Mature-age workers: Why it’s never too late to learn new skills

10 May 2023

Mature-age workers: Why it’s never too late to learn new skills

Picking up new skills can be intimidating, but your ability to learn new skills just comes down to motivation and it’s never (ever!) too late to get started on learning new things. It’s not going to be as hard as you think it will be.

Celebrities who got a late start in life

  • Famous wedding dress designer Vera Wang didn’t start designing dresses until she was 40 years old and is now one of the most well-known dress designers in the world.
  • Martha Stewart published her debut book at age 41.
  • Ray Kroc was a paper cup salesman until he opened the first McDonalds franchise at age 52.
  • Julia Child, world renowned chef, was a self-proclaimed ‘disaster in the kitchen’ until she took cooking lessons in her 30’s and she didn’t publish her first cookbook until she was 50.
  • Emmy winning actress Kathryn Joosten didn’t begin acting until she joined a community theatre group at age 42. She later appeared in Desperate Housewives and The West Wing.
  • The late Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for literature – didn’t publish her first book until she was 39 years old.
  • Anna Mary Robertson Moses is a famous painter whose paintings hang in museums around the world, but she didn’t paint her first picture until she was 78 years old!

Why it’s better to learn new skills later in life

1. You know yourself better

If you’re learning skills late in life you have an advantage because you know what you want, have a deeper understanding of yourself, better motivation and a better idea of how you learn best. You’ve learned from your past mistakes and understand your weaknesses and can work around them.

2. You have access to new technology

Every year technology gets better, giving us greater access to information and more opportunities to learn. There are inexpensive (and even free!) courses, and you can learn at your own pace, in your own time, and even in the comfort of your own home.

3. You’ll be more disciplined

Time and again mature age students show that they have more discipline than their younger counterparts, with higher overall engagement, more motivation and significantly better time management skills. All of which results in higher levels of success.

4. You have a better support network

Our ability to make and maintain relationships increases as we get older. You’ll not only have a stronger network of people to support you as you learn new skills, but you’ll be better able to make relationships with the people you are learning from and have the ability to seek out help if you need it.

Looking for a little help returning to the workforce?

CoAct and our expert Service Partners can help. Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out how we can help you find a job you love, no matter what your age!

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