Thinking about a serious career change

boxocrap

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Posts
1,291
Location
north delta british columbia canada
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.
life is about living..not existing
 

schmee

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
19,646
Location
northwest
Well, remember, "the grass is always greener". While working in a Park would be fun for the side benefits, I doubt the work itself would be much fun. Basically you are a customer service person.
My vote is stay in what you know for a while. Make more money. Change to a place with better culture/atmosphere maybe. If the park greeter job is 1/3 the pay, keeping your IT job means fully retiring much faster. Retire when comfortable money wise , buy a truck and camper then go a lot of places instead of one.

Can you retire now? Is that what you are thinking? You must be making good money and have few responsibilities.

I retired early to go sailing. I probably should have worked another 5 years, I would have a ton more money from those last 5 years.

Being a sailor with a lot of experience I took a "fun" job working for a charter company. Basically checking people in, ensuring they had the ability to use the boat, then welcoming them back in a week or two and checking the boat. Not a fun job really. I walked my legs off. Customers are demanding etc.
 

Toto'sDad

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Posts
56,121
Location
Bakersfield
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!!
View attachment 939656
This is so weird, I'm having a DeJa'Vu moment here. I seem to remember a thread almost exactly like this down to this pic from the past.
 

bholder

Tele-Meister
Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Posts
378
Age
62
Location
Vestal NY
Me too. As in, Retirement. Just finished up my 2021 performance review, my 40th year with the company. Pretty darned tired of the BS, Ive had enough for sure. Just not sure I'm quite ready to jump, either. Financially, will be ok, at least, luckier than most.
 

FuncleManson

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 23, 2021
Posts
326
Age
57
Location
Moline, IL
This is so weird, I'm having a DeJa'Vu moment here. I seem to remember a thread almost exactly like this down to this pic from the past.

I think the OP touched on this subject a few months ago. Maybe Pete just decided it was easier to copy his response from then into this thread.
 

Toto'sDad

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Posts
56,121
Location
Bakersfield
Only one time in my life did I ever stay with a job I didn't like. I had just bought my wife a new car when I got out of work and had to hurry up and get a job to make the payments. I had windfall of money coming I had to wait for, as soon as I got the money, I took two weeks off and quit.
I think the OP touched on this subject a few months ago. Maybe Pete just decided it was easier to copy his response from then into this thread.

Thank you, I thought maybe I was having a senior moment there for a little bit! :)
 

Harry Styron

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Posts
3,355
Location
Branson, Mo
@Big_Bend, you are fantasizing about the life of a state or national park employee who lives in the desert or mountains from your vantage point in Houston.

Most of those jobs are essentially customer service and janitorial jobs, unless you’ve worked your way up into management or are a biologist. Permanent staff jobs will provide health insurance, though medical facilities are often not locally available. A lot of the jobs, such as checking in guests at campgrounds, are seasonal and provided by contractors, without benefits.


And health insurance will be your biggest expense if you don’t get it from your employer, and at your age you’re statistically likely to start needing more health care services.

My suggestion is that you take an intermediate step, such as finding an IT job or doing gig work from a place that you would like to live, or closer to such a place.
 

KyAnne

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Posts
1,914
Location
Swamps of Louisiana
I'll offer my perspective as 38 year old whose entire career has been in IT. If I'm understanding your post correctly, you're in an individual contributor role, not a leadership one. If that's true, it's going to be difficult to be successful if you've reached a point where you are unwilling or uninterested in learning new technologies and keeping up with your field. It will also result to poor relationships with younger coworkers.

If you're looking for a something that will give you a better perceived quality of life, there are a lot of jobs out there (not just park rangers) that will probably be a fit. But the reality is that most of them will likely result in a massive pay cut. You need to take a hard look at your finances and see if that's possible. That will likely be the biggest deciding factor in any move at this stage.
I did just as you said. I looked at my Pension, my 401K (that I rolled into an IRA), and my full SS and am now making considerably more money than when I was working. "They" have tried to get me to come in for a few projects and I politely said HELL NO! ENOUGH!
p.s. I was there for 29 years, 2 months and 26 days.
 

SRHmusic

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Posts
1,655
Location
North Carolina, USA
I gather that most park rangers spend more time doing law enforcement type work than the hoped for educational/ helpful roles we imagine.

On the other hand - There is a whole world of small and medium size companies that can benefit from experience. I didn't really understand this until getting out of the big corporations several years ago. Small companies can be a bit weird, as they can be dominated by the owner's personality, but, hey, any group anywhere has that risk.

So, one option is, perhaps, setting up as a consultant/contract worker with your own little LLC. Opportunities won't really appear until you are clearly available to help, so you might just need to make the leap to find out. Or get the word around very quietly to some trusted people that could help get a first contract for you.

