View Full Version : Changing careers

13th Oct 2011, 20:43
Has anyone changed careers in their mid/late 40's?

Is it 'a bit old' to start thinking of changing jobs, assuming there is no particular safety net such as a military pension, etc. (I'm having a 'I feel old' day):(

Is there still a job market out there for the 45+? Surely the experience/maturity one can bring to the job is desirable for employers?

How old were you when you changed jobs and was it the right move?

13th Oct 2011, 20:58
I'm 46, and would love to escape the golden handcuff's of The NHS (it's all gone to sh*t).

I quite fancy this... eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/260865107317?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648)

Do you know what the mark up on a cup of tea is? (I do....53p)

13th Oct 2011, 21:32
At 40 I went from sales to being a police constable. I was fed up with never ending sales targets and boring 9-5 routine. The police pension was a consideration particularly as it was a lot better than the piss poor personal pension I had been investing in, but I wanted a new challenge with a bit of excitement thrown in, as well as the feeling that I could help people who might be in a bad situation.

Mid 40's shouldn't be a bad time to change to most jobs as you still have a lot of life ahead of you as well as a hell of a lot of experience which youth and inexperience will not have.

13th Oct 2011, 22:25
Not quite a career change yet, but I went back to being a full-time student at 46. I decided I needed a qualification inline with my experience, as my existing qualification (HNC Production Engineering) offered only boring and/or low paid factory jobs, whereas my UAV experience has the potential of more interesting work, but I didn't have any related paperwork as it was all learned on the job. What the jobs market will be in a couple of years, who knows? I have the advantage of Mrs Mechta having also gone back to college and completing a degree recently, so have support financially and with awareness of the needs of being a mature student. It definitely helps.

You could do worse than go and speak to a few lecturers at training establishments. A few will just try and persuade you to do their course, but a lot will have close contacts with their related industry and be able to tell you how their other mature students have got on with finding work, and what the money and conditions are like in the jobs in their field of expertise.

14th Oct 2011, 07:53
Managed to get redundancy at 45 from my then employer, who had been taken over by a load of [email protected] Thought I'd like a career change. Applied for hundreds of jobs. Was quite prepared to start at the bottrom and work up, as the redundancy money was a cushion against low wages, and the mortgage was paid off so no great regular bills. No luck whatsoever. Despite being able to do the jobs I'd applied for, and in some cases demonstrated it, there was always an excuse for rejection - over-qualified, requires too much salary (despite emphasising that I'd take the right rate for the job), etc., etc. I reckon most of them boiled down to my being too old, or better at the job than the guy doing the recruitment and therefore a threat. I could have had a number of commission-only sales jobs, but mostly they were in fields that were very niche and difficult to sell anyway. Ended up self-employed as a consultant in my original line.

This was in a time when jobs were a lot easier to come by than today. So, best of luck if you want to do it, but don't expect it to be easy or quick.


14th Oct 2011, 10:01
I left the RAF in my mid 40s worked for a couple of years in industry and, following a failed MBO and a divorce, found myself at age 47 skint and unemployed and nearly homeless. Not a good position to be in!

Drove trucks, applied some of the stuff I had learned in the military in various Balkan wars, completed my doctorate in history and toyed with the academic world.

At 50 entered the petrochemical industry in one role and then transitioned to being and internal company coach advising and training managers with a sideline in root cause analysis.

Now 60 and have started a consultancy company, a charity trying to develop a troubled part of the world near where I live but where we have a farm and also have just opened a retail store.

Provided you can support yourself and those who it is your duty to support you are never too old to do something new.

14th Oct 2011, 12:00
Thought it said changing carers:O

14th Oct 2011, 14:11
Of course you can change careers. At any age. But you have to really want it.

Age 39, I'd climbed the corporate ladder with several top UK and US base and precious metal outfits. Thing was, I was bored s:mad:less! With every promotion I was getting further away from the sharp end of the business that had attracted me to it in the first place.

Moved to Canada and now open / re-open gold mines all across the frozen north. North as in 400 miles inside the Arctic Circle. Upside is I can make as much in 3 months as I used to make in a year BUT you have to bust a gut while times are good. Helps if you can cope with -50c + windchill too! AND you can go 6+ months between contracts.

Verdict? I LOVE IT! I look at people in HQs in Toronto and Vancouver and see hordes of salary-zombies. Intend to keep doing this as long as I can. Life is not measured in years but experiences.

14th Oct 2011, 14:19
Worked 1 night at Vauxhalls in the late '60's.

Monarch > Vauxhall > Court Line.

One night was enough. Thank you, Goodbye.

14th Oct 2011, 14:41
Surely the experience/maturity one can bring to the job is desirable for employers? Counts for nothing for most employers and a positive disadvantage for many. Age discrimination is illegal but rampant. It's just like UniFoxOs says.

I remember getting a job at the ripe old age of 37, the interviewer was at pains to point out he was doing me a favour and if I left after only a few weeks he would have difficulty in justifying job offers to older applicants like me in the future. He was the same age as me and clearly was trying the redress the perceived bias. I pointed out that I had been seven months out of work so was hardly likely to find another job so easily. I stayed seven years in the end.

The obvious advice is prepare well in advance and make sure you have somewhere to go.

Ironically my career change was to become a pilot. I had chased the ambition and got all the ratings but it didn't work out. So effectively gave up on it for ten years. Eventually I got fed up with my then current job, decided to renew my ratings, become an Instructor. One thing led to another and I ended being offered my first flying job over the phone.

