On the scrap heap at 55

(27 Posts)
Dawny65 Tue 19-May-20 03:36:46

All my working life I have worked in accounts roles. I had a nice, long term job from which I was made redundant last summer. The company closed due to financial difficulties.
Since then I have struggled to find an equally nice job with a good salary. I have had two temp roles since then, both of which were in either very high volume credit control or accounts payable. I don't know if it's me or bad luck in picking two wrong companies but I have struggled keeping on top of the volume of work and was falling behind. Is that how working life is these days? These corporate companies we bust a gut for want blood and there are not enough hours in the day to do everything they ask; or is it my aging brain slowing down?
Over the past year I have looked at jobs available (I'm excluding this lock down period in my post) and the only jobs I feel comfortable doing these days are not so senior roles on a lower salary than I was on last year. This is a step down for me. I feel I have fallen behind in my work experience with different software too. I used to like payroll, but not having done it for 13 years I am very out of touch with it.
I have another 12 years of work left in me and feel lost. I have no other skills for work and instead of feeling armed with a lifetime of all round accounts experience to offer a new employer I feel very behind the times.
I don't really want to take a step down but should I just accept the fact I am getting older now & my brain is slowing down? I should just accept the lower paid, less responsible jobs and wait out my time until retirement? I'd like to get into payroll again but there's no way in without current experience. I'm lost and feel like I'm on the scrap heap.

OP’s posts: |
NOTANUM Tue 19-May-20 03:51:50

Hi, it sounds to me like you've lost your mojo a little after the redundancy (not your fault) and the two manic jobs. In my experience of places that need temps, they are often overworked and frazzled.

I think that there is now an expectation that not all work can be finished and it's more normal to leave work at the end of the day than it ever was. Compared to when I started working, the morning coffee breaks with the team have totally disappeared and people often work through lunch. So maybe your last permanent role was the outlier in terms of pace?

I can't help on the software side but bear in mind that there are many types of packages so no-one will know them all. It just takes someone to show you the basics when you start.

Stay positive and strong! Something good will come up soon.

Sunnytimesahead Tue 19-May-20 04:17:59

Hi OP,

I agree with the above poster.
Don't see yourself as on the scrapheap, you are just at a crossroads and haven't found the next opportunity which is right for you.
Could you start looking into training opportunities whilst you are looking for something new to keep you fresh and up to date?
Maybe broaden your search field for jobs and see if you could branch out into something a bit different. You have a wealth of experience and so much to offer so don't put yourself down.
Good luck OP, things will get better.flowers

googlepoodle Tue 19-May-20 04:23:08

What about working for a charity (obv hard now in this climate).

wallywonker Tue 19-May-20 07:24:33

Yes, that's what work is like now! It's crap, isn't it?

I've moved around a lot but some companies are seriously awful in terms of pace/workload.

Do an audit of all your skills and search hard against lots of different jobs. You might find that something different comes up. Someone I worked with in HR is now something to do GDPR/Compliance.

There's lots you could do. 55 is definitely not old. You might have another 20 years of working!

KatherineJaneway Tue 19-May-20 07:28:59

but I have struggled keeping on top of the volume of work and was falling behind.

Is that compared to others you worked alongside or what the company gave you to do.

LivingThatLockdownLife Tue 19-May-20 07:32:43

2 roles isn't much. Keep trying. Do temping but also keep applying for perm roles. When you get to interview trust your gut!

IceniSky Tue 19-May-20 07:37:55

I'm 42 and leaving my corporate job because the last few years the workload has become stupid. Those who agree to it just want to demo to the execs the teams can do everything and don't listen to those doing the work.

I've side stepped into another role. No idea if it will be any better. But I had to leave as all the good people left my company and I feel arsey towards those who are left.

I would not worry about tooling. You can learn these. Are any of the newer packages on Udemy? You know the principles of those roles, software just has to be picked up. But do you want to go into that area? Like mentioned above are there any regulatory roles you can move into? Smaller companies you can work for?

Graciebobcat Tue 19-May-20 07:40:10

Maybe finance is different from law, but I don't think I've ever done a job where I finished all the work in one day and went home then did all new work the next day and so on. There are always ongoing projects.

