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Dilemma - Retrain or study for fun ??

(47 Posts)
holdthetonic Thu 29-Dec-16 21:26:12

I no longer work (even though I'm only in my mid-50's) and I'm wondering how to spend my time as I need a challenge.

My dilemma is.... :

Should I either:
* re-train and get a skill that could help me get a job if I I needed to get one in the future. BUT I'm not sure what I'd retrain to do - nothing obvious.

*do a course in a subject that I'm really passionate about but doesn't have any obvious work possibilities. . ( I've seen an MA in History at our local university).

Would love your ideas and opinions.....

morethan2 Thu 29-Dec-16 21:46:57

Do somthing you love

paddyann Thu 29-Dec-16 21:52:19

I went back to college in my 30's and did my city and guilds exams ,haven't done anything with it but really enjoyed the experience and I always have it if needed.Go do something you really enjoy

Penstemmon Thu 29-Dec-16 21:56:38

Do what you want to do , not what you feel you ought to do.

GrandmaMoira Thu 29-Dec-16 22:02:42

I would do a course that interests you - an MA in History sounds really interesting. I'm doing an OU degree which I started when I retired.

grannyqueenie Thu 29-Dec-16 22:09:21

If money isn't an urgent issue then study something you're passionate about - just because you can. I went to uni at 49 and loved the experience of study, as it happens it was a vocational qualification something I'd been longing to do for years. I emerged with a student loan and only worked for 7 years after I qualified but it was worth it and I wouldn't wish it different.

M0nica Fri 30-Dec-16 07:15:28

I was made redundant into early retirement in my early 50s. I used my re-training grant to return to university to study for an MA in something I loved.

It has opened up a world of occupation, research - and some opportunities for paid employment. But mostly it has given me an opening into a world I have always loved and an enthralling and intellectually challenging hobby that takes me out of the house into other worlds and has enabled me to meet so many interesting people.

Do what you love

suzied Fri 30-Dec-16 08:15:04

I've been studying couture dressmaking and pattern cutting at college since I retired 4 years ago, for 1 day a week. Nothing to do with my previous job, although I always loved sewing as a hobby. I love my day out, have learned loads and have made a whole new circle of friends. I do make bits of money sewing for others but this isn't why I do it. I'd say do what you love, you never know where it might lead.

Teetime Fri 30-Dec-16 09:10:13

holdthertonic I have always found studying to be the most exciting thing and bewail the fact that OU course prices are now so expensive. I think studying something you really feel interested in and excited by is the best course and it may lead to a job if you want one - it will make you interesting at interview at the very least. Good luck with it. smile

Ankers Fri 30-Dec-16 09:31:35

I visited the job centre a couple of times.
I figured it would give me ideas if nothing else, which it did.
I dont know much about job centres, but my nearest one was quite happy for me to browse all their cards on the notice board, books about things etc etc.
It included things about jobs, job opportunities, volunteering opportunities etc etc.
I used it rather like a library. The staff were quite happy for me to do that.

Skullduggery Fri 30-Dec-16 09:56:13

There are hundreds of free courses online if you want to dip a toe into the water.
Just google the subject you're interested in and free course and see what comes up.

I was looking at chicken behaviour and welfare with Coursera (run by University of Edinburgh) as I have a few backyard chickens. The course isn't particularly academic and doesn't have any entry requirements but it's interesting.

Disgruntled Fri 30-Dec-16 10:32:18

Oh, follow your heart!!! If you're drawn to do a History course - go for it! You never know, a job might follow. Good luck!

Luckygirl Fri 30-Dec-16 10:35:16

I "retired" at 50 (still with family needing support) and worked part time in a different setting whilst also studying photography at college one day a week. Once I had my qualifications I got lots of employment as a photographer and picture editor at a media company. In my case I was able to turn my hobby into a job. When I set out on the course it was just for my own satisfaction - but it turned into a second career - with that and music workshop leading.

Do what you are passionate about and see what comes. It worked for me.

Good luck with this wonderful opportunity that you have before you.

