Forum: The Midlife Career Change
Below are postings from August 1997 to February 1998 or . . .
Respond to this column on Best Years Blog.
Read about my own midlife career change in my midlife story. It's free!
August, 1997-February 1998
|I'm beginning this forum with two entries and
my response from the MLM guest registry. To begin this discussion, you
may respond to these people or to me. Just be sure to type "career change
forum" in the subject box of you e-mail editor.
I really like this web site. I have a couple of questions? 1.- Is there some group or network that deals with those people wanting to change careers at mid-life who have started their education late in life? I received an associates degree in '93 but am unable to find a job let alone get an interview. I realize that education is the key but as we get "better" and more "experienced" with age, ( I do not like the word.....O-L-D.....) it is harder because of our age.
2.- Are there any companies or services that hire people like myself that have worked for one company for so long looking for good reliable people?
"THANK-YOU" for your time and look forward to chatting with you on the web.
P.S. Where are you found "chatting" on the web????
Am a student w/ Eastern Carolina University at Greenville, N.C.. the satellite campus, at Pope AFB, N.C. am doing a research paper for Industrial/Occupational Psychology,..,..... The research paper,.. I am doing is mid-life career changes, and the effects on the individual ,,,his/her spouse,.. and child,,,,or children....
Have had a personnel experience,.. retiring from the military, four(4) years ago,.. didn't have immediate prospect,,... even sending resumes,.. the biggest problem, though,.. was the lack,.....of communications... Now w/ an A.A.S. Degree in Industrial Electronics,.. going for a B.S. Degree in Industrial Technology, concentration in Manufacturing,..
Any information that you can send for supporting documents concerning mid-life career changes and how it affects the family,... that I can use to support my research paper,.. It would be greatly appreciated...
Response: August 18, 1997
Pat and Nels--Thanks for writing. Your inquiries are prompting me to do something I've been intending to do for weeks now: start a new forum page for midlife career changers. I, too, am in the position of you two--in my case, changing careers after 20 years in the same profession.
I think there are many resources around that can help in this transition: books, tapes, web sites, etc. Also I know there are people who have successfully navigated these waters (I've interviewed several for my columns, and, Nels, I'll send some of these to you if you'll give me a mailing address).
So I hope the two of you, along with others who are reading these words, will join me in the Midlife Career Change Forum to share and discuss our discoveries. It'll also be a great place for mutual encouragement and networking.
Best of luck to both of you--Mike
August 22, 1997
Would like to be a part of a group on those changing careers who find it difficult to change or know where to get help and ideas on changing careers. My e-mail address is : ---- email@example.com. Anyone with any ideas, I am more than open for communicating and reaching out for information. "THANKS"
I'm trying to locate good books on midlife career changes so I can include them in our online bookstore. Anyone have some suggestions. If so please send me an e-mail. Thanks.
August 30, 1997
Hi Mike, who writes more than I? I would like to be in on the new site when it is built. I not only changed careers at age thirty, I am now forty five and have to change again due to blindness. It seems much more daunting to me now. I am very interested in telecommuting and have done some of that. Count me in, Mike.
September 1, 1997
I stumbled on to this "home page and more" after looking up " mid-life crisis". It is comforting to know that others are working through similar challenges. My husband is 3 years post military retirement, most of which we spent overseas. He's struggling through his bachelor's is adult vocational education, while I am working on a degree in women's studies/psychology. Try the educational field, for careers that are more friendly to middle agers. I am currently an LPN, and have encountered some situations that lead me to feel that nursing, at least in the hospital setting, is not the best place for middle aged women. Thank you for listening, and good luck to you all.
Francis, Good advice. Any of the rest of you have ideas about careers that are more midlife-friendly? Also I would like to know what books you have found helpful. And how about web sites? I know there are many that offer online job searching. Anybody have any luck with these? What are the rest of you doing to pursue a career or job right now? Let's encourage, advise, and network with each other to make this more successful--Mike
October 10, 1997
Mike, I have been searching for a job that I would like. My question is this; why does big business want those "younger" people? I know the answer................AAAH YOUTH !!!!! What happen to looking at the real person with real experience? Are they afraid of the consequences in hiring an "experienced" worker? (I do not like the term......O-----L------D) We are a very viable work force. They say: " go to school and get educated". That is fine. I started late in life. I can only part-time because I have to have a job to live. I just cannot give up 28 years it gets harder and harder in this country of "PART-TIME" America. I listen to my friends and they find it hard when they loose their jobs due to "down-sizing" as they call it but we know what it really is; they turn around and hirer a younger worker for less wages. Then you get the companies who close and relocate due to state taxes and financial moves. Has business forgotten who helped their business get off the ground? Definitely !!!!!!!! If we were to examine and ask CEO's and presidents about their work forces they say they have the best in the business. Then why not remember: "The Little People Behind the Big Businesses" (which is going to be the title of my book). "THANK-YOU" for your web page and forum. I look forward in connecting with anyone at BEST-YEARS for information. My mailing address is: P.O. Box 2035 Glens Falls, N.Y. 12801-2035 and my e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike tile later..........................
