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New career in early 50's?


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Hi everyone,
Like many people in this pandemic, my current career is becoming increasingly frustrating. The company has been restructured several times, and of course that means more work is dumped on the people who remain.
I have inherited really crappy tasks that I both hate and am not trained for.
Believe me, I am grateful to be "employed" and know many people are out of work.
My daily gratitude affirmations have kept me even keeled since the pandemic began, however the stress I am feeling is starting to manifest itself physically now and I know that is a warning sign.

I am starting to consider doing a completely new direction.  A different industry/occupation altogether.  Is someone in their early 50's too old to start this route?  I would even consider going to school for a year to learn some new skills/training.
Anyone have some success stories of Career 2.0 this late in the game?

TIA

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22 minutes ago, Betterwithout said:

Is someone in their early 50's too old to start this route?  I would even consider going to school for a year to learn some new skills/training.

Go for it. People are hiring like crazy. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile and start seeing what's out there.

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I'm in my mid 50s. I encountered some age discrimination when I was job searching last year. For example, I'd interviewed for an admin job (which I am infinitely qualified for). Did well, got called "a breath of fresh air",  got invited back for a second interview with one of the business owners (the wife half of a husband and wife team). Heard nothing. I asked the staffing agent what happened. Well, basically I am older than what they wanted. Boo.

But...a few days later I got an email out of the blue from another staffing agent. He wanted to present me for a job in an industry I've never worked in, to do a job I never have done. He set up a phone interview. The very next day they chose me! I came across as mature, reliable and responsible, which is what they wanted.

An advantage is older people are often perceived as more settled and not looking for the next big opportunity. Maybe not always accurate as younger people can be just as reliable, but that's how some companies see it.

No reason at all why you can't do this. I encourage you to do it!

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I should mention one thing...
My boss is nearing retirement and doesn't need to work (well off financially).
I get the feeling that when we work on projects that he is either "grooming" me to take over his job, but perhaps he is just trying to delegate.  I am not sure.
I would be up for a substantial salary increase (almost double) if he were to retire and I took over his role.

This is one reason I have stayed these last few years.    It's not a dreadful place to work, and a salary increase like that would be life changing.



 

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Start with looking at what other careers interest you. It sounds like you are frustrated with the workload, not necessarily the work itself. 

Check out tips on how to manage stress and see whether any of them are helpful to you. 

Some of this might be learning to manage stress better if you are not actually keen on making a switch.

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1 hour ago, Betterwithout said:

This is one reason I have stayed these last few years.    It's not a dreadful place to work, and a salary increase like that would be life changing.

If I were you, I'd ask for a meeting with him and discuss your interest in that higher position when it becomes available. People can't read your mind, and he might start considering the possibility if it hasn't dawned on him without that discussion.

As for the successes, my aunt was around your age when she went to nursing school after being a stay at home mother to four children. She loved her career in that field until retirement. 

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3 hours ago, Betterwithout said:

This is one reason I have stayed these last few years.    It's not a dreadful place to work, and a salary increase like that would be life changing.

Why don't you talk to him about this and see if this is a real possibility?

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A family friend transitioned from family business to social work (got a grad degree) in his late 40s. In his 60s now.  How about if possible volunteering in the field you think you want to go into and/or doing informational interviews with people in the field? 

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21 hours ago, Betterwithout said:

This is one reason I have stayed these last few years.    It's not a dreadful place to work,

It's maybe just time... to move on, yes.

If it's affecting your health ( mental/physical).

I went to school for a year as I hit my 40's.  Many people end up choosing different interests & career paths throughout their lives.  It's all good 🙂 .

You feel you're due for a change.. then change it is...right?

 

22 hours ago, Betterwithout said:

I have inherited really crappy tasks that I both hate and am not trained for.
Believe me, I am grateful to be "employed" and know many people are out of work.
My daily gratitude affirmations have kept me even keeled since the pandemic began, however the stress I am feeling is starting to manifest itself physically now and I know that is a warning sign.

 

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Thank you all for your comments.
I've been struggling with the grass isn't always greener too.  I don't dread Monday mornings and I am not bored.   Challenge is good.

As far as talking to him about career succession, I expressed it to him jokingly already.
I am the most senior person and most likely to take his position, so I think I will stick it out for a few more years and see how things shake out.

Batya33:  I like your suggestion of informational interviews.  I did those way back when and they were eye-openers.  I also can consider volunteering my time, and the entrepreneur route is definitely on my radar.

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Go for it!  You only live once.  My husband and I started our own biz in our early 40s and it was a huge success, and our son has taken it over.  In our early 50s we started an online version of the first biz which has grown exponentially!  it sure beats the hell out of working for someone else.

I urge anyone with a good marketing skill and idea to give it a shot, we succeeded much better than we ever dreamed we would.

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On 2/9/2022 at 2:27 PM, Betterwithout said:

I've been struggling with the grass isn't always greener too.  I don't dread Monday mornings and I am not bored.   Challenge is good.

As far as talking to him about career succession, I expressed it to him jokingly already.
I am the most senior person and most likely to take his position, so I think I will stick it out for a few more years and see how things shake out.

Not a bad decision, and you've already put yourself on notice that you're also open to a change.

The two are not incompatible, so explore. Learn what inspires you. Learn what new things you can incorporate into your life or job in some way.

I didn't complete my mater's until my late 40's and I'm open to parlaying those credits into another degree that's more interesting to me.

Age can be a barrier or an asset, depending on how you flip it, and so network with people in the 'asset' camp.

Consider ways that the tasks you hate can be delegated to someone more suitable for those. Design a new workflow with a new position and present it to the boss who is already grooming you for better things.

I hope you'll stay in touch on this thread and use it to share what inspires you.

Head high!

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On 2/9/2022 at 2:27 PM, Betterwithout said:

As far as talking to him about career succession, I expressed it to him jokingly already.
I am the most senior person and most likely to take his position, so I think I will stick it out for a few more years and see how things shake out.

If you are serious about taking over your boss's job when he leaves, I don't think that you rely on jokes or assumptions. This is especially true if waiting will cost you years that you would otherwise use to build towards a new career. If you are afraid that you might be too old to change in your early 50s, you are not going to feel better about it in your mid- to late-50s.

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  • 5 months later...
On 2/8/2022 at 2:13 PM, Betterwithout said:

Hi everyone,
Like many people in this pandemic, my current career is becoming increasingly frustrating. The company has been restructured several times, and of course that means more work is dumped on the people who remain.
I have inherited really crappy tasks that I both hate and am not trained for.
Believe me, I am grateful to be "employed" and know many people are out of work.
My daily gratitude affirmations have kept me even keeled since the pandemic began, however the stress I am feeling is starting to manifest itself physically now and I know that is a warning sign.

I am starting to consider doing a completely new direction.  A different industry/occupation altogether.  Is someone in their early 50's too old to start this route?  I would even consider going to school for a year to learn some new skills/training.
Anyone have some success stories of Career 2.0 this late in the game?

TIA

I am 56 and jumped out of Customer Service for 20 years into being a Caregiver right as the pandemic hit. Best decision I ever made. You can do it. Do something you love and the rest will follow. 

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You must have some transferrable skills, right?  If so, highlight them on your CV and tailor it so that prospective employers understand that, while you do not have experience in their particular field, you have the skills and aptitude that would easily move across.  This is what I've always done and it's served me well.  If you just have a generic CV that you send to everyone, they will pass you by in favour of someone whose CV appears more relevant.

I used to work in social housing and now I work in a veterinary hospital (I changed at the age of 42).  Someone I've just hired has spent a career in hotels.  I've done it, she's done it and so can you.

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