Sometimes a change of career is a choice, sometimes it may feel like a necessity and other times, there’s just no other option. Whatever your reason for leaving your current employment, we wanted to expel some of the myths that you’re too old to try something new; i.e. contracting. At Contractors Anonymous, we find, more often than not, that our biggest client base is people over the age of 50, who’ve been made redundant from a role or company where they’ve been working for the past 25+ years. That’s a pretty scary position to be in; or so you might think. In reality, this could be the time for something new and exciting. Something to look forward to. Here’s what we think about those all-too-common doubts you’re probably having.

“I’m too old”

This is one of the first things on the mind of anyone who’s put in a situation like this. You’ve been comfortable in the same role or business for so long, you weren’t expecting things to change like this. In fact, you probably had it in your head that you’d be happily retiring from that very same role a few years down the line.

Are you convinced that you’re too old to try something new? No one’s going to want to hire someone over the age of 50, right? Wrong. For a start, there’s absolutely no need to be putting your date of birth on your CV. But more importantly, nothing can beat the strength and experience that comes from an older contractor. You should always play to those advantages. There’s a place for both older and younger contractors within a business: the younger may bring a fresher skillset, but it’s the older contractor who can bring the wealth of experience, with a deeper understanding of risk, processes, quality and the like.

“No one will hire me, I don’t have enough experience”

As we’ve already discussed above, of course people are going to hire you! When a business needs someone to step-in and provide guidance, support and authority during a potentially difficult time they’re facing, there’s a strong chance that they’re going to trust the reliability of an older contracting candidate. They’re going to need someone with the experience and drive to dig them out of the dirt.

You may well think you don’t have the experience as you’ve never been a contractor before. Yes, maybe you’ve never been self-employed before and haven’t owned your own business and been your own boss, but you have every other bit of experience required to get a job done properly. With all your working years behind you and everything you’ll have gone through during the course of your career, you’ll be just the candidate that people will be looking for to come in and get the job done; unphased and professional.

“I’m worried about financial stability”

There’s no denying that it can be scary the first time you step away from a regular salary and make the move towards a portfolio career. But once you’ve got over the initial shock, it really doesn’t have to be that much of a daunting prospect.

First things first, after such service at your previous company, you’re likely to get a fairly healthy redundancy pay out (if that’s the situation that you’re faced with), so that should see you through the early stages of your transition into the world of contracting. Secondly, contracting has the potential to bring you in a much better wage than you were being paid on your regular salary. Contractors get paid a higher rate and pay less tax than permanent employees at a company, so once you get going, you’ll reap all those benefits and will wish you’d starting this stage of your career sooner!

“But what about my family and personal life?”

Obviously, a change of job doesn’t just affect your work life, but it can make a difference to your home life too. It’s understandable to be concerned about how things will change for your loved ones when you’ve been so comfortable in your routine for so long. But that’s where we come in.

You might think of contracting as being long hours in the office, even longer hours commuting and barely any time at home to spend with your partner or children, but it really doesn’t have to be like that. Karen, the founder of Contractors Anonymous, has over 20 years of contracting experience, so she prides herself on being able to guide and help you to find the ‘right fit’ contract for you. She’ll take time to understand your needs; how long you want to work, what type of role will suit you best and how far you’re willing to commute to get there. You’ll end up with the ideal role for you, at no detriment to your family or personal life. It’s a win-win situation.