I visited your forum on midlife career changes and saw very little, and everything at least a month old. has nothing else come in on that topic. I am trying to leave Research Science and have been job searching in Orlando, totally without success for a whole year despite having a Ph. D., being a published author, and having won awards for my jewelry design. You would think I'd proved my versatility and ability to learn. I am now cashing in one of my retirement accounts to leave for new York City where I hope my chances will be better. But I'm wondering what is wrong with this country that it is so hard for a person to make a second start.
October 15, 1997
Please tell us what resources are available for women over 55 who have not worked for many years, who suddenly find themselves divorced (not of their own choosing), nearly broke, and in need of training.
Where can we go to find answers to (1) what employers are likely to hire women over 55, (2) where to find part time jobs that pay enough while we train to earn a decent living, (3) what organizations are out there to help? Any? Are we doomed to a minimum wage life? To temp jobs?
Where can we find guidance?
I, for instance, was a radio/television copywriter/announcer all during my twenties, then quit to raise a family. Obviously, no radio/television station is going to hire me at my age.
I would love to return to college, but I just can't figure out how to work full time, study full time, and manage to survive it on temp wages.
Any answers would be appreciated.
Meg--good questions. Actually, I have an interview that I'm hoping to put on these pages soon with a midlife woman who started teaching school later in life. I'd also like to know how many have done that if any other readers have a story to share. I'm going to see if I can get a career counselor to answer some of your questions. Until then, I hope you and the other readers of this page will help each other find some of the resources that must be out there somewhere.--Mike
October 20, 1997
Hi everyone. Just want to put in another plug for responding to this forum. Everything I read on the subject says that networking has a great deal to do with finding rewarding careers at midlife. This forum can be this for those of us who use it. So if you have a question or advice, please drop us a line. By the way, I teach resume writing, so if anyone wants some thoughts about updating your resume, get in touch.
Good luck in your job searches. By the way, you might check out making-waves.com, where Valerie Young has a helpful newsletter for starting over.--Mike
October 23, 1997
Good observations. I think it is very important to fight any feeling of defeat or loss of self-esteem. It is important also to take an inventory of what you know, what you have done, and what you think you want to do. The path is not always as evident as we might think. In my case, for instance, I had a very successful career in the Air Force, as a broadcaster and finally an administrator/manager. I retired at 38, moved to Las Vegas, and fiddled with a number of jobs, some lasting only a few weeks because it didn't feel right. I finally latched onto a growing gaming company as a trainer/customer service supervisor. I worked for them for two years until a change in company direction resulted in layoffs. I thought with my background and experience, I would get picked up quickly, It hasn't happened. I decided then to go back to school. Though many of my credits were transferred from military schools, I still had to take a number of core classes. To summarize, it will take me far longer to get training in some advanced computer concepts than I want. So I must examine other options including vocational school or specialized training. I am experiencing a good share of discontent at the moment, believing my experience is being overlooked by employers and impatient with the current path to finding new skills in the shortest time. I have been working for nearly 25 years continuously with educational opportunities of short durations mixed in to acquire the skills and knowledge I needed to the job right.
Thanks for letting me share some thoughts.
January 24, 1998
Found your page interesting from a practical perspective. You have mentioned quite a number of points that are backed up in the theory or literature on the subject of career change, as well as from folklore, eg. its not what you know, but who you know. Anybody who is interested in this area would do well to refer to the work of Holland. He had much to say on the relationship between personality traits and career selection. The fact of the matter is, career change is and will be a matter of importance to everybody at some stage. When I started work as a teacher many moons ago I believed that I had a career for life. Any forays into different fields would have lessened my opportunities for success in my chosen field because they would have been adjudged as a mark of instability. Nowadays, of course, career hops mean multi-skilling. I welcome your response, or that of anybody else interested in the theory of career change.
Lana Hedke. email@example.com
May 24, '99
I've just visited this page after a long absence. Has this forum been discontinued? I see it only goes to February 98. What happened?
I don't know why this page no longer receives postings. Perhaps what we need is a dedicated chat and discussion section similar to Friends of Best Years. That forum receives 40 or 50 messages A DAY, mostly from spouses of midlifers in crisis. If several of you reading this message would like to have the same opportunity for career changers, let me know and I'll try to set something up.