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Career options

Before launching a job search, consider your full range of career options.

Are you willing to experiment?

Take time to research your career ideas and learn about demand, wages, and skills needs. Volunteer or take a part-time job to see how you like a new field. Explore new career options with an internship, either by your own proposal to an employer or through a program. Many internships lead to job offers.

Encore careers

The mid-life “encore career” is one that often pays less, but provides meaning, learning new skills, and a chance to help others. Jobs in education, social and public services are typical. A recent survey showed that about 9 million Americans were working in encore jobs, with an additional 31 million who would like to. Learn more at Encore.org.

Greater flexibility

Some older workers continue to work in their original careers, but with greater flexibility. Many employers surveyed state that they plan to hire retired employees as consultants or temporary workers, and offer flexible work arrangements and design part-time positions to attract older workers.

Get started

A good way to begin is to take a step back to assess your career options. Start here:

  • Enter a previous occupation in mySkills myFuture to see careers that use similar skills and experience. You’ll also find the demand, wages, training and typical tasks.
  • Prioritize your work-related preferences on the Work Values Matcher to see careers and find workplaces that mach your values.
  • Take the Skills Matcher to rate your skills and view occupations that are a good match for you.
  • Use the Interest assessment to learn how the things you like to do relate to different careers. 

If you are concerned about career limitations due to a disability, check out Resources for Workers with a Disability to explore job accommodations or find work options with different physical demands.