What are they? It’s a question myself and many of my friends with older children are asking. I have more time now and I’m able and resourceful and I want to enjoy what I do next – but it’s hard to know where to start. Over time, motivations change, so I may want to look at doing something new.
Although I had children young, I have always tried to keep my hand in, work part time/do voluntary work and so on, but it has been in the last year that I have really stopped and thought that my time is NOW. But what do I really want to do for the next 15/20 years? My youngest daughter has gone to university and due to lots of different circumstances including several illness related issues and looking after my father; I have had to put off this decision for a long time.
I have struggled to access information that directly helps people my age (50 plus).
Whilst there seems to be a big development in the ‘returners’ sector, this is still fairly restrictive – what if you don’t have the experience to ‘return’ to (most returnships seem to be in the finance sector which isn’t my background). Further, I don’t want to necessarily go back to what I did previously!
From the research I’ve done, I think these are the best sites for giving not only ideas, but practical opportunities to learn – be it shadowing, testing ideas, attending workshops or simply getting you to think differently about how to get yourself plugged into a new area of work, upskill, refresh and try something new.
Renegade Generation – www.renegadegeneration.com
Very useful website focusing on helping to find the right job for those wishing to reinvent themselves/explore new opportunities. Expert advice/workshops and a brilliantly useful list of age-friendly employers. Some people feel discriminated against as they get older, so knowing which employers have specific policies to recruit older workers is very useful.
ViewVo – www.viewvo.com
A website giving you the chance to connect with experts from different fields. If you are nervous and have no network in an area, having the chance to spend around £30 on a phone call with someone who has been vetted and who really wants to help you understand the ins and outs of their world and what you need to do to be successful is great! If the phone call doesn’t put you off, you can go and shadow them for a day. Want to be a florist? Get up at 3.00 a.m, go the market, meet the suppliers, open the shop, serve customers, check over your business plan – at the end, you’ll soon know if this is the right path for you!
Morefrommycareer.com – www.morefrommycareer.com
‘A home for career changers’. Jam packed with advice on where to access information; career coaching, an excellent blog and an inspirational story from its founder Roz Jackson.
FightingFifty – www.fightingfifty.co.uk
More of a lifestyle website. Set up by Tracey McAlpine and filled with tips and advice on how to age positively and live life to the full.
National Careers Service – nationalcareersservice.directgov.uk
Everyone is entitled to one face to face interview annually and it is another link to resources available including apprenticeships and further education ideas. Most people think of it for younger people, but I definitely think it an underutilised resource for older people too.
I have found finding something new to be quite difficult but hopefully the above list gives you the sense there is more interest being generated in this area. I feel optimistic that I will find myself my rewarding niche.
Guest blog post by Margaret Aspinall.
Mother to four children and career explorer!