Thinking about a serious career change

Big_Bend

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Howdy ya'll....

I've been in corporate IT for around 35 years.... first as a programmer / analyst then for the last 25 years or so as an Oracle Database Administrator.

Its been a great ride, all things considered. Learned a ton, made some good coin, worked with some wonderful coworkers.

Well, I'm almost 58. I just started a new job about 2 months ago, another DBA position with an international finance firm. The new job is quite stressful and challenging... everybody I work with is younger than me, and these coworker DBAs are very good. I'm now, after all these years, the old IT guy, who's seen it all for a long time, somewhat jaded, looking to retire in 10 years maybe, doesn't really want to keep learning the new technologies.

I'm sure I could push it thru, and work here in IT for some more years, maybe until I'm ready to retire and collect social security, take the higher pay and invest / save more for retirement... which I could use.

But I'm getting tired of IT, its a young person's game.. What I'd really like to do is work at a Texas, New Mexico or Colorado State Park, working in the front office, helping people check into their campsites. I'm single, my kids are grown, I can easily relocate, this would be a much less stressful job.. albeit around a 1/3rd of my current salary. But I think it would be much healthier to work at a State Park for the next 10 years, go hiking every day, be outdoors. But of course I won't have as much money saved for retirement.

Anyone here seriously downsize / change their career / make a big change late in life on the work front.. Curious how it worked out.

Life is good.. cheers
 

wrathfuldeity

Tele-Afflicted
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Turdcaster, WA
In August, walked away from 37 yrs in public mental health service...imo its become a cluster for various reasons. Had done a wide range of things; manage, consulted, mentored, hired, trained, program development, policies, procedures, grad research etc. Considered a dinosaur (63 yrs) and was hunted for various management positions, however they could not show me the $ for such a pita position...hard pass. The past 5-6 years all of my supervisors and managers were younger, less experienced and had been duped into going up the corp/career ladder (some I even trained and mentored). Anyway, for various reasons, have been anticipating the implosion of MH services for the past 2 decades.

So decided to do a solo entrepreneur LLC thing. Its been freeing, learning lots and inspired. Yup less money, I'll survive...$ ain't everything. Time, freedom and having fun has become more important than playing it safe with retirement. No one gets out alive.
 

lammie200

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Location
San Francisco
I have a sister in law that works top management at a state park visitor center. I am not sure you could get hired into a position like that without some time at lower level work at the park. Still would be great though.
 

moosie

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No help here, but I was also in IT. Programmer / systems guy. I took 6 months off at 48 to hike the AT, end to end, with my son. When I got back, I had the expected difficulty re-entering "normal life". I worked through it, but I was really tired of having to keep abreast of the rapid changes in the industry. What I didn't know yet was that I was ill. I had a nasty autoimmune disease creeping up on me. It began unbeknownst to me in 2001, when I was 43. A vaccine. By the time I was 50, I no longer had the choice to feel exhausted by it all. I was quite ill, could barely walk or talk, and had to leave the workforce, permanently. Some may think, wheee, collect social security years ahead of schedule. Yes, but no. Not fun. SS only pays about 1/8 of my pre-bonus salary, at the last job I held.

If I hadn't got sick, I'd have gutted it out. I'd have put it on cruise control - maybe get a job with a company who had some older software in production, and no interest in upgrading right away. I enjoyed coding, but I didn't want to keep learning more languages. I was very good at the few - I'm sure I could have found a place to use those skills for a few more years.

The reason I wouldn't have quit is the huge pay difference, and the long lasting effects it would have had (well, has had, as it turns out). Another 8-10 years, socking it away with a high salary, and investing that... There was nothing else I could have done that would have come close. As for wanting to relax and enjoy life, well, retirement can last a pretty long time - plenty of time for that a bit later on. Once you leave the career, you're probably out for good, unless you immediately make some arrangement to consult back to the company, something like that. That could be a good arrangement, if you can swing it.
 

