Home Forums Jobs & Careers Change of Direction @ 56

Thomo Posted 2 years ago
Change of Direction @ 56

Hi all, I am looking to make a big career/direction change this year (2021). I have been in IT all my working life but hating it more and more each day with a strong feeling of just passing time.

Following a few big things happening this year, I want to do somethng more fulfilling.

So, question is. What resourses have you used, or are aware of to help change direction. I am looking for a simpler working life, doing something outdoors, and practical.

I am finding it difficult to look outside of the box.

Thanks all.

20 likes & 81 replies
    • loislane 27th May 2021 at 2:18 pm

      I am looking for work and haven’t a clue.
      I was training in counselling but my last two years were sabotaged by an ex partner, my mother died then my sister died unexpectedly.
      My health took a downward spiral.
      I can’t afford a few thousand to go back and redo as I need a job.
      I like jobs to fulfil me, if they don’t interest I get bored.
      I am thinking of funeral administrator as my counselling skills would come in handy.

      • quintasaomiguel 8th June 2021 at 3:22 pm

        Interesting! I’ve thought of this too; the pays not great but if you’re good with people it would feel worthwhile. I’m a ‘natural’ counsellor, but always shied away from training as I fear I’d get bogged down and end up taking other people’s stuff home. So I’m concentrating on other forms of ‘helping’ that also motivate me.

        • Colin in Kent 8th June 2021 at 5:31 pm

          The main issue with starting out as a counsellor is that most people are expected to work on a voluntary basis. You volunteer as a counsellor whilst training (to get the necessary hours), but at the same time you have to have both counselling and supervision yourself, which are expensive (although counsellors offer special rates for students). It is a long road and you have to keep up CPD to maintain membership of professional bodies, even after qualification.

          My wife had a job as a regional manager for a chain of bookshops, then became disabled and lost ten years of her life. In her recovery she needed to do something that didn’t involve reading or using a computer so began to retrain – first through voluntary youth and outreach work, then schools counselling, at the same time qualifying with a diploma, then degree in psychotherapy, and very recently accreditation with the BACP. Along the way she has done many, many other courses and qualifications, specialising in Trauma therapy, mindfulness and Sand Tray (which is Jungian). The cost is huge, yet most organisations that employ counsellors continue to do so on a voluntary basis. It’s just not well funded, even while more and more people need mental health and life support. Essentially the only routes to being paid are to set up your own counselling business or get taken on by the companies that deal with referrals from HR departments for mental health support. This is usually very well paid because it’s not individuals paying you, it’s the companies they work for. But you have to be accredited to do that, which is more hundreds of hours, case studies – and money.

          I think in all honesty the ‘rewarding’ side of it balances the ‘taking other people’s stuff home’. You aren’t left alone to deal with that, though – all professional counsellors have to be supervised by other professional counsellors, and to have personal counselling – so there’s training and support to counter the emotional weight. But one of the fascinating things is that there are so many routes you can take to helping and therapy – she also does creative expression, art, play therapy etc. Perhaps something like this could be explored? There are more ways today than ever before to reach out and bring people together.

      • Youniquegrandma 8th February 2022 at 9:17 am

        Have you thought of starting an online business. I started a makeup and skincare business a year ago and have made new friends, earned money and get to play with makeup.

    • JaneKim 3rd June 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Thomo
      Also a fun tool to use is the Myers-Briggs personality test. Who knows what you might discover about yourself ? – I’m assuming you haven’t taken the test yet. Best wishes. 😊

      • Fibrephilia 16th June 2021 at 11:26 am

        I just did! It was spookily accurate and made me feel a little bit more understood but didn’t really help with choosing a new direction. Many of the suggestions for jobs involved teaching/coaching and as an INFJ-T personality, standing in front of anyone and telling them what to do, is so out of my comfort-zone.

