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Am I too old at 51 to start a new career

(19 Posts)
cheelu Fri 28-Dec-12 11:27:44

Hi everyone, I am contemplating starting a new career, doing some kind of Diploma or maybe even a degree to change career paths. I did want a career when I was a young girl but wanted a family more. Family grown now and wondering if I have the time to go for it or am I too old for all the effort needed...

nightowl Fri 28-Dec-12 11:33:23

Definitely not cheelu I am about to start a new job at 60; not exactly a different career but definitely a diversion into a new field. Carpe diem and all that smile

grrrranny Fri 28-Dec-12 12:26:33

cheelu Not too old at all. Do you know what you want to do?

Mishap Fri 28-Dec-12 12:47:58

No! I pursued a career as a medical social worker for 25 years, then retrained in photography at age 50 and spent the rest of my working life in freelance photography, picture editing, arts outreach for young people, digital story making and running singing workshops!

Just follow your dreams and go for it!!

Grannyknot Fri 28-Dec-12 12:53:00

Never too late! I started a new career in a strange (new) country - at 51. Many people are 'late bloomers' anyway. I have a friend who retrained as a social worker (she was a radiographer) - when she was in her early 60s. And she's very happy at her job, working with elderly people.

Bez Fri 28-Dec-12 13:08:46

Someone I know retired from being a successful head teacher when 55 and then trained as a barrister - now in her 70s she has written several law books and she is a renowned expert on children and the law.
Go for it - may open doors you never dreamed of and I wish you all the luck in the

merlotgran Fri 28-Dec-12 18:22:23

When I was 50 I decided to spend three years (one day a week) doing a National Diploma in horticulture and garden design, not for any career purposes but because it was something I really wanted to do.

cheelu Fri 28-Dec-12 19:33:10

Hello everyone--had a long and very horrid day but wanted to catch up with everyone ...I really thought it was too late but it is true that I do have around 15 years left to work. Still a little worried that I may not have the gumption, I am thinking of Foster/Adoption Social Work--I have worked with children for quite a few years as a Youth Worker and a Nanny etc and its a bit of a natural progression really..Thank you for giving me hope....

NannaAnna Fri 28-Dec-12 19:43:10

We are never too old Cheelu as long as we have enthusiasm for life smile. Nothing is more miserable than living with a "what if?".

NfkDumpling Fri 28-Dec-12 19:43:28

You sound perfect for it. There are far too many willing and hopeful young things coming into that sector straight from college or university with no practical experience and often no common sense. It would be a shame for your wealth of knowledge not to be used. Go for it!

glassortwo Fri 28-Dec-12 20:36:50

cheelu you have got to go for it. Life is short so make every moment count.

cheelu Fri 28-Dec-12 20:46:29

So many good things said Thank you everyone x x

glammanana Sat 29-Dec-12 10:46:06

cheerluI've just found the post and you should certainly go with what you feel comfortable with,go for it and enjoy.
I made a career change when just 50ish (sounds good that)after yrs of working doing house sales and mortgages I retired and we moved and opened a business abroad,very successful but sold at right time before property and business crash in 2008,This past year I have taken to doing outside catering after offering to do catering for DDs friends wedding it all took off from there,I now have the contract for local Council Offices at their monthly meetings and am booked up now until after Easter with weddings and birthday celebrations.I love it and it is not everyday it takes up to 3 days a week and pays very very well.

Ruthdpl Sat 29-Dec-12 11:23:00

Go for it, Cheelu! After much arm-twisting from my (then) line manager, I did a 3 year Post Grad degree & graduated when I was 44. After an interval I went back & did a 4 year MSc, graduating at the age of 51. Having now retired from my proper job, I lecture part-time at a local University Business School.
Apart from my family, these qualifications are the achievements of which I am the most proud. I think that this is because when you study as an older, more experienced person, you value it more - and certainly don't take it for granted. Academic study is always a challenge (be prepared for some 'why on earth am I doing this?' moments along the way) but it's good to discover new ways of thinking and to engage with (younger) fellow students. Plus you get an NUS card - which my kids thought was hilarious!

Nelliemoser Sat 29-Dec-12 11:49:09

A change of a career sounds fine, but I would suggest thinking very carefully about Social Work. My LA made a lot of SWs in the adult teams redundant and jobs in general in that public service sector have been cut to the bone. I would suggest that before investing in a particular career path that you ensure that they are still recruiting or will be by the time you would qualify
or you could be very disappointed.

As for children and families social workers, all I will say is it is very stressful and the burn out rate is very high!

Social work departments also use a lot of "family support workers". These were often former Nursery Nurse trained. (NVQ something or other nowadays.)
These work with families experiencing difficulties and can help teach basic practical parenting skills etc. (super nanny style) wink. Your previous experience as a Youth worker or nanny could be very useful in that role. Qualified social workers seem to increasingly be left doing the child protection end of that spectrum. I know a former Social Worker who has moved on to this family support work and is very happy with this move. which is more "hands on." School teaching assistants another possibility?

Is there anything you have a really special interest in like Mishaps photography or Glammas catering; or Merlots horticulture ?
Whatever, you want to do you are not too old.

RINKY Sat 29-Dec-12 18:46:18

Having been out of the country and out of the loop for a while, just come on the thread to say I trained in remedial massage at 50.
I trained in a year and set off acquiring clients. Hard work in the north of England. 16 years later I am still working hard part time, helping clients, friends and friends of friends, also showing people how to help themselves.

I wanted to do a sports therapy course too but was told by my tutor it was too hard for 'someone of your age'! Of course I should not have listened but was a bit unsure of myself as a viable professional in those days.

I now know I could have easily done it as I have become...according to clients who have travelled the world... The best massage therapist in the world! Pity I never learned to charge world class prices! All on one cheap council run course and a love for the job.
Go where your heart leads you and enjoy it while you can.

messenger Sat 29-Dec-12 19:39:33

Hi the thread of your dilemma...suffice to say`re never too old...go for it...I did a course at the UCE some years ago in hypnotherapy and was very successful during the wanted to partner me during the course on a 1to1 basis and eventually I found a couple of `partners` and the result was frightening...where the mind can go..and I never followed it through and I often wish that I had...but even now at 70+ I am now into I`m not Cheelu I say.. go for itsmile

Fondasharing Sat 29-Dec-12 23:12:56

As with Rinky I studied full time for one year at the age of 55 to take my qualification in anatomy and physiology alongside therapeutic massage, with a view to pursuing a career in the same when I retired from public sector consultancy.

In the end, I did not take up the career as I have become the carer for my husband but nevertheless I can use my knowledge and empathy to help friends, my husband and now my grandchildren. The knowledge has never been wasted and I made some good friends during the course.

It certainly "stretched" my revising skills, made me feel very proud of myself when I qualified and has bought much pleasure ( I hope!) to all those who receive my therapies.

No you are certainly not too old, and you will grow as a person in whatever you decide to pursue.

All the best.

RINKY Sun 30-Dec-12 04:34:29

In my next life I will be a glass worker and a potter and sculptor. Will try and do a bit of each in this life from now on to get in training! Haha.