HoodieMcFoodie

Telefied
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Tamworth, 'straya.
In August of last year I left my job of 11 years as a storeman at a steelyard / industrial supply company. At 59 years old and with another 8 years to go before retirement I didn't want to continue what was essentially a manual labour job working for peanuts in a toxic environment. I now work as a Postal Delivery Officer for Australia Post. My hours are about the same give or take, early start - early finish. More money, better working conditions, no one breathing down your neck all day. It's a simple job but there's lots to learn initially. Once you get your route down it's plain sailing. So so far so good.
 

KyAnne

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Oct 8, 2011
Posts
1,914
Location
Swamps of Louisiana
No help here, but I was also in IT. Programmer / systems guy. I took 6 months off at 48 to hike the AT, end to end, with my son. When I got back, I had the expected difficulty re-entering "normal life". I worked through it, but I was really tired of having to keep abreast of the rapid changes in the industry. What I didn't know yet was that I was ill. I had a nasty autoimmune disease creeping up on me. It began unbeknownst to me in 2001, when I was 43. A vaccine. By the time I was 50, I no longer had the choice to feel exhausted by it all. I was quite ill, could barely walk or talk, and had to leave the workforce, permanently. Some may think, wheee, collect social security years ahead of schedule. Yes, but no. Not fun. SS only pays about 1/8 of my pre-bonus salary, at the last job I held.

If I hadn't got sick, I'd have gutted it out. I'd have put it on cruise control - maybe get a job with a company who had some older software in production, and no interest in upgrading right away. I enjoyed coding, but I didn't want to keep learning more languages. I was very good at the few - I'm sure I could have found a place to use those skills for a few more years.

The reason I wouldn't have quit is the huge pay difference, and the long lasting effects it would have had (well, has had, as it turns out). Another 8-10 years, socking it away with a high salary, and investing that... There was nothing else I could have done that would have come close. As for wanting to relax and enjoy life, well, retirement can last a pretty long time - plenty of time for that a bit later on. Once you leave the career, you're probably out for good, unless you immediately make some arrangement to consult back to the company, something like that. That could be a good arrangement, if you can swing it.
 

steve61689

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
Posts
17
Location
Arizona
Howdy ya'll....

I've been in corporate IT for around 35 years.... first as a programmer / analyst then for the last 25 years or so as an Oracle Database Administrator.

Its been a great ride, all things considered. Learned a ton, made some good coin, worked with some wonderful coworkers.

Well, I'm almost 58. I just started a new job about 2 months ago, another DBA position with an international finance firm. The new job is quite stressful and challenging... everybody I work with is younger than me, and these coworker DBAs are very good. I'm now, after all these years, the old IT guy, who's seen it all for a long time, somewhat jaded, looking to retire in 10 years maybe, doesn't really want to keep learning the new technologies.

I'm sure I could push it thru, and work here in IT for some more years, maybe until I'm ready to retire and collect social security, take the higher pay and invest / save more for retirement... which I could use.

But I'm getting tired of IT, its a young person's game.. What I'd really like to do is work at a Texas, New Mexico or Colorado State Park, working in the front office, helping people check into their campsites. I'm single, my kids are grown, I can easily relocate, this would be a much less stressful job.. albeit around a 1/3rd of my current salary. But I think it would be much healthier to work at a State Park for the next 10 years, go hiking every day, be outdoors. But of course I won't have as much money saved for retirement.

Anyone here seriously downsize / change their career / make a big change late in life on the work front.. Curious how it worked out.

Life is good.. cheers
I'm one year older than you, and I've been in corporate IT as a programmer / analyst for about 38 years.
I started a new job doing the same old thing (programming in PERL, mostly) just over a year ago, only this job is waaay more stressful than the ones I had before, and I dread logging on every day (at least I work entirely from home).
I would love to do what you're considering, but I doubt I will; the pay is just too good and I have mouths and a mortgage to feed.
In my case I think I just need to find a way to give less of a crap without severely reducing my productivity; there aren't (m)any true IT emergencies / we're not saving lives, etc.
Good luck with your choices!
 

dogmeat

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71
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Alaska
scuffle for a nickel.... struggle for a dime

forget about your past..... leave your worries all behind.....

how come the future.... takes such a long long time.....

while you're waiting for.... while you're waitn' for a miracle
 

oregomike

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Posts
1,130
Age
51
Location
Hood River, OR
Howdy ya'll....

