Where to Find It at Best Years
Best Years Home Page
This Week's Column
More Free Columns
Best Years Booknook
Friends of Best Years
Questions and Answers
Best Years Bed and Breakfast Inn
Midlife Crisis Forum

Response: Career Changes

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.


June 1, '99

Caught in a company that changed direction, and I feel likely will not have a place for me after end of current project. Not really worried about being out of work again, but if I have to make another change I feel I should not keep doing the same thing. Have the talents and desire to be "management", but have to overcome the distaste for "used car salesman" style of management (tell them whatever they want to hear) that I mistakenly associate with past leadership. I want the chance to do it my way, and convince and lead rather than threaten and intimidate. I'm not afraid of failing, just failing to lead. I can honestly say I haven't worked for money all these years, it's just "come" when I've applied myself. It's easiest when I'm contributing, and goes quickly by when I'm learning an helping others and part of a motivated team. I can do it strictly for money, but I don't agree with my wife that 'it's just a job, and there are jerks at the top everywhere". I don't believe she really believes it, it's just a survival mechanism. Thanks for the opportunity to vent. Tony

September 13, '99

I just read your column on career changes. It's quite interesting. I am curious as to what was your previous career. You're a very good and persuasive writer.

Of course, my reason for being interested is that until 1995, I had a steady 35-year career in radio news. I must say I am very good at it. Nobody denies that who has heard me, but it seems duopolies and broadcast property consolidations, as well as my age, have made it very difficult to move on to something comparable to what I was doing before my last job lay-off.

One thing I did when I got laid off was to resolve I was not going to move again. I am living in a city (Louisville, KY,) where I want to stay. Part is preference, and part is that this is a great place to raise my three children, ages 12, 14 and 16.

Anyway, I am still doing some part-time radio news, but other than that am doing customer service to make ends meet. Never thought I would be doing something like this.

Thanks for posting your comments. I will return to them and give them serious thought.

James Banzer


James, I was a camp director for 12 years and then a pastor for 12. I went back to school to become a teacher. With your experience, I wonder if teaching might be something you could consider. Is there a trade or business school in your area who needs a broadcast journalist with some experience? Just a thought.


September 24, '99

My father is retiring from teaching after 25 years and with the recent unexpected passing of my mother he is looking for a new career that can be, but doesnt have to be related to education. He is 53 years old and incredibly inteligent with great people skills. I am looking for advice for him on what to do, or where to find information on what he may be able to do.

Any help would be appreciated. Sincerely Steven

Respond to the discussion (please type "career" in the subject box of your e-mail editor).
Return to Career Changes.

August 5, 2000


i am a 42 year old male, who has been self employed for the last 12 years i am currently in the process of selling my successful bar/restaurant

i am tired of the stress, the hours, the risk, the increasing government intervention, the employees, etc

i own a beautiful 4 bedroom home, my wife has a satisfying well paying job with lots of benefits, and we have some investments, we also have two small children

if i sell the business, our cashflow is at break-even, that is she can support the family, but without any increase in savings, and no immediate trips around the world, but we will still have our two weeks every year, so basically....i am the variable in the situation

i thank god that we (my family and i) are all in excellent health, and after being married for 12 years, i truly believe that my wife and i are still in love, she is my best friend, very understanding and supportive...in short, i feel i have a great family life,

i dont feel the pressure to go out and make the big bucks, i do want a fair amount of flexibility with my career change, i am not ruling out self-employment, but also wouldnt mind being under the umbrella of a big company, i also wouldnt mind starting slow, but would like the opportunity to turn my new direction into a 7 day, 24 hour obsession.....

i have schooling in finance, i have held a real estate licence, am very familiar with managing properties, the stock market, mortgages, personal computers, and have done my own books...we have 2 pc's and 1 lap top...been on the internet for 6 years plus, have done many various web pages, and i have a great variety of interests

when i sell my restaurant business.....i need a direction....i think i have too many choices, but not one shines over another

can you help, any advice, or should i just take it easy and things will fall into place naturally, i have always been lucky like that

i have always found the following coincidence funny, i think you will like it too "the harder i work, the luckier i seem to get !"

thank you

confused and dazed


C & D

I hope you get response on this page, but as you can tell it doesn't get frequent posts. You might try one of my more active pages, maybe the Midlife Crisis Forum. Good luck.


November 12, 2000


About six months ago I was forced into an unwanted career change at age 45 after I was downsized from a government civil service job I held for 11 years. I have gone to over a half a dozen job interviews trying to pursue similar positions at different levels of government and also with a university. I gave my best interviews at the beginning of my job quest. In the first three interviews I made it to second interviews and short list of candidates. However, what I am finding now as I approach the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth job possibilities is that I am becoming less sure of myself and feel less able to communicate my strengths to my prospective employers during the interview process. Instead of getting stronger with practice at being interviewed I seem to be getting worse. Is this loss of confidence over time a typical challenge facing mid-life career changers? Any tips for overcoming loss of confidence? Do you think I should be exploring opportunities in different employment fields?

I would appreciate any suggestions for dealing with this challenge.


Frank G
Toronto, Canada

July 30, 2001

I thank you for your very interesting web site.  I lost my career 5 yrs. ago as a counselor and have never been able to get another career like the one I had.  It has been very frustrating and sad for me.  My employer forced the master level clinical therapist to do case management.  I found that I did not like doing case management.  My new employer needed me to start training in one week and in order to start that new job I had to give the counseling agency a one week notice (they wanted a 4 week notice; I did offer to come in after hours to do any necessary paperwork; but they would not hear of it)  and the counseling agency was unhappy about this.  Since my departure that counseling agency was taken over by a larger counseling agency that still retained the previous management  from the past and now controls hiring for the region in which I live and
so I am blackballed from getting a counseling job anywhere within 60 miles from where I live.  In addition the counseling agency will not give me a good reference so I 'm hard pressed to even find a counseling position outside of this 60 mile area.   I have since retired my professional license and am now doing jobs that I use to do when I was a teenager.   My checkbook balance has taken a nose dive.  In addition, I'm not so sure that I really want to do mental health counseling anymore? Music has always been of interest to me.  So I practice playing keyboards and I sing and I am hoping to get in a band.  I support myself by delivering auto parts to commercial establishments.  The pay is half what I use to make.  I'm really not sure where I am going as far as a career.  Anyway, I just needed to ventilate.



Respond to the discussion (please type "career" in the subject box of your e-mail editor).
Return to Career Changes.