What better way to find meaning than working for an organization dedicated to a personal passion or making the world a better place? Financial and management skills you learned in the corporate world translate well. While previous nonprofit experience isn't required, serving on a charity's board or being active as a volunteer can pave your way.
You'll act as a liaison between patients, relatives and the hospital or health-care organization you work for. You resolve problems, make doctor speak understandable and steer patients in the right direction for referrals and care. Healthcare companies dominate the AARP list of best companies for workers over 50.
Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree in area of specialty plus 2-4 years experience in field or related area
Tending to others' spiritual needs certainly qualifies as a career with "meaning." In addition to traditional ministerial and religious education positions, you can also become a celebrant, someone who helps people mark important events in life with customized ceremonies that reflect their beliefs and backgrounds.
Education/Experience: Bachelors degree, training courses and certifcation. Need state sanction to legally marry couples.
As pensions disappear and people must plan for their own retirement, demand for financial advice is rising. Building a practice takes time, but the work is rewarding because clients turn to you at critical junctures in their lives, such as when buying a home, becoming parents or retiring. Nearly half of advisers are self-employed.
Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, or law, plus licenses to sell securities and insurance and certification to become a certified planner.
There's a huge demand for teachers, particularly in science and math. Alternative certification programs aimed at older workers can pay for and speed up the process of becoming a teacher. Most public school teachers still get two months off each summer, but workdays are longer than you think.
Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree, teacher education program and state licensing.