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Career opportunities at 50+ It’s never too late to make a new start

James Roberts, digital content and development manager at Brookson

As the number of people self-employed in the UK hits a record 4.6 million, it’s emerged that 70% of the growth in recent years has come from people over 50.

Why are so many 50+ workers choosing to break away and start their own business?

The rise of the silver self-employed

  • 1 in 5 working people over 50 are self-employed.

  • A record 2 million people aged 50 and over will have their own business by 2020.

  • Of the UK’s self-employed workforce, 96% are not interested in looking for an alternative job.

  • 43% of the self-employed and 27% of employed workers are 50 or over.

    It’s easier to start your own business when you’re older. You’ll be able to draw on:

  • Experience and skills from past employment

  • Network of contacts built up over a lifetime

  • Savings with which to self-finance start-up costs

    Did you know?

    Businesses founded by over-50s have a 70% chance of lasting 5 years, compared to just 28% for younger people. They also show outstanding growth rates.

    Where do you see yourself?

    The most common roles for the self-employed are in construction and taxi-driving, but recent years have seen a rise in management consultancy and related jobs, in which 50+ workers can benefit from their accumulated experience.

    Key considerations when making your decision

  • Rewards

  • Challenges

  • Gain financial independence

  • Lack of company pension

    Over-50s find it difficult to progress in companies, with twice as many over-50s as under-50s not being offered development opportunities. This can be a hassle for new business owners. Using an accountancy firm can relieve the burden and allow you to focus on your business.

  • Flexible hours and days

  • Longer hours on average

    One in five over-50s in employment wish they had more flexibility in their hours.
    However, self-employed people are happier about their work-life balance, as they have more control over their time.

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