I've been in corporate IT for around 35 years.... first as a programmer / analyst then for the last 25 years or so as an Oracle Database Administrator.

Its been a great ride, all things considered. Learned a ton, made some good coin, worked with some wonderful coworkers.

Well, I'm almost 58. I just started a new job about 2 months ago, another DBA position with an international finance firm. The new job is quite stressful and challenging... everybody I work with is younger than me, and these coworker DBAs are very good. I'm now, after all these years, the old IT guy, who's seen it all for a long time, somewhat jaded, looking to retire in 10 years maybe, doesn't really want to keep learning the new technologies.

I'm sure I could push it thru, and work here in IT for some more years, maybe until I'm ready to retire and collect social security, take the higher pay and invest / save more for retirement... which I could use.

But I'm getting tired of IT, its a young person's game.. What I'd really like to do is work at a Texas, New Mexico or Colorado State Park, working in the front office, helping people check into their campsites. I'm single, my kids are grown, I can easily relocate, this would be a much less stressful job.. albeit around a 1/3rd of my current salary. But I think it would be much healthier to work at a State Park for the next 10 years, go hiking every day, be outdoors. But of course I won't have as much money saved for retirement.

Anyone here seriously downsize / change their career / make a big change late in life on the work front.. Curious how it worked out.

Life is good.. cheers

I'm in IT now. Since 2006. SA mostly and now networking projects. Always been the "older guy' (ageism is real in IT). Started at 36 and everyone I worked with was just out of college. The motto was "check your liver at the door." We even had signs. (before we got big and lawyers got involved, anyway.) Now I'm 51 working with 20-30 year olds. I'm the older guy, still. Company now is all about metrics and other soulless BS. I still have 15 years before I can call it quits, and there's no way in hell I'm spending it where I'm at. So, dusting off the rez, and working on some guitar projects. Good luck!
 

Guitarteach

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
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The unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm
58.. treat yourself to a job and lifestyle you will love and would not mind doing for pin money in retirement. If kids are well settled, the job is done.

Had several major career moves.. touring and theatre arts, academia, publishing, research lead and global business strategy. every massive change went fine. The stress of the last role was huge.. i was an older creative brain in the global R&D and strategy lead role for a half a billion a year tech company through IPO and finally its sale.. half my life in planes and hotels. i got out on the sale. I can only describe the physical feeling of the weight lifting in the moment the decision was made .. I was floating. Still am.

I play more music than I ever have, indulge my creative passions in TV writing and working with kids and make far less money but I have never been as happy and contented in my life. I live out in the sticks and canoe when the weather is nice. Perfect. We never bought into the expensive consumer lifestyle ratrace, so it was all an easy transition. Paid a small mortgage off early and never accrued any debt by being lean.

As the kids grew my wife found she loves her work and went for more, so we get by with a new balance. Stress in your 50’s will just shave years off life.. literally.
 
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wilson_smyth

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252
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Ireland
58.. treat yourself to a job and lifestyle you will love. If kids are well settled, the job is done.
How do you find a good next job?
Interviews are a 2 way street for sure, but you don't know what new hell you're jumping into until it's too late. Better the devil you kind of situation.

I know that's very pessimistic, but it's where I am now, at 38, in my most recent IT job for 8 year s and have to move or be left behind in the next year or so. Dreading it as my technology experience is on the latest tech everybody wants so lots of learning to do, while trying to make time for the family and leave a few mins for guitar and me time.
 

Guitarteach

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Posts
11,725
Location
The unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm
How do you find a good next job?
Interviews are a 2 way street for sure, but you don't know what new hell you're jumping into until it's too late. Better the devil you kind of situation.

I know that's very pessimistic, but it's where I am now, at 38, in my most recent IT job for 8 year s and have to move or be left behind in the next year or so. Dreading it as my technology experience is on the latest tech everybody wants so lots of learning to do, while trying to make time for the family and leave a few mins for guitar and me time.

i can only speak for myself but it was a lot of networking and making the best of random situations that arose.

