffino’s Clients on Demand.

When you charge high fees for coaching, you can afford to invest money in online advertising - with Facebook ads being the most likely option. Many coaches make $10-$15 in fees for every dollar they spend on advertising. You won’t get that kind of return on investment at your local savings and loan!

3. Blogging

Blogging is a great way to make money online. As well as being a fun and rewarding activity, there is enormous potential to generate a substantial income. This option may well be for you if you don’t want to deal directly with clients (as you would with coaching and consulting).

One of the big advantages of blogging is that you can get started with minimal investment. You can start a blog for just a few dollars, and set yourself on the road to financial freedom.

"I was thinking I've got at least 20 years working ahead of me — what should I be doing?"

Ann from Box Hill spent 20 years working in nursing, but loved children and was a passionate reader. She retrained as a librarian late in life and secured a job setting up and running a school library.

"It was just heaven. I just absolutely loved it. "It was easier to get up in the morning and I was more enthusiastic about all aspects of my life."


​Box Hill

Today’s blogging technology is so simple to use that anyone can have a blog up and running very quickly. You can write about almost any topic that interests you, and make a living doing it.

There are a number of ways you can make money blogging. The easiest way is to sell advertising on your blog, using platforms such as Google’s AdSense. You can also use affiliate programs to generate commissions, or sell your own products and services direct from the blog.

You can certainly make a full-time living from a blog, whilst enjoying total flexibility over where, when and how you work. Read some blogger income reports for ideas on how to make money, and to be inspired as to what is possible.

4. Writing and Publishing Books

If you have ever aspired to write a book, then now is the time to do it. Thanks to the self-publishing revolution, it’s now possible for anyone to not only write a book, but also to get it published, too.

Forget traditional publishers who pay measly royalties and focus only on their star authors. Now you can be your own publisher and build a successful career as a writer. Start by visiting self-publishing forums for inspiration and ideas - you will be amazed at how some authors are succeeding.

There are many ways to become a self-published author, but the most popular route is to publish directly to Amazon. You can easily create an eBook and publish it using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. Your new book will be live on sale within 12 hours, and can start making sales right away. Here’s how to make it work:

You can publish both eBooks and printed books, and Amazon does all the heavy lifting for you to sell the book. Whether you want to write fiction or nonfiction (or both), you have the amazing Amazon selling machine generating sales for you. All you need to do is write and hit publish.

Mike Matthews started self-publishing bodybuilding books on Amazon with no previous experience. He has now sold millions of books, and built a great career as an Amazon author and publisher. Here’s how he did it:

There is nothing to stop you replicating his success. Here are some more self-publishing success stories to inspire you. How much can you actually make? Well, would Mark Dawson’s $450,000 a year be enough for you?

5. Creating Courses

If there is a boom sector at the moment, it’s in the arena of course creation. Thanks to better video technology and great course creation software, the floodgates have opened in the online courses sector.

Many people are successfully creating courses and making a great full-time living doing it. Can you spare just 20 minutes a day? If so, you have what it takes to create an online course:

Platforms such as Teachable, SkillShare and Udemy make it easy for even newbies to create courses and start making money online. You don’t need much in the way of equipment to get started. With a cheap microphone (Snowballs are great) and some screen recording software such us Camtasia (PC) or ScreenFlow (Mac), you are ready to go.

One regular lady went from being a broke single Mom to becoming a 7-figure course creator. You can achieve the same level of success, too, with a little effort.

6. Mentoring

Another very valuable way to share your skills is to become a mentor. In a mentorship relationship an experienced person (the mentor) guides a less experience person (the mentee) and helps them develop their abilities in a particular area.

This might sound a lot like coaching, but the two professions are distinct. Coaching is about teaching someone a particular skill, whereas mentoring is more about personal development in a broader sense.

So a motivational speaker, for example, might have a coach to help them improve their on-stage presentation skills, and a mentor to help them gain the clarity and confidence to achieve their business goals.

This makes mentoring perfect for more mature individuals. You can draw on all your life’s store of knowledge and share with younger generations.

7. Freelancing

Are you a natural writer? Or a skilled designer? If you have specific skills of this nature, you can certainly leverage them to create a location-independent career as a freelancer.

There are lots of freelance jobs sites which will help you find work in areas such as freelance:

  • Writing and editing 
  • Proofreading
  • Web and graphic design
  • Programming 
  • Administration

8. Other Ways to Make Money

The options above are all about leveraging your existing skills, knowledge and expertise to create a new career. But you are certainly not limited to those options.

There are many different ways to make money online, and you are free to choose whichever model works best for you. Here are some other ways you can make money from anywhere online:

  • Sell products on Amazon 
  • Become an affiliate marketer
  • Open an eCommerce store
  • Flip products on eBay 
  • Start a dropshipping business

Are you ready to begin a whole new and exciting phase in your life? Because there has ever been a better time for mature individuals to start a brand new career from scratch. Even if you have no college degree, the future is rosy. We live in a world where there is more career flexibility than ever before. It has become perfectly normal for people to switch careers multiple times and enjoy varied and interesting career paths.

Second Career, Second Life

This is an exciting to reach the 50+ stage in life. Thanks to better healthcare and a greater understanding of health and fitness, people are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. You can look forward to several decades of active life ahead of you.

And that means you have an opportunity to start a whole new career from scratch. You are part of the first generation ever to have the opportunity to have two whole careers of 30+ years. Or if you just want to make some extra money for retirement, you can sell your new business after, say, five years and cash in.

It’s up to you. The options are endless, and the horizons are expanding year by year. This is your chance not only to make more money, but to pursue your passion and find your true vocation.

Your mature years can definitely be your golden years - the best decades of your life. Now is the time to change your career and create a truly wonderful and profitable future.

Rob Palmer I have been blogging and living the digital nomad lifestyle since 1999. I help people create an online income so they can go anywhere, do anything and be anyone.