As others have said, you've probably lost confidence and have come across a couple of manic, disorganised places. At least it's experience of somewhere you don't want to work. Next time you have an interview, put them on the spot to make sure they are a right fit for you, not the other way round.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 19-May-20 15:30:54

Larger companies have started to offshore Finance jobs (particularly payroll) and with any offshoring there comes an almost devaluing of the job. As you have UK experience you will have technical and management experience (you just need to articulate it better) so you would be far better off going for senior / management roles - your job would then be to review the work produced offshore and present any key findings to senior execs.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 19-May-20 15:31:54

All the Big-4 consultancies love people with UK based payroll experience.

Mintjulia Tue 19-May-20 15:49:57

Keep looking OP. You just haven’t hit on a decent company yet. Good luck x

SunflowerSeedsForever Tue 19-May-20 16:21:51

All the Big-4 consultancies love people with UK based payroll experience.

Those with furloughed staff and warning of significant redundancies?

wallywonker Tue 19-May-20 17:50:40

@IceniSky Don't expect social work to be any easier! Not necessarily better management, lots of pressure and vulnerable people. When things go wrong, you're not just talking about dealing with a stroppy manager trying to get rid of a member of staff..... It's vulnerable people, safeguarding, difficult and dysfunctional families, no budget, not enough staff for caseload. You won't be a person people will necessarily want to engage with either.

Occupational therapy is a better option IMO.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 19-May-20 20:26:50

*Those with furloughed staff and warning of significant redundancies?*

Redundancy or change management programmes make UK pay roll expertise even more prized.

IceniSky Tue 19-May-20 21:55:32

I'm in a completely different sector to social work or similar! Wrong poster?

Etinox Tue 19-May-20 22:02:52

What salary were you on before?
yy to Charity sector- you might end up doing payroll but Finance in charities can also be more varied- bid writing and contract compliance etc.

wallywonker Wed 20-May-20 01:18:27


Yes completely! Sorry, I had two threads open!!!

Oblomov20 Wed 20-May-20 01:39:42

I know exactly what you mean and was talking to my friend this week about a lack of respect generally, and that expectations are ridiculous.

I too had a similar, been in a role donkeys years, so recent 2 roles were a shock.

I did take a new role with xero recently and got to grips with it quite quickly. Setting up the payroll anew was challenging.

You probably underestimate your core skills, and all round book keeping and accounting knowledge, which would mean you too will be easily able to adjust.

Hope your next job is less shitty!!

Ariela Wed 20-May-20 01:43:36

Is now a good time to have enough free time to brush up on your Payroll skills, to familiarise yourself with new software by doing a few online courses?

Monty27 Wed 20-May-20 03:14:32

More mature people such as myself have additional qualities learned through experience.
Don't give up. You'll be offered a post eventually ☺️

Iwanttostayhappy Wed 20-May-20 11:59:27

I took a gap year at 55 and went travelling, best thing ever done. When I returned eventually found a job share 2 days a week in Finance. Perhaps have a look at updating your skills, until you find the right position for you .

Dawny65 Mon 25-May-20 16:12:09

Hello everyone, thank you for all your messsges. I'm still in my 2nd temp role, but the industry is so volatile at the moment, so I don't know how long it will last. The manager has acknowledged that the workload is too much at the moment so I feel a bit better.
On top of this I have let my weight creep up a lot over the years (my fault I know, sitting down all day & enjoying the good life out of work) & it's playing havoc with my legs & feet swelling now, especially in this hot weather. Even if I go for a bit of a walk it's not improving things a great deal. When I was out of work last summer I was very active & keeping busy all day, without long periods of sitting at a desk & the health of my legs improved so much. If it was this time last year I'd have no hesitation in quitting so that I could focus on my health properly & on trying to update my skills. The health of my legs is more important than work!
My husband is very supportive but not so keen on me giving up for a few months in case anything happens to his work, which is understandable too. We've just finished the mortgage which is fantastic, so I'm so tempted to stop for the summer & start again in the autumn.
Sorry for the long post, I just had to get it off my chest! I am at a crossroads, but feel I've got to wait for a while til we see how it all pans out with the virus & Brexit.

OP’s posts: |
wallywonker Mon 25-May-20 18:31:56

I would hang on if you can. Lots of people are going to be losing their jobs. If you give up now you may find there isn't anything at the end of the summer (and this is coming from someone who has a very relaxed attitude to stopping and starting jobs!).

Start going out for a walk every single day for at least half an hour. Watch your portion sizes. Little changes that will make a big difference.

DoIneed1 Mon 25-May-20 18:35:16

Have you thought about the NHS, Op? Plenty of finance related jobs around there.

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