“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” This saying has been around and is believed to be true, but is it?
Often we hold the notion that it may be too late to shift to a different career path if considering a midlife career change because it would require learning skills for a new career path that may not be as easy as it would appear to be.
Besides this steep learning curve, job-seekers in their midlife are often hesitant of facing the challenges of a job hunt because they are intimidated by their younger, knowledge-hungry, and more up-to-date competitors. While it is debatable that the current employment trend favours the younger generation, however, the digital world certainly does not share this discriminating view. The knowledge, and skills that more experienced individuals amassed during their past employment years give them an equal fighting chance along with the unique added advantage of wisdom acquired.
Most online jobs simply require skills and productivity, and just not the vitality of the younger years. With this in mind, the online world is one of the greatest pathways for a midlife career change.
Opportunities in the Digital World.
The rise of the internet has definitely revolutionized the world of employment. Some examples of this would be the early adaptors, business entities of early 2000 who rode the bandwagon of online advertising & social media marketing in order to reach new customers, markets & boost their sales prospects. Numerous freelance professionals have found a way to offer their services online in order to reach more clients. Countless artists and entertainers have earned fame and money by being able to reach a new audience across the globe to showcase their talents.
Evidently, the digital world has created limitless opportunities for employment & entrepreneurship. Some of these opportunities necessitate skills that have to be studied for a time period ranging from few weeks to a few months, some of these would require less time and resources to learn whereas some would simply need your innate creativity, talent, perseverance and quick learning abilities. Online jobs & projects allow you unmatched flexibility to work from home eliminating the need for the daily commute, saving you the horrors of the traffic jams during the peak hours. You can perhaps even be completely on the other side of the globe yet be a member of a team working on a common task/project. The job, projects and freelancing opportunities available in the online world can open the possibilities for you to spend more time with your family or the time to follow other pursuits in your life.
If considering a career change dilemma into the digital world, let that be known that “You are not alone!” and there are endless possibilities awaiting. Let’s take a peek at some common examples of online jobs & business opportunities that you could consider for a career change.
- SEO Expert
With millions of people looking up the internet on a daily basis, website owners would want their sites to be on the top of the search list in order to attract people in visiting theirs. Thus, an SEO or search engine optimization is the term given to the act of attempting to place higher in the search engine rankings. Therefore, it is the job of the SEO expert or consultant to give guidance and advice to business entities in order to improve their overall online profile and visibility which in turn would result to greater traffic and better search engine placements. Due to its importance, many website owners are looking for SEO experts to help them reach the top.
If you are new to this subject, no worries! There are plenty of free introductory lessons that you can dig up online in order to get started. To start off, Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide will help give you a better understanding of what Google considers important to improving a site’s rank. You will find information such as basic terms and definitions, tips and suggestions, and even things to avoid. You can also check out YouTube videos from SEO experts who offer free guidance regarding the subject such as Neil Patel, Miles Beckler, Ferdy Korpershoek, Artem Daniliants and many more.
Additionally, there are other online platforms that offer an in-depth study course which you can avail free or purchase if you wish to dig in deeper. Yoast offers free and paid training based on your interest and purpose. SEMRush offers online courses in becoming an expert where you can also pursue certification to become an SEO expert to better your professional standing. The best thing about this is that with diligence and effort, you can become an SEO expert in a relatively short amount of time.
- Graphics Designer
If you are creative and artistic, then being a graphic designer might just be the career for you! A graphic designer projects ideas and thoughts through visual and textual content. Most of their work involves creating product illustrations, company logos, website designs, advertisements, and other marketing materials. They get their client’s message across to the target customers through their designs.
Graphic designers may choose to work for other design firms, or they can work independently as well. Hence, one of their skills should be how to market his skills and services to potential clients and develop a consistent client base.
If you plan on being a freelancer, it is highly advised that you should create an enticing online portfolio that features your skills and best works. You can then begin on marketing your services through traditional means such as personal interviews and phone calls. Promoting your services through social media such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube is also a good way of getting your name out in the business world. There are also other online platforms and design galleries that may help you market your skills for a fee such as The CSS Gallery List, The CSS Mania, and Squarespace.
Fortunately, there are plenty of graphic design schools that offer online courses if you decide to go for this career. Geteducated.com and Coursera.org made a list of reputable online schools which offer design courses that can last for only a few short months! You can also acquaint yourself more by reading articles that help you in how to become a graphic designer even without going back to school. Furthermore, there are free videos on YouTube that you can check out to help you get started.
- Web Developer and Designer
A web developer and web designer might sound similar, but they have quite distinct jobs. A web designer uses graphics to create the face of the web. In laymen’s terms, they decide how the website would look like. Using their creativity, web designers help organize the contents of the site to make them visually appealing for the audience.
Luckily, there are many online courses for you to learn from to become a web developer and designer. Codingdojo.com enumerated some great sources for free online lessons about web developing. Udemy.com also offers great lessons for sale from various sources for more intensive study for both web developers and designers. The length of learning these skills will largely vary on the effort you put in, but online courses like these can only take up from 18 hours to just 12 weeks!