    • JaneKim 17th June 2021 at 5:46 pm

      The test gives you a spectrum of jobs.
      Useful if you have the ‘other hand’ ready – with knowing what your strengths/talents/abilities are.
      Also, what do you enjoy doing/like or what gives you ‘life’?
      I’d say move in that direction and compare it then with the suggestions on the MBT.
      Although I have more of a scope of other jobs listed on the INFJ careers here https://www.truity.com/personality-type/INFJ/careers

    • Yelsel 14th August 2021 at 7:55 am

      Your skills could help by working in the Charity sector ?
      My advice to my boys when choosing subjects at school and career paths was choose and do something which you’re interested in. I’m sure there’s an opening for you somewhere.
      I went from secretary to fitness coach with Age UK at the age 50
      Good Luck

    • Alan – Discover Career Coaching 17th August 2021 at 9:25 am

      Hi Thomo – I was 56 when I left the corporate world (involuntarily) after a lifetime in the construction industry as a chartered engineer and business strategy director. I’m now a career coach, business psychologist and tutor at the college where I studied organisational psychology. That may sound like a big change and yes, I think I live a simpler life too – I certainly enjoy spending more time at home and my wife likes that too! I’ve used career and life coaches in the past – when I wasn’t a career coach – that helped at times. However, I think the big change was facilitated by a complex combination of things specific to me – my financial resources were an important factor in combination with a realisation of what was genuinely important to me, my acceptance of that and my willingness to experiment and explore. I think that’s a different mix for everyone and can take time for us all to identify to a point that we’re comfortable with. When I reflect on my own career, I think it served different purposes at different times in my life and that may be the same for you. You say you are hating your working life more and more but it might be worth reflecting on what it has provided for you in the past. Is that still important for you? Or have your resources and your resource requirements shifted? Worth having a chat with someone whose opinion you respect or who can draw those things out of you. Hope that helps a bit. Don’t feel compelled to rush into a decision though. I see your post is December 2020. It would be interesting to know how you feel now.

    • Steve Briant 24th August 2021 at 7:33 am

      I’m thinking along the same lines and have taken step to get involve with passive earners so I can pick an choose what I do every day.
      For the last 30 years I’ve made garden furniture and plan on continuing.
      Hopefully I will retire my property maintenance business within a year and enjoy making my furniture.
      Take something you are passionate about and turn it into a business but don’t let it rule your life.
      Good luck with your future ventures.

    • Food Man 24th August 2021 at 11:07 am

      Hi Thomo where in the uk are you based?

    • Thomo 24th August 2021 at 10:45 pm

      Hi, thanks for all the comments, and I am amazed at how long this has been running for.
      So for those interested, I got to the point in May this year, where I just felt that I had to do it. I was sitting on a zoom call, doing my presentation stuff and answering questions, when it hit me that do I want to be still doing this type of thing in the years to come. From that point on, it was decision made. Had a chat with my boss, and finally left work at the end of June.
      I am still in the honeymoon period, so at the moment I feel like everyday is saturday. Its nice, but I can not see this happening for much longer. I have completed my powerboat cert, and safety boat cert and my plans are to start volunteering at some sailing centers and see where that goes. Specifically I am aiming to get involved with helping disabled kids get on the water. Having had a severely disabled daughter, I am aware of the stimulation that just being on the water can provide, so helping out with this type of activity is a top priority.
      The other line I am investigating (over winter) is IT security awareness for older people and small organisations. Having spent the last 20 years dealing with IT security, something I was always suprised by was the lack of awareness of the basics. It wasnt anyones fault as its a specialist area, but something that affects all businesses and individuals. The IT security equivalent of locking your house doors, and closing the windows when you leave home.

      I am based in south Birmingham.

      Thanks all.

    • David B 3rd September 2021 at 7:58 am

      You might find this not-for-profit helpful… https://www.bravestarts.com/

    • Annabello 4th September 2021 at 5:54 pm

      I’m 52 and have worked in pharmacy for a long time and felt like a change. I posted my CV on Indeed so it was on public view and someone contacted me about car sales! I didn’t take them up on it but did change my job to another area of pharmacy. Maybe that’s a way to go?

    • FranciD 13th September 2021 at 9:44 am

      I have made a big career change 4 years ago. From tv and media to fundraising. I highly recommend a book called what colour is your parachute 🪂 there is also a company called career shifters. The important thing is to start a list of al of your interests big and small. That is the first step. Think of it as ablu sky thinking session for yourself

      • Thomo 13th September 2021 at 11:22 am

        Hi, thanks for that. I have come across that book in the past, so will see about looking at it again. The website looks interestng.

