Advanced search

Starting again in my 40s??!

(8 Posts)
CherryPieAndDamnFineCoffee Mon 20-Mar-17 16:21:49

Just wondering if anyone has any career advice for me, or if I am doomed!

Background - I'm in my early 40s, haven't worked for around 13yrs due to being on maternity leave / carer for my disabled child. My youngest is coming up for a year old, and my disabled child is now of an age where his disability is a bit easier to manage, and I'm wondering what on earth I'm going to do employment wise!

I have a degree in engineering, though I graduated over 20yrs ago and tbh, I'd struggle to remember anything relevant. I did work in a sort of related field, but nothing much that would be relevant for a similar job nowadays.

I potentially have a year or two to retrain in something before I'm intending going back to work, but I'm unsure what would be my best option. Ideally something with the potential for a good salary (though not sure how realistic that would be, re-entering job market mid-forties with not much relevant experience!), and ideally something with the option of working from home / being freelance. I should also add I have an illness that has the potential for chronic fatigue in the future (though not definitely), hence why I'm thinking something with the potential to be flexible / self-employed. Another thing I should add is that I suspect I have Aspergers, and prefer working alone and am really not a "leader" type.

I'm not really sure what I'm good at! I've lost a lot of confidence over the years. I did enjoy maths & chemistry at school, love quantum physics, dabbled a bit in programming (made my own website back in the day when you had to know HTML from scratch), enjoy being creative (knitting, sewing, drawing etc, but wouldn't say I was good at it or "arty"). Jobs I've enjoyed in the past were rather mundane filing type admin things, although I did find them boring and felt I could have been stretched so much more. Teaching is a no-no. I probably function best when I have clear, set goals and am left to get on with it. I am really good at focusing on one thing for long periods of a time (I research the hell out of things), but don't cope well when trying to do too many things at once.

I have considered accountancy, but think it might bore me, computer programming, but not sure if I actually would be any good at it, and indexing, but not sure if that's still a skill that will be required 10-20yrs in the future, or if it's easy to get in to (seems to require a lot of networking?).

So, is there anything career wise I should be considering, or is my wish list too unrealistic? Am I destined to a crappy minimum wage job?? Any ideas anyone?

OP’s posts: |
hutchblue Mon 20-Mar-17 20:03:25

What about data science? It's a massively growing area, involves research, data, maths, stats etc.

BettyBaggins Wed 22-Mar-17 12:13:08

IT support? A friend who works for the local University was telling me that they are having issues employing at the moment due to private sector paying more than public sector. From what I can see the Uni pay a good wage and the extra benefits they provide all add up to a good package.

CherryPieAndDamnFineCoffee Thu 23-Mar-17 10:48:59

Thanks for the suggestions.

Can you tell me more about data science? It sounds a bit abstract! Also, would this sort of thing have the potential for being self-employed?

Not sure about IT support. It sounds as if it would be a bit boring?

I've been thinking about maybe doing some Open Uni stuff relating to environmental management - I did work in a sort of similar field to environmental consultancy, maybe this is something I could get back into? But then I think, I'll be almost 50 when I finish all that shock, and it's all very well saying I could have another 20 odd years of work ahead of me, but I don't know if I'll still be healthy & fit enough then, and also, I feel like I'm always going to be playing "catch up" to reach a reasonable level of experience / earning potential! Is it really worth it?!

Also thought again about bookkeeping. I'll be honest, I have no idea really what this is like, but it seems like there is the potential to carve out a self-employed, flexible role with this, but I'm not sure if it's for me? I'm thinking in terms of finding clients, dealing with lots of new people, maybe being a bit stressful in regards to deadlines etc. I'm not really very confident about things like that.

Actually, I'm feeling a bit down about the whole thing right now. I can't believe I'm written off in my 40s sad.

Anyone else had a major career change in their 40s/50s?? I suppose I'm worried about committing time & finance to retraining, without the guarantee of a decent paying position at the end of it, or worse, becoming so ill that I can't sustain a full-time job. But then, I don't want to spend what's left of my working life doing minimum wage work when I could be capable of so much more. There must be flexible careers out there. What am I missing?

OP’s posts: |
newnoo Fri 24-Mar-17 17:35:47

may help..

but honestly - just start and do something. Anything. Just start. You won't know what's right until you start. Lots going round in your head. Now it's time to take some action smile

Also check out the book-keeping thread below in this topic list. It's all about AAT and job prospects.

CherryPieAndDamnFineCoffee Fri 24-Mar-17 18:12:41

Thank you!

Yes, yesterday I was feeling a bit down about it all but today I decided to start a course on Codecademy! You are right, lots going round & round my head all week - every day I had a different idea of what I should do, and the next day it changed!

I've decided to do some coding courses (I'll have a look at the links thanks) as they are free and I can do them now at home, and I enjoy them and it is doing something! I'll also have a look at the bookkeeping thread. Thanks smile

OP’s posts: |
BettyBaggins Fri 24-Mar-17 23:03:09

Go you Cherrypie, let life begin at 40!

mathur Sat 30-Jun-18 08:15:17

It's such a wonderful read on this article.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in