As the digital age grows, so is the need for web designers and developers. Thus, these are becoming in-demand skill sets and also among the fastest growing fields among online jobs.
- Virtual Assistants
Since many businesses have started to use the internet for their daily operations, many businesses are looking for virtual assistants who can help execute tasks but without the need of relocating them in the office.
A Virtual Assistant is an independent, home-based, contractor whose job description falls similarly to any other office staff. However, depending on the need of the company, the VA is not only limited to administrative or clerical work but could be incredibly diverse. Because of this, many VAs offer specialized skill sets which they could perform for the company. This could range from simpler tasks such as managing emails, customer support, and social media management to more technical skills like web maintenance, graphic design, and video editing.
The best thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you can take advantage of your previous work experience and offer it as your specialized skill to online clients. This means that you don’t have to start from scratch, but simply build on top of what you’re already good at!
To learn more about becoming a VA, spend some time reading a few ideas from veteran VAs so that you can learn from their mistakes and replicate their successes. Websites such as horkeyhandbook.com, workfromhomehappiness.com, and thevahandbook.com gave a variety of tips and tricks in succeeding as a virtual assistant.
- Social Media Marketing / Online Marketing
If you are thinking of becoming a digital entrepreneur, then online marketing might be your best choice! Online marketing is the method of selling or promoting your products or services by using online channels to potential customers. There is a wider range of methods and techniques that can be applied for online marketing such as online display of ads, SEO ranking, email marketing, leveraging the social media and many more.
However, because of the sheer population of its daily users, social media becomes one of the major platforms for most online businesses. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are only a few of the good examples of the best channels for social media marketing because of their popularity and millions of users. Online marketing offers more advantages compared to traditional means because of its lower cost and higher functionality.
To boost your success in online marketing, spend some time reading some tips and suggestions on how to be a successful social media entrepreneur online. Increase your skill set by learning some basic skills necessary to grow in the online business world. Adequate knowledge regarding the internet and other e-commerce tools, familiarity with SEO, managing social media accounts, product advertising and online interactions are some of the few skills that you need to master to be a successful digital entrepreneur.
Thankfully, there are plenty of online courses available to help you gain these skills. You can check out Wordstream for free online courses in digital marketing. You can also enrol in some self-paced, online marketing courses through EdX.org that can only be completed for as short as 6 weeks! Invest in some education and you will surely reap its rewards.
- Micro Jobs
A micro job refers to short, temporary task-type jobs that can be found online. Since they are easy in nature such as data entry, clicking a link, watching a video, and answering surveys, you will also receive an equally small payment. Although most of the jobs are simple, you can have an opportunity to “upgrade” in the long run and perform more complex and higher paying tasks.
Since the tasks take a little time to accomplish, you can do as many of them as you can for a faster earning. Also, there are usually no restrictions on time schedules, so you are free to do it whenever you want! However, most of these companies have a minimum amount for payout which means that you have to work to reach the limit before you can actually get your hard-earned money. Other companies also have a maximum restriction which prohibits an individual to take more tasks than what can be done in 8 to 12 hours, limiting the workers to earn more if they so desire. Still, the freedom and ease that these micro jobs offer can be a really good compromise between work and freedom.
Because of their nature, micro jobs are best to serve as your supplementary source of income rather than making it your sole financial option. If you want that extra round of drinks or just a few more pennies to add to your savings, then taking some micro jobs will do a great job to meet these needs.
There are countless micro jobs that can be found online, but it is best to be careful which companies to work for. Thebalancecareers.com listed some of the most trusted and top-rated companies that offer micro jobs. Earn fast cash while savouring that much-needed freedom!
- Online ESL Tutor
With the internet bringing everyone closer together, many non-English speakers want to learn from those who are more fluent with the language. Thus, there is a rising need for many competent, English teachers online.
Online tutors may choose to work for a company and be a part of a team or as a freelancer. However, they can also work independently at home if they can find their own clients. Finding potential students can be done through a series of marketing strategies such as creating your own website or blog, announcing in social media, and joining a community of online teachers who can help you get started. Alternatively, there are also other online platforms that help advertise your availability such as Tutoragent, or simply post an ad on Craigslist. It is also good to note that a professional license, some teaching credentials or previous training will greatly help you improve your status as a tutor.
Learn more about how to get started in becoming a tutor and some tips on how to improve your teaching methods, and some other suggestions. Teachingeslonline.com and Gooverseas.com will give you some free and helpful insights on the next best steps.
If you have a passion for education and kids, becoming an online ESL tutor would not just be financially rewarding, but it can also be emotionally uplifting!
- Content Writer
Did you have any fascinations about being a writer but never became one? Then write and earn at the same time by being a content writer! Content writers, as the name suggests, write or create content for a website. They can write about various types of subjects including product descriptions and reviews, self-help articles, personal blogs, and many more.
Content writers also help decide the quality of the website by filtering information that should be included or excluded from the website to make sure that they create a connection with the target audience.More experienced content writers also have plenty of career advancement opportunities such as becoming an editorial chief, SEO specialist, technical writer, grant writer, an advertising copywriter and many more.