Now of course it's just a job and I'm looking for something a bit more sensible, typical!:ugh:

14th Oct 2011, 14:51
Earlier on this year, I was made redundant at age 64 after 32 years. Not a very good package but over one years salary as the pay off. Since then, I have one renewable 2 year consultancy contract for 60% of the hours I was working for 60% more pay (plus expenses which include Business Class air travel in Europe and First Class train travel world wide), I've had a contract for 5 hours work for 500 and may get more from that company, have 2 different European organisations looking into having me run courses (might only be 650 a day) and a US company where we're starting to talk but it's $1200 a day.

So if you have the necessary skills and especially the contacts, self employment as a consultant can be rewarding.

I have a feeling that doubtless how good the accountant is, I'll have to pay a lot of tax!

14th Oct 2011, 15:01
Although I didn't change gear in my 40's or 50's I changed careers from being
a U.S. Army Infantryman to an I.T. Professional. I thought for the longest time that I would be a career Army NCO but after mulling it over when my next reenlistment period was upon me, I decided to switch gears.

Do I regret the change? Yes. Although I do like working in IT I have thought hard and heavy about it and have come to the conclusion that I should have stayed in the U.S. Army. Oh well.

14th Oct 2011, 15:08
Most people have multiple careers in them but we can rest assured that, save for the very small but contented minority, no matter what career(s) we had chosen, we would still be looking wistfully at the ones we hadn't chosen!


14th Oct 2011, 20:46
I've just started out down this road. Took redundancy from airline, been there coming up 10 years and am currently doing an access course and applying to University's for next year. I'll get back to you all in 4/5 years. :ok:

15th Oct 2011, 07:09
Thanks for all the replies; most encouraging.

I actually enjoy many aspects of my job, but it isn't going anywhere and neither am I - there simply is no room for movement within the area I am working in, and hasn't been for the past couple of years.

I took the job on the understanding I could apply for advancement/promotion as I had many years experience and I agreed to work at a much lower level than I had been doing for a long time simply to get a 'foot in the door'. Indeed their 'rules' stated promotion/advancement was possible, then the bas*ards changed the goalposts; consequently I am still in the same job. I feel like I'm regressing rather than progressing. Shame really as I would have enjoyed a 'career' there.

Good luck lexxity, but if you age is what it says it is, I got a good few years on you! You have loads of time...:)

1st Jul 2012, 13:16
Talking of careers, etc. has anyone had the experience of having to present, and I quote: "a short presentation (following 10 mins preparation) based on material supplied on the day with no prior preparation required".


Any tips gratefully received!

1st Jul 2012, 14:07
Has anyone changed careers in their mid/late 40's?

Delete "their", substitute "his".

Delete "mid/late 40's", substitute "late 70s".

Continue with same series of queries.

Responses anxiously awaited.

1st Jul 2012, 14:15
just 'wing' it, straight of the top of your head, remember 'Bullshit baffles Brains'
(bin there, done that after each time I had to apply for my own job due to company restructure (x5 in 25 yrs), now been redundant (& retired) for 8 mnths and loving it)

1st Jul 2012, 15:41
(following 10 mins preparation)

Making it easy for you, then.


1st Jul 2012, 16:40
Talking of careers, etc. has anyone had the experience of having to present, and I quote: "a short presentation (following 10 mins preparation) based on material supplied on the day with no prior preparation required".

Helol, my handwriting is appallingly illegible so since ever I started work I've typed everything (and this is waaaay before computers, even almost before the golf-ball typewriter). Most of my career I've had to write procedures but also articles for in-house periodicals. Now "retired" I write position papers for my voluntary work. So, it's never stopped.

I find that even though my mind might be blank, sitting down and taking the cover off the typewriter or today, firing up the PC or the laptop, starts my brain. I guess it's the same as how saliva starts flowing when you smell something good cooking in the kitchen. Seeing the keyboard make my brain think "it's time to write".

I'd suggest every day getting your SO to hand you a subject at random for presentation, and you doing it. Train the old brain cells ! When it comes to The Day you'll be fine.

1st Jul 2012, 16:56
Changing careers at the age of 40-45 years of age is a definite nono.

Unless you've nothing to lose, one way or another. Whilst in most 1st World countries, you're expected to continue working into your mid-late '60s, few companies would consider you for any meaningful position once past the age of 50. Are you so fed up with your job that you'd prefer working as a cleaner on minimum wages in your previous office building? Because that's what's awaiting you.

Hope I've been of some help.

1st Jul 2012, 18:14
Thanks chaps, some interesting stories and tips - all helpful.

The presentatioin is part of the interview process, it all seems to be automated these days - applications emailed, online tests, interview times booked online, etc. I wonder whether I'll be presenting to an automaton..?

My take on it, is they are looking how an applicant deals with unfamiliar information, whether they can pick up on key points, and how they present those key point to an audience, in addition to how the applicant interacts. I stand to be corrected of course, and I'm sure I'll soon find out (Tues).

Fortunately I still have a job, which I enjoy. It's not going anywhere, but if it does I would need to reapply, with all the bolleaux that entails. So, I have nothing to lose, hence my 'going for it'. I can put it down to experience, hopefully improving my chances in interviews in the future.

2nd Jul 2012, 04:45
I've been thinking along the same lines for a few years as I now head towards 47 this month... The problem is always the same... Just what can I do ??? I enjoy my job as a TRE with a major offshore helicopter company but, feel my opportunities within the company are now over... I've thought of going back to ab initio training, or should it be away from aviation altogether ??? Who knows...