Angela1961 Fri 30-Dec-16 10:37:30

We moved ( 300 miles away ) 7 years ago and gave up my job. As it was a big life change and we didn't know if we'd still be here ( Lake District ) we decided I'd not work. Well 7 years on I'm still not working as we manage on my oh salary. I really enjoy volunteering for my local hospice shop.

Brigidsdaughter Fri 30-Dec-16 10:41:48

Learn to play, Bridge? It's one of the most popular games in the world with good reason. I now even work part time at the club.

gillyjp Fri 30-Dec-16 10:42:54

Do a course in something you are passionate about and enjoy it.

Maggiemaybe Fri 30-Dec-16 10:46:39

Future Learn has featured a lot on Gransnet forums, and there are some fantastic free courses on their site:

My New Year resolution might just be to get stuck in to some of these!

The GN view seems to be unanimous - always choose to do what you love. Many of us couldn't take this advice when we were choosing careers, but if you can afford to now, go for it.

Skweek1 Fri 30-Dec-16 10:51:06

I agree whole-heartedly with Teetime. When I was at home with my young children I did an OU degree and ever since have really wanted to do others in science and languages, but totally priced out of the market - happy to pay, but £4500 pa is outside my possibilities and it'll be more than that now, I'm certain. Curretly doing New Age studies on-line (Wicca, Herbalism, Magick, Tarot etc), but no intention of working. Do what interests you rather than thinking about work - you could always get into exam marking etc if you need extra money. Enjoy!

trisher Fri 30-Dec-16 10:54:04

Do something you are passionate about and then try to use that to make money. For example you say there is an MA in history you would love. You could as you were doing this investigate some local history and develop talks for groups/WI/history groups and charge for these. You could write books about local history (not a great earner but gets you known). You could offer guided tours to local sites. There are loads of posssibilities.
If you are a bit dramatic you could do shows. Have a look at "The History Wardrobe" check it out here They are very successful and the shows are great, all themed around different eras and the clothes they wore.

bernie777 Fri 30-Dec-16 10:59:01

I think you should follow your heart and study for pleasure (it might even come in handy later anyway). But how you study is important too, some prefer the experience of meeting people and others the ease of Open University. An alternative , particularly if money is tight, is to buy an OU course (or a language course, etc. there are loads of courses to choose from) from ebay, though there's no qualification involved, but one can study at one's own pace and mix and match courses to suit.It works for me, and I've learnt all sorts of things, from studying History, Spanish and Environmental courses, whatever takes my fancy. Good luck with whatever you decide

Elliesgran Fri 30-Dec-16 11:01:29

Definitely follow your heart while you have the opportunity, life is too short to waste such a chance. Knowledge is never wasted, even if you don't see a direct link to a future job study will help your brain to stay sharp.

radicalnan Fri 30-Dec-16 11:04:50

A degree is always worth having, NEVER do those NVQ things they require constant updating and are an endless drain on the purse.

A degree is expensive though so any other proper qualification would do as well C&G etc.

Do something you love you will then have the bonus of meeting others with the same interests and passions.

Venus Fri 30-Dec-16 11:05:36

I went and did a B.A. in English, then went on to do a M.A. in my forties. I did it just for fun and had the best time ever. After that I did a bit of tuition at home, which was quite rewarding. I could have taken an evening class too if I'd have wanted to. Getting qualifications opens up all sorts of possibilities, but it's important to enjoy doing it at the same time.

soldiersailor Fri 30-Dec-16 11:08:21

Dont write yourself off as being unsuitable for the job market. At 57 I found that the career I had followed for 30+ years had become far too stressful. I wanted a job I could pick up when I got to work and put down (and out of my mind) until the next day. I saw an ad in the Evening Standard, applied and was accepted for position as an Immigration Officer. Long a francophile, to my amazement and beyond my wildest dreams, four years later I found myself based and working in Paris (I'm still there, though retired). There wasn't a day that I didn't thank my lucky stars for taking that fascinating job. So, don't rule out the Civil Service, you just might be amazed at what life has in store for you.

mags1234 Fri 30-Dec-16 11:09:31

Def what u enjoy, but what about university of third age? Interesting, fun, informative, not dear.