On the Shelf?

I’ve worked in IT since I’ve worked at all. IT and Computers have been for me as much a trade as joinery, plumbing or masonry is to others. It is what I chose to train in after I left school as it seemed the “thing” to get into at that point in the 80s. I graduated with my degree and have worked in the industry for the last 30 years straight. Despite technically changing employers on three occasions the job has remained the same i.e. providing IT support and development for Glasgow City Council’s application estate. So guess what? I want to do something else. Something different before it’s too late. IT has changed so much in recent times that’s it’s not the job I enjoyed for many years. Now it’s a diet of tedious tasks with the interesting bits all but pruned away to third parties. I’ve simply run out of energy and passion for the job. Time to move on.

But move onto what? I’ve had some thoughts. However, the question lingers, am I already past it? I’ve looked around the web at jobs for people in their mid-50s and it’s not an encouraging list. I don’t want to be a teacher. I don’t want to be a driving instructor. I don’t want to be a Life Coach and I most definitely do not want to be a Funeral Arranger! There is something I did want to be and I actually applied just to see what would happen.

Nothing happened. No “thanks but no thanks”. No “don’t be silly”. Nothing.

What probably did happen was that they looked at my age and laughed. Why employ a 54 year-old when we can get a 24 year old instead? Well, there are lots of reasons why, such as experience, commitment, reliability and so on. But the truth is ageism is likely rife in the job market, and while it’s tough to swallow, I already think it’s too late to be taken seriously in any attempts to start a second career path.

Both of my parents had retired by my age. That’s not for me, but other than sticking where I am in a job I’ve lost interest in, it’s hard to see where else I go. Hopefully I’ll think of something soon. Hopefully I’ll also be proven wrong about my fears of ageism.

Thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “On the Shelf?

  1. Claire Fuller

    I hear you! 23 years in the same job for me and I’d had enough. I’m not sure I have encouraging things to say – I suspect ageism is rife in the jobs market, and I was just incredibly lucky to stumble into something I seemed to be good at, which earned enough money to mean I could leave that marketing job at 49. Is there something you could offer as a one-man-company, and go freelance? Something IT based, even if you had to retrain a bit? Or something utterly different?

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Quite fancied something to do with writing/editing a few years ago, but that kinda fell by the wayside (you’ll notice I don’t do FF these days – just felt it was getting very “samey” after 3 or 4 years). Really want a clean break away from the stresses of an IT environment I don’t enjoy after 30 or so years. Being a postman sounded a possible i.e. outside, in the community, keeping fit etc. However, I don’t think I have a chance on that one at my age. Just need to see what comes up. I’m not giving in without a fight!

  2. Helen Fleming

    Thanks for sending me fromheretothere.I understand how you feel .Enjoyed reading your stories.learned a lot! Good luck with finding a new path.Hope to see you soon.x


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