I'm 55 years old and STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Here is the problem. I am BORED to tears with my current vocation. It is also about to be legislated out of existence,(outdoor advertising).

What I need to know, Is there a site or a place I can go that may be able to counsel me toward a new career for an advanced age person?

I have checked with our local Workforce commision( what a joke), and they seem to be mostly geared toward younger folks or recent immigrants.

I am not even sure any of my past experiences would be of value in any other trade since they are mostly specific to billboard work ,except for my CDL. I don’t care anything at all about driving big rigs any more though.

Any thoughts? Or ideas that I might look into?

Do you mean billboards? Or something else?

Explain “legislated out of existence”, please. I am interested … this would be especially surprising about billboards.

Sorry … I missed the billboard reference in the OP.

But, really … bilboards outlawed? Last time I was through Houston (last summer), it seemed they had more along the highways than here in Louisiana, but not to the point of obvious blight :shrug:.

I remember in Missouri a few years back there was some legislation pending that would have either prohibited or reduced the amount of new billboard signage, especially along the interstate. However, the legislation was written in such a way that existing billboards would be grandfathered in. Billboards just started popping up like mushrooms, most of them saying “Advertise Here!” – the outdoor advertising companies just wanted to get them in place before the legislation took hold, it didn’t matter if they actually contained any advertising or not. And as it turned out, I believe the legislation failed anyway.

Sorry, I guess that doesn’t address the OP’s question about career choices. :smack:
However, finding myself in a similar situation (I just don’t like what I’m doing but don’t know what else to do) I’d kinda like to hear what people have to say.

[QUOTE=Craneop2]
Here is the problem. I am BORED to tears with my current vocation. It is also about to be legislated out of existence,(outdoor advertising).

What I need to know, Is there a site or a place I can go that may be able to counsel me toward a new career for an advanced age person?

I have checked with our local Workforce commision( what a joke), and they seem to be mostly geared toward younger folks or recent immigrants.

I am not even sure any of my past experiences would be of value in any other trade since they are mostly specific to billboard work ,except for my CDL. I don’t care anything at all about driving big rigs any more though.

Any thoughts? Or ideas that I might look into?
[/QUOTE
About not finding out your lifes ambition--------I’m in the upper eighties and 24 years retired—never did find out what I wanted to be—just as well—I probably would have burnt myself out after one year of dedication.

Spent 39+ years in a job that brought an pccasional laugh.[and you can even find humor in a morgue]

Look for a job where any time some horse’s- butt boss looks at you cockeyed you can give him the finger.

Remembe,if they’re hiring they need you-----------don’t let them forget it!

All y’need is a roof and a table and a chair.

If your NOT alone y’only need two chairs -------and a toaster,=========be happy!

EZ

You Know you want it:
Careers in Firefighting

Sounds stupid but I recommend the book “What Should I Do With My Life?” by Po Bronson. It’s all about people who made some pretty massive changes in their career direction (example: high level Investment banker --> catfish farmer).

It is not directed at recent grads but at people looking for a new direction or to get out of an established career.

Have you considered getting into web advertising? There are some very strong parallels between web ads and billboards. There are many different aspects to it, some of which would be new to you, which might make it interesting. And some of your insights could be useful to folks who’ve only been dealing with advertising since 1994.

In the same boat here. I’m 43 and still haven’t graduated from the local state university. And I have two intense interests that I can’t choose between—I want to work in some capacity in the area of child abuse intervention, and I want to work as a registered dietitian in a large metropolitan research hospital. I simply can’t decide between the two, so I’m gonna do both. First I’m going to get a BA in child development, and then after a few years I’m going to get another BS in dietetics, take the boards, and try to find an internship somewhere. Am I crazy? Maybe. But the way I figure it, if I take impeccably good care of myself I can work for at least another 30 years—very likely far longer, given what we already know about how possible it is to extend the human life span. What about age discrimination, you say? Very real obstacle, indeed. But I read somewhere (I’ll see if I can dig up a cite) that the RAND Corporation did a thorough analysis of the issue and came to the conclusion that age discrimination will disappear in the United States by the year 2015 because the age distribution demographics of the domestic work force will render it impossible to practice. So my advice to you is to do whatever suits your fancy. You’re old enough to do whatever you want. You’ve earned the right, and you deserve it.