Your flair in different writing techniques, mastery in grammar and abundant vocabulary will surely come in handy as a content writer. Also, being fond of research and learning new things are some added plus factors in this line of work. Other skills needed to become an effective content writer includes knowledge about your target audience, engagement techniques, idea generation, proofreading, and many more.
Also, consider following the works of many successful content writers such as Kristine Hines or Eric T. Wagner and learn the how’s and why’s of their success. It is also beneficial to read some other tips on how to be an effective content writer to give you a better grasp of the basics. Additionally, you may improve your writing and language skills by going through some various trainings offered in many online platforms such as Coursera and Udemy.
Agreed ! Not everyone can become the next J.K Rowling or George Eliot, but everyone can be a content writer!
If you want to create a portal to showcase your products, share your own thoughts and self-help guides, then start your very own blog. If you are not very familiar what a blog is, a blog is basically an online journal or diary for everyone to read. Depending on the writer, blogs can be updated frequently for better SEO search rankings and also an excellent method to allow audience interaction. But like a traditional website, there are marketing opportunities for blogging as well.
Successful bloggers are rewarded with handsome payoffs for their content. The more eyes that their blog captivates, the more opportunities they have to make money. Their revenues can come from selling their own products and services, commissions from promoting other products, and advertising incomes. Top-earning blogs, such as Huffington Post, earn as much as 14 Millions dollars per month! You can check out Forbes, Blossomthemes, Phrasee and Lifehack for their top lists on successful bloggers and how much they earn.
Many bloggers made a living off this endeavor not only because of its monetary payoffs but because of the freedom it allows. As a blogger, you have the choice to write anything you want. Although many follow a specific theme such as cooking guides, travel experiences, product reviews, or walkthroughs, blogs can simply be any encounters or thoughts you have for the day. By being a blogger, you also have the freedom to write your content from the comfort of your home or from any parts of the world!
With consistency and dedication, niche blogs can become an authority site as well. This means that the website has been acknowledged and respected by many people because of its high-quality content and trustworthy information regarding a subject. Say, if you want to read about technology, then Techcrunch is where you go to. Are you looking up on some tricks on how to do things with less effort? Lifehacker got your back. Aim to improve your own blog until it receives worldwide recognition!
Blogging is a fun way to express yourself while earning at the same time. Help yourself by being familiar with the ropes of starting your own blog by doing some research. Bloggingbasics101.com gave some wonderful insight on the why’s and how’s of blogging. Alternatively, you can watch videos on YouTube to learn firsthand from successful bloggers!
Speaking of fun, the most trending and popularizing online career nowadays is probably becoming a YouTuber. Since YouTube does not have any age restrictions for becoming a content creator, this is available even for middle-aged and even older individuals. To prove my point, one of the oldest, yet viral, YouTuber is a 106-year-old woman who, with the help of her great-grandson, posts videos about her traditional method of cooking and people love her! Plenty of YouTubers such as PewDiePie and Michele Phan found success in YouTube from humble beginnings. Check out Listreallife for the top 20 highest paid Youtubers in the world.
Viral videos can come in various genres such as reaction videos, video game walkthroughs, cooking lessons, comedy clips, talent showcases, product reviews, tutorials and many more depending on the interests of the content creator.
Youtube needs content creators who can lock-in viewers in their site for as long as possible. With this in mind, Youtube pays content creators who can provide viral videos. By setting up your channel for monetization, you will also have revenue from various businesses who want to advertise their products in your content. Some companies would even pay Youtubers who have gained massive viewers and avid followers just to promote their products or services in one of their videos. This is commonly referred to as a sponsored video.
If you want to be dedicated to your own channel, spend some time learning more about YouTube and take notes from more successful content creators and how they got to where they are. Furthermore, there are plenty of online courses and programs that may help guide you in succeeding in this career. An example of these would be Jumpcut who offers lessons on choosing and creating contents, and techniques for gaining an audience. When you are ready, start making your very first video. It’s free and you will have fun making it!
Investing to improve your skills through online training and courses is indeed a wonderful idea. However, exercise extreme caution before you purchase or enrol into any online education sites. While others are trustworthy, there are plenty who will provide you with worthless contents and fake diplomas.
One of the best ways to ascertain that your prospect program is legit is by checking the accreditation of their online degree. A certified educational institution must be verified by a government entity. Moreover, you can also confirm the contact details they provide such as phone numbers, email address, and even their campus address. Sketchy institutions are often hard to contact and have no campus address. Searching comments or reviews from other students or graduates is also a good way to assess how their own learners evaluate them. Also, it is best to avoid paying the total tuition fee upfront before you have run through your safety checklist and be acquainted with their policy about refunds and safer payment options.
So, what are you thinking about now?
Shifting careers in this digital age can be truly challenging. However, this digital age is like a vast ocean of opportunities not just for career development, but for personal improvement as well. Find a career that allows you to both earn and enjoy your life – by being wired to the online world!