Good luck out there.
 

PeteWaller

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Posts
293
Age
63
Location
UK
This is so weird, I'm having a DeJa'Vu moment here. I seem to remember a thread almost exactly like this down to this pic from the past.
I could change the pic but the message is the same:)
20211231_082340.jpg
 

Telekarster

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
5,420
Location
Earth
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.

FWIW my Dad was one of the first IT guys. Started in the business in 1958... swappin' tubes and runnin' cards, retired after 40 years in the biz as Sr. VP of IT of a major firm. Went to work at local park, checking in horses and such for min wage, and said to me it was one of the best jobs he ever had! LOL!! He absolutely loved it, and rarely missed a day of work doing it. So... there you have it ;) Good luck in whatever you decide to do man!
 

PeteWaller

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Posts
293
Age
63
Location
UK
I think the OP touched on this subject a few months ago. Maybe Pete just decided it was easier to copy his response from then into this thread.
My response is not "cut and pasted"! Its the same subject matter that means a lot to me and I like it when I see that I am not the only one:)
 

Fenderdad1950

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Posts
2,545
Age
71
Location
Albuquerque
71, i am on social security and working 4 hours a day on my old job (designing irrigation systems). Luckily I have always enjoyed my work. One must keep engaged in something or the TV will suck your brains out at home.
 

VonBonfire

Tele-Holic
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Posts
529
Age
101
Location
Texas
Well, remember, "the grass is always greener". While working in a Park would be fun for the side benefits, I doubt the work itself would be much fun. Basically you are a customer service person.
This. It's easy to fall into coveting jobs and careers of someone else that appear nice from the outside. I'll go camping on dude's beat and leave my beer cans all over his pristine campground, my dog will crap all over and I won't clean it up, my friends will come by for an all nighter and you'll have to kick me out.

I followed my dream from the get go and did everything I wanted but a better piece of advice is to seek the Lord because "dream" and "realities" are two different things and both come to an end but where Ima spend eternity? Careers are meaningless and I been living the outdoor life on top of it building my dream place. My back hurts and my taxes are increasing every time I beautify the place. I'm sick of hauling wood for the stove. I've been setting footers for a shop in karst terrain, my body has been incredibly sore and exhausted. I would not want a high paying IT job in a cush office just saying it ain't all roses over here neither. Think about the world to come, this one is meaningless and short lived.
 
Last edited:

glenlivet

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Posts
1,596
Location
Marco.......Polo......
At the end of the day, you regret the things you didn't do....not the stuff you did.

If you only have yourself to look out for and provide for...then it's truly up to you.

Single guy ....you can live off almost nothing. A decent grill and some paper plates, and you're all set.
 

old soul

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Posts
777
Location
terra firma
Get a camper and be a host. A lot of parks use hosts for volunteer services in exchange for a campsite, sometimes up to 4 months at a time. All the hosts I talk to say they volunteer 20 hours a week. You're not going to get to live in Yellowstone or something, but lots of smaller state and county parks are nice too
 

getbent

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Posts
47,625
Location
San Benito County, California
more than one thing at play here... in fact, more than three probs.

Park Ranger--> I have a friend who is a park ranger. she hates it. hate. it is administrivia and being karen all the time and enforcing policies that don't always make sense and it can be dangerous. Be a docent. You will clean toilets and pick up trash 3 hours a day, but the rest will be fun (ish)... yeah, don't find your next disaster before you finish this one.

If you are out of gas for your current gig. Reinvent yourself. If that is 'park ranger' cool, but at least spend some time with a couple of park rangers and see what their life is really like.

I think the world shifted pretty dramatically and it is forever. It is resulting in the biggest shifts in occupations, living etc that we have seen in a long time (maybe the depression or westward expansion.)

I can't give you advice about whether to quit or not. I don't feel like I know what the whole deal is. I think you are cooked (burnt) on your current thing... If it were me and I still wanted to work in the field, I'd hop on indeed or call my head hunter and job hop.

Or maybe go work for a company like Robert Half or iWork.com where you don't have to stay and you can graze work.

I think a propane route delivery gig might be nice... unless they put trackers on the truck... see, that is it. The world changed a LOT and a lot of us just don't want to go on the ride....
 

boxocrap

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Posts
1,291
Location
north delta british columbia canada
Only one time in my life did I ever stay with a job I didn't like. I had just bought my wife a new car when I got out of work and had to hurry up and get a job to make the payments. I had windfall of money coming I had to wait for, as soon as I got the money, I took two weeks off and quit.


Thank you, I thought maybe I was having a senior moment there for a little bit! :)
at my age..every moment is a senior moment;)
 




Top