I don’t know how much it applies to Texas, but my Mom works here for a company that handles contracts for the Workers Compensation Board. They do stuff from courses on resume writing and interview techniques to life-skills for young drop-outs to re-training in other fields for injured workers (I imagine the oilfield is a big source for that).

You could check if something like that exists where you are.

The interesting thing about this book is that it offers no definitive answers. Many of the people he interviewed still end up kind of aimless and uncertain. (The catfish farmer, as I recall, was about to move on because the farm’s other owners wanted to sell.) It’s a decent book–though I’m not enamored with Bronson’s prose style and his somewhat fatuous reflections on the meaning of work, et cetera–but don’t go into it hoping to come away with some great inspriation. For all that, it may still be more useful to you than What Color is My Parachute, Pathfinder, and their ilk.

I sympathize you; while my job isn’t (yet) to be eliminated or legislated out of existence, I’ve ended up in a vocation (mechanical engineering) I’m not really terribly excited about and in an industry (defense) that sits rather at odds with my adolescent idea of what I was going to do in life. I have and still do entertain all sorts of notions, from going back to school for that physics degree to trying to get a job writing to…just pushing off for lands far distant and wandering around like Ozymandias (or more likely Don Quixote de la Mancha), but have thus far failed to extract myself from the chains of employment and steady payment and into the waiting arms of the lady of adventure and destitution, or at least seriously delayed gratification.

Maybe the best solution is just not to grow up. It seems kind of overrated, anyway. But I do like the whiskey and staying up late aspects, though.

Stranger

About billboards in Texas. The feeling here is that all billboards will be legislated out of existance within 10 years. The jobs I was most involved in are mostly gone now(new construction).Besides I am tired of the business and really would like to try something else.

It’s kinda like my wife says that I always keep a car longer than it will ever get any kind of re-sale, I have done the same with my abilities I guess.

I’ll look into some of those books that have been mentioned.

I was hoping that maybe there was some place that could test me or something and give me some insight into what fields an old fart like me could do. Something that might give me some reward rather than just a payday every week.

Not ready to retire yet. Not without any kind of pension or likelyhood of steady income.

Just a quandry I reckon…

This and this seem to be the most widely recommended. The latter is strongly based upon the Myers-Briggs personality typology classifications.

I present them as being what they’re worth; odds are, unless you are ignorant of your own likes and abilities, the results aren’t going to surprise you much (mine told me that I should be an engineer or computer programmer…oh, really?) but they might give you some indication of what options would best fit your temperment and aptitudes. They should be available at your local library.

One thing you might think about trying is looking for volunteer opportunities; spending a few hours a week working for some kind of non-profit organization might both give you exposure to different types of work you might like or be adept at, and could possibly give you an inroads to a position or at least let you connect with people who might be looking for skills you have or can develop.

Good luck to you.

Stranger

Many years ago I took a 2 night special duty, caring for a man in his 90s who had begun a now international package delivery company.
He awoke early in the morning and wanted to chat. We talked about the business he started. Then he began praising me for being a nurse. I replied that I was just doing it until I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. He immediately came back with “Me too.”

See? 55 is much to young to actually know what you want to be, or to even know if you want to grow up!

Given your construction background and the job market, have you considered going the handyman route? The demand has never before stronger and a good handyman can pick and choose his work.

I just got an estimate on some handyman work inside my house. A franchise wants $85+/hour to do some pretty simple stuff. They obviously have overhead costs, including an office. You could work out of your home, charge less, do some intense guerrilla marketing at first, build a good name, and grow a business. Start with the less skilled things and develop your proficiency.

Anyway, re: career testing, try a local college/university. Tell them you’re interested in getting a degree, but have no idea re: direction. In fact, if you can find a master’s program in career counseling–even if it means driving 150 miles a couple of times–I’m sure you could get excellent help.

P.S. Interested in becoming an elementary school teacher? There is a HUGE need for males.

I’ve the same problem only I’m a few years older than you.
59 in late july.
My current job is with Manpower at a local factory rolling up hose produced by the local Goodyear plant.
They pay very little and I only have whatever benefits Manpower offers. I have told them twice now that I won’t accept full time work because they don’t pay enough.
Anyway its amazing to see the attitude toward me . I seem to be a favorite. The supervisors , there are several and they are all young, are all friendly and helpful.
Maybe they are surprised by a real work ethic.