    • Tiana 11th October 2021 at 10:19 pm

      Have you thought about landscaping? I don’t know how fit you are but anything to do with the ‘great outdoors’ I usually think of nature; landscaping, gardening, etc.

    • Gardening Mad 15th October 2021 at 11:53 am

      Hey Thomo,
      I changed career at 56 and haven’t looked back. It’s been harder work than I expected both physically and mentally but I feel more alive than ever.

      I would be cautious about leaving a steady job for something I wasn’t really passionate about though so you may have to tune in to what you really want to do.

      Also at 56 some younger employers may look at you as too old in both a physical sense and/or in mental outlook. They may also view you as a threat so I’d be careful about applying for jobs if what you really want to break away from is working for someone else.

      You may benefit from some life coaching as it is always possible that what you yearn for is something that is actually missing from another area of your life altogether and your IT job could be the thing that funds it.

      Good luck with the transformation, whatever you decide will be right for you.

    • David Coleman 23rd October 2021 at 8:42 am

      What do you enjoy doing?

      Can you do that or something very similar?

    • Micky2112 29th October 2021 at 8:46 am

      My story is similar. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I found a job well within my skills with a great crowd and now I don’t take the job home and have wakeful nights over it. I had to trawl through the local wanted ads for 18 months but eventually I found something right. I found it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s down to you and the rest of the workforce, you have to fit in.

    • Shazzeroo 29th October 2021 at 12:25 pm

      Hi I hear you. I’m a bit older than you 58. Have reduced my hours at work and find myself with a lot of free time n don’t know what to do with it. Would like to do something worthwhile, but don’t know what that is. Have worked in Education for the past 14 years. Any ideas most welcome

      • Jdey123 18th November 2021 at 9:57 am

        I had a go at not working for about 15 months and hit the same wall that you did. It’s very common.

        I initially spent time doing projects around house and going on a lot of holidays. I also joined walking groups & life drawing classes (on Meetup). CityLit was also good but it’s relatively expensive. And that’s unfortunately my conclusion, I found that if you still have energy to burn then you need to fill a lot of hours and that’s more expensive than working. There’s also comparatively fewer social activities occurring during the working day as most people are obviously working, and those who are retired either retire as a couple so don’t appear to be bothered with socialising that much or lack the energy/money to do so.

    • Jdey123 18th November 2021 at 9:52 am

      I did do some voluntary work at Surrey Wildlife trust. I think the main problem that you will find when changing from IT is that every job requires the same degree of commitment but is unlikely to pay the same salary as that which you currently earn. You might be better off taking short term contracts instead, although the difficulty is that a patchy work history is still viewed poorly by agents unfortunately.

    • Comedymike 18th November 2021 at 3:33 pm

      try driving a bus – many companies are offering full training even if you are over 60

    • Comedymike 18th November 2021 at 3:33 pm

      beware of the shifts though

      • Thomo 18th November 2021 at 4:55 pm

        Yes, good point. I am currently trying to apply for some safety boat work, but its a bit of the circle of you need experience to get the job, but without the job, you cannot get the experience. Volunteering at a local lake doing safety cover. Which is great fun.

    • Annoymice 19th November 2021 at 8:34 am

      If you are UK based, try the Convoy Community. You are paired with a group of people who are looking for jobs or starting a new business. They also do talks.

      It was started by an IT guy, who found it lonely and difficult in the job search.


    • EDM_Quinquagenarian 20th November 2021 at 2:25 pm

      There’s plenty of options and the Rest Less team are working hard to open opportunities.


    • Lindaxyz 21st November 2021 at 7:44 am

      I was on the same journey . Left corporate banking on 2016 and retrained as a massage therapist then covid struck and been out of work since. So at home twiddling my thumbs when i answered an ad promoting cryptocurrency. Since April 2020 I have learnt (free) the fundamental basics of crypto and how it is poised to be the new currency like it or not. So we have created a community of people who are willing to hold your hand navigating the crypto world and share with you how to set yourself up for this digital asset revolution and share how we have invested safely . We are talking crazy interest rates. And urge never invest what you can’t afford to lose, instead use pound cost averaging.

