Too Old to Start Over

I’m unemployed with apparently no hope of a future in an industry I’ve worked in since my youth. I’m in my forties and at a loss as to how to start over again – career wise. Can you give me some advice? There are more than a few Americans facing this dilemma. I was there – for different reasons - at fifty four.  You can look at this time as a disaster and one from which you will not recover or as an opportunity. Clearly, because you used the word career, you are looking for something more fulfilling than just getting a paycheck. First, take an honest look at things you enjoy doing – things you might consider hobbies like computers, woodworking, painting, writing, cooking/baking and so forth. Don’t dismiss anything you find enjoyable. Second, go on line and or to the local library and do some research on the activity. Next, call, write or visit others who have started a business with the same interests. Determine whether there is a market for this particular kind of work or service in your local area. If there is a demand, you could potentially fill the need – even if it begins as a home-based operation. Third, it may be possible to learn the trade by offering your services as an apprentice with a business already established – especially if it is not local and you are not a competitive threat. You might even offer your services for a short period free of charge just for the privilege of learning the inner workings of the operation. The education alone could be the difference between making it and not making it when you start your own business. If what you would love to do will require more education, check into various government and private grants. You can Google for various grants. It is a lot of work to write a grant, but there are people available for hire that will do everything from write it for you to simply editing what you have written. At fifty four, I started over as well. Although it took a while for my gifts and talents to be recognized, it was well worth the wait. I love what I do and my career at sixty three is something I can do for the rest of my life.

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