The key self knowledge for me was knowing it was really about my sense of autonomy rather than the work.. so I actively sought areas where I could be left to my own devices. Know what you really want then look for it. It took me till my 30’s to even have an idea about what i really wanted.

My personality likes novelty and creative stuff and loathes routine but certainly for 15 or so years in my 30’s and 40’s the focus was the grind and money making to support the kids through to Uni. Options were riskier then for sure.. so I stuck it out.

The stress nearly broke me… but I think something happens when kids are up and your reach 50 or so. You really stop giving much of a sh*t and you want the kids following to succeed. Like a natural cycle.

What transfers or side steps are there? An IT role in a school or college could be secure and you might find teaching interesting.
 
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PeteWaller

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I do not have a private pension and I am 63 and will only get my state pension at 67 here in the UK. I am self employed and I decided to scale right back and only work as much as I need to to pay my bills. So I only one or two days a week and have to be careful with my money but I have everything i need. Mortgage paid, no finance, and I have my toys to play with and do not need anymore. So what I am saying is my quality of life is HAPPY!! No more stress, no more rules and regulations....just me and my freedom! I am still healthy and fit and love riding my old Norton Commando, going off in my motorhome when ever I want and playing my music and guitar and uilleann pipes!! I am my own person now and not some one working the 9 to 5 to give taxes to the fat rich ******** in London.

It took me years of being scared to do it....but I manage and I love my freedom and time I have on my hands. Yes it may get hard when I am in my 70,s and I can no longer go off and do a few days works to earn some money....but I may have some serious illness then as well.. HAPPY!!
20210609_105924.jpg
 

ping-ping-clicka

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Jun 28, 2019
Posts
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left coast
Howdy ya'll....

I've been in corporate IT for around 35 years.... first as a programmer / analyst then for the last 25 years or so as an Oracle Database Administrator.

Its been a great ride, all things considered. Learned a ton, made some good coin, worked with some wonderful coworkers.

Well, I'm almost 58. I just started a new job about 2 months ago, another DBA position with an international finance firm. The new job is quite stressful and challenging... everybody I work with is younger than me, and these coworker DBAs are very good. I'm now, after all these years, the old IT guy, who's seen it all for a long time, somewhat jaded, looking to retire in 10 years maybe, doesn't really want to keep learning the new technologies.

I'm sure I could push it thru, and work here in IT for some more years, maybe until I'm ready to retire and collect social security, take the higher pay and invest / save more for retirement... which I could use.

But I'm getting tired of IT, its a young person's game.. What I'd really like to do is work at a Texas, New Mexico or Colorado State Park, working in the front office, helping people check into their campsites. I'm single, my kids are grown, I can easily relocate, this would be a much less stressful job.. albeit around a 1/3rd of my current salary. But I think it would be much healthier to work at a State Park for the next 10 years, go hiking every day, be outdoors. But of course I won't have as much money saved for retirement.

Anyone here seriously downsize / change their career / make a big change late in life on the work front.. Curious how it worked out.

Life is good.. cheers
I was happily employed at a city sized recycling center and like what I was doing , it filled the box with the check box , for Right Livelihood. The one day I had an industrial accident and throught that discovered that I had Tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel as well as a knee with a majority of my meniscus in one knee torn out. Everything that I had done to make ends meet can to an abrupt end
Surgery and three years of recovering and I became a security person. ,for twelve years, the I found out that Ihad cancer, Treatment worker and came with chemobrain , short span attention short term memory were blown out and I was dizzy all the time and had the perception of having smoked some really expensive smoke all the time, it kinna cool being that high all the time for free though there is and adjustment period to say the least .
The guy at Social Security said well my friend you just made it. 62 years old so your good to go. Social Security works out to be 1/2 of what I made working full time for a not so very labor friendly company
I have never regretting retiring, I all ready had a very low maintance life style so their really wasn't much of an adjustment, I think of it as my Beat Hotel period of life. A post beat-hippy drop-out mode way of being with enough to support my music jones.
I Could just stay in doors and use my DAW ,guitars, Software instruments to making
Mouse Music as weird as I choose to be.
An outcome that is better than I ever could have imagine. It's nice and simple, so very nice and so very simple.
black cat.jpg
 




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