      Staking is the equivalent of saving. Learn about yield farming, mining etc…

      Following people like Raoul Paul, Bryce Paul, Aaron Malone etc

    • Tim17 21st November 2021 at 5:52 pm

      Why not try wat I do become an hgv driver u see the country n your own boss once out on the road u may enjoy it

    • Annette13 28th December 2021 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Thomo.I have found for a complete fresh look of what’s out there as I had a rethink too, is to look on this site and set up some Indeed job searches for working patterns…e g part time in York…Full time in Leeds.The sheer variety of jobs is amazing and many you would never have thought of, or IT jobs in York…even narrowing it down to a discipline provides lots of variety and food for thought.If you have any spare time and want to volunteer.There are lots of IT or other interests out there too.Also if you need any CV or application form help or interview tips I can help from my HR background.Its a great opportunity to see what is out there.I wish I had done it years ago.Good luck.

      • Thomo 2nd January 2022 at 5:53 pm

        Hi Annette, thanks for the idea. I have started looking on job sites, but got a bit put of initially as it seemed to be endless retail type jobs that came up. Will have another look.

    • Annette13 2nd January 2022 at 6:05 pm

      Make the sites work for you.Click on an Indeed job or Google one.At the bottom it will ask if you want to set up a search and then you can put the categories I have John and the emails containing the jobs will come into your Inbox and save all that searching.Keep going as there is loads of jobs out there.Even more now at the moment. If you want to choose a category I can have a look for you and send a little sample of what comes in.

    • Suz Cambridge 8th January 2022 at 7:53 pm

      Would look at job market shortage sectors like HGV drivers, transportation if you like to be working outdoors and more meaningful career?Pay rises recently to recruit more UK residents to fill skills shortage roles – if you like driving – for example – many are opting to be self-employed Amazon last-mile delivery drivers. Being a local bus driver is also people-centric and meaningful — helping others to get to work or school or medical checkups as examples — media link about job sector shortage? https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/shortage-bus-drivers-worse-previously-22303616

    • Suz Cambridge 8th January 2022 at 8:01 pm

      If you like gardening or teaching/training ? There is a boom in people looking for garden services, also shortage of teachers — can easily train at local college to become IT teacher – there is a shortage of STEM teachers at many local colleges, IT trainers for apprentice programs – many young people need people like you — with real work experience to help them learn IT skills to fill jobs in tech sectors.

    • Dawn HW 25th February 2022 at 1:30 pm

      Have you thought about working in care? Although we are based in Kent we have a lot of people like you who wanted to give something back after the pandemic it really is a rewarding a for filling role and no 2 days are the same, and most companies give full training!
      Good luck

    • Unclefedor 17th March 2022 at 3:16 pm

      I understand that you are tired of working so hard in the IT field because it is tiring. That explains why it is said that the age for a job in It is a maximum of 40-45 years. Before choosing another job, you should think about what you like to do in general, what field you are passionate about, and what would not bore you or, on the contrary, would not bother you too much. Like you, I went from a well-paid and well-paid job to something simpler, to a small personal business that allows me to support myself if I apply a https://barkersprocurement.com/services/cost-transformation/ plan.

    • nimrod 18th March 2022 at 12:19 pm

      You might try looking at some of the conservation and renewable energy voluntary groups or perhaps somewhere like the National Trust. Your I.T. skills might be a useful way in since they need to process grant applications and keep various recors=ds, but you could make it clear that you want to do some of the more practical things in the outdoors as part of your role. It’s probably worthwhile to try some of the voluntary arts organisations or community groups, perhaps doing some voluntary work to get a few contacts and a beeter idea of how the organisation runs, so that you can answer questions at interview more confidently than you would otherwise. Considerable persistence is needed as some of these groups tend to favour friends or friends of friends and you would need to make a convincing case. Many people are looking at I.T. software for graphics and making promotional films and magazines; you might find you could learn this easily if you decided to do that, although it can be hard to find a niche market. Some community magazines might offer you a role, especially if you could show some examples of voluntary work you had done for a community website or a parish magazine. Hope this helps, David.