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AIBU to retrain in my thirties - although I don’t know what to do!

(66 Posts)
Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:06:22

Short story - my entire career has been based in an industry that is now dying.
I went freelance five years ago when it was still quite profitable but the work just isn’t there anymore and when it is, it’s not well paid.
I can pick up odd jobs and bits and pieces here and there and have supplemented it with other similar types of work but I don’t feel like it’s a long term prospect for earning a decent wage.

Only now I’m kind of stuck as I feel like I should refrain and do something more profitable... but I have no idea where to start!

To give you an idea my career is in a niche part of publishing (that’s quite loose but will give you an idea of my skill set).

I’m wondering if I should stick with what I’m doing and just try and be more creative at finding work and clients - is retraining now a silly idea?!

dancingqueen345 Sat 02-Mar-19 19:13:13

Tragically, you've got more years working ahead of you than behind you, so I'd say retrain

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:14:22

That’s my line of thinking @dancingqueen345 I’m just slightly panicked because I’ve always known I wanted to do this job that I’m in now and always trained for it - and now I don’t know what to retrain as or do!

dancingqueen345 Sat 02-Mar-19 19:16:40

@Aberforthsgoat yeah I've got no advice on actually what to retrain in!! I'm 30 and started retraining as an accountant 2 years ago and I absolutely love it (although appreciate that's a world away from publishing!).

At the time I did think wouldn't it be great if there was a careers advice service like you get at uni that was dedicated to the older professional because I think it's a fairly common question!! (Potential business op?...)

Singlenotsingle Sat 02-Mar-19 19:17:39

It's not a silly idea. It's the only choice you've got! It's hard to suggest anything though, without knowing more about your skills and interests.

Eemamc Sat 02-Mar-19 19:18:46

I retrained as a teacher in my 30s... no regrets!

SheldonandMama Sat 02-Mar-19 19:20:33

Very sensible. You are likely to have to work to 67-70 so well worth the effort now. We all need to think about adapting. Good for you.

Governoress86 Sat 02-Mar-19 19:21:01

I'm 33 this year and I will be retraining this year to become a early years teacher. I come from a career in care, however I have not worked for a couple of years due to anxiety and depression caused by my job.

While I retrain I will be doing care in the community instead of working in a care home setting which is more stressful, and with care in the community I can pick my times and hours to suit me.

I would go for it smile

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:21:58

@singlenotsingle yes I appreciate it’s very vague
I’ve edited magazines, websites and ghost written unofficial (cringe) biographies. I’ve done a bit of social media management and marketing.
I’m quite creative, I can obviously write and I’ve branched out into copywriting for websites but it’s jusy obviously getting the work when you’re freelance.

The journalism side is the one I’m struggling with as it just doesn’t pay enough for the amount of work expected.

I think I would see it as more of a good idea if I had the thing I wanted to retrain as

I’m not saying I think a new career would make me a millionaire and I know nothing is secure but I feel like I’m very much on a sinking ship at the moment.

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:22:39

“I can obviously write” - posts with typos. Bloody mumsnet on iPhone.

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:24:16

Really great to hear from peopl a similar age who are retraining or have refrained. I need to give it a lot of thought I think.

JRMisOdious Sat 02-Mar-19 19:24:28

I’m 55 and starting as an intern on a totally different career path, after my first career (which I have absolutely no interest in picking up) then 25 years as a SAHM. I fully expect to have a paid job in my new field within a couple of years.

You are but a spring chicken. Work out what you want to do and do it. Of course you can. With the world of work changing as rapidly as it is, everyone will have to retrain at the very least once in the near future.

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:24:59

People* dear god I need to switch to posting on a computer.

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:27:46

Actually mortified by the mistakes in my posts. I promise I actually proofread when applying for things professionally/at work! blush

Batsypatsy Sat 02-Mar-19 19:33:22

JRMis can I ask what you're retraining as?

I'm also thinking about this. I haven't worked for three years due to anxiety and depression, before that I was self employed but not earning enough as I am now a single parent. I need to find something to retrain as that doesn't require a degree as I can't afford to do that and due to life choices I didn't get round to it before.

Surely there must be a career help website somewhere?

JRMisOdious Sat 02-Mar-19 19:39:51

It’s bizarre: I’m (hopefully) going to be a zookeeper. It’s what I really want to do, specialising in Insects and reptiles eventually I hope. It will involve going back to school but the internship will tell me whether that’s worth committing to, at my age. Quite a big deal when you’re 55.

If you’re still reading, 😁, your career has been in publishing: does writing interest you?

JRMisOdious Sat 02-Mar-19 19:41:48

sorry BatsyPatsy, the last sentence as for Aberforthsgoat, I meant to post separately.

Batsypatsy Sat 02-Mar-19 19:43:47

JR that's very cool! I hope you really enjoy it.

I would love to do something with cats but it just wouldn't pay enough.

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:47:31

That’s very cool! Zookeeping!! Wow I’m impressed - has it been a lifelong passion?

Writing does interest me hugely it’s all I want to do really it’s just the pay that isn’t great. When I don’t write, I really miss it. I do feel like it’s something I’m very passionate about.

JRMisOdious Sat 02-Mar-19 19:47:37

BatsyPatsy: after years out of paid work I’ve spent the last year looking into things and deciding that the very best thing I could do was start with what I would really love. I randomly wrote to my local zoo, thinking they would dismiss me at my age, but they didn’t. They wrote back, invited me to join their ZooSchool voluntary work experience programme, which is really aimed at university Zoology students, and I start in a couple of weeks. I’m very excited!
Obviously my circumstances are very different to yours, you probably need to start earning quickly. But what Id take from my experience is, don’t not try something because you think they’ll turn you down, sometimes they don’t.
I would start with your local FE college: just go and talk to them.

SlackerMum1 Sat 02-Mar-19 19:51:39

Wouldn’t it be easier to move sideways into a new area of work but doing similar things? Assuming you like your work of course? Brand, social media, press and pr or campaigsn? All call for the sort of skill set you’ve outlined and can be done freelance if you prefer. Loads of options for this type of work with charities, campaigning organisations, PR or public affairs consultancies, public sector organisations....

Aberforthsgoat Sat 02-Mar-19 19:51:51

JRM good for you! That’s very inspiring smile

JRMisOdious Sat 02-Mar-19 19:53:19

My work here is done 😁

(Oh, very excited ..... and scared stiff, btw!)

ThePortlyPinUp Sat 02-Mar-19 19:54:23

I decided at the age of 31 to retrain as a nurse, I was previously a bookbinder and then a sahm for 11 years so it was bit of a shock to the system. I've now been qualified 18 months and it's the best decision I could have made for my family. I like you thought that I had a lot of years working ahead of me so might as well do something that I thought I might enjoy.

NotSureThisIsWhatIWant Sat 02-Mar-19 19:56:43

I did, but it was a bit of a waste of money, as in my case, ageism was against me (I worked and retrained to go back to something classed as a young profession).

I think however that you should try it, but only if it doesn’t cost the Earth.

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