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HELP please! I'm 46, no training for anything-need ideas for a good career to quickly transition into!


HappyGrace

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I'm 46, but my husband in 10 yrs older and not in good health. I need to start planning ahead because whether he is ok or not, I will need to be able to make money long-term, and I don't want to be stuck in retail! (which is all I am qualified to do!)

 

My kids are middle and high school, but we may need to put them in school so I can start prepping to work. I don't want to be 55 and THEN trying to get a career! And I really need to do this now bcuz the financial stress of sustaining the family is causing dh's health to further decine.

 

Any ideas of types of work I can get into quickly, with minimal school time to prep (and we don't have any money for school-it would all be done on loans)?

 

Note: I am NOT mathy at all. I thought of nursing but I need a type of career than can last me the next 20 years (or more), so no heavy lifting, etc.

 

I don't really care what type of work it is, as long as it isn't too difficult, can be done into my 60s, and not a lot of school.

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A secretarial job? You can work pretty much anywhere, pay is alright and you don't have to go to school for anything special.

 

If you can get a job like that in a government agency, there are extra benefits, but realty offices, health clubs, police/fire depts, lawyers offices, etc, are always looking for people to do the typing, phone calls, etc.

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A secretarial job? You can work pretty much anywhere, pay is alright and you don't have to go to school for anything special.

 

If you can get a job like that in a government agency, there are extra benefits, but realty offices, health clubs, police/fire depts, lawyers offices, etc, are always looking for people to do the typing, phone calls, etc.

My 74 yo mom works a clerical 9 month a year job at a state university. It doesn't pay a whole lot, but she does get health insurance to supplement her Medicare and a pension (that she's not drawing because she's currently working). It's a pretty sweet deal which is why she's still doing it at her age. My mom's in good shape, but her job isn't terribly demanding. She answers the phones and maintains a database. Her employer trains her in the database software each time it's upgraded or switched for a new product.

 

She got the job originally about 15 years ago because she had quite a lot of secretarial experience (it was her chosen career--she's old enough that women could only be "nurse, teacher or secretary") and was willing to work less than 12 months.

 

Good luck on the job hunt!

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I would strongly suggest you get into something with good health care.  Hourly wage jobs with no education rarely provide that, although I have heard good things about health care working at Starbucks and Costco.  However, I don't know if that includes family or just the individual.

 

Dental Hygienist?  That is a 2 year program.

 

I would also suggest you do some sort of career assessment.  It can help you figure out what field of work might be of interest to you.  

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Nurse's aide training is much less math & the training is not too long -  here they're training these aides in under a year. (Licensed practical nurses are about 20 mos of training & the registered nurses are all 4 year bachelor programs)

The aide programs are not tons of money but very steady work & with the growing geriatric & dementia population, I think the need will continue so IMO this is a good field to get into.

Also, I know a couple women here who started cleaning services. You can provide services for private houses & apartments (esp again seniors who need housekeeping help) or for offices (that can work for homeschooling or sahm because they do it in the evenings or very early mornings..)
 

I would advise you to contact whatever employment agencies are in your area if you're planning to stay there because it seems to me employment markets very geographically.

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I would strongly suggest you get into something with good health care.  Hourly wage jobs with no education rarely provide that, although I have heard good things about health care working at Starbucks and Costco.  However, I don't know if that includes family or just the individual.

 

Dental Hygienist?  That is a 2 year program.

 

I would also suggest you do some sort of career assessment.  It can help you figure out what field of work might be of interest to you.  

I was actually thinking of a dental assistant.  It's a nine month training program.  One can go on to get the hygienist certification, but dental assistants seem to make okay money with flexible hours. 

 

I have the weird habit of talking to every person out there about what training/education is required for their particular job.  I talked to a sonographer while getting a sonogram, a dental assistant who is going for the hygienist certification while she was working on one of my kids' teeth, and a vet tech while she was helping us with the cat.  I'm weird like that.  Most people are glad to answer questions.  It was the sonographer job which intrigued me the most.  She went through a training program (forget how long, but it was not a four year degree) and she makes good money.

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If you are a quick learner, get a job (almost any job, but probably not maid) at a decent hotel, put in a good six months, and start applying for any management positions that come up. Hotels generally work with people they like and promote quickly and don't care if you have specialized training. Hilton, for instance, has their own management school. I have seen people go from waitress to general manager of a whole property in less than a year, although that does almost never happen. 

 

Check what chain you are going for. Marriott is known for bad pay/ conditions, but there are lots of good chains. 

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Nurse's aide training is much less math & the training is not too long -  here they're training these aides in under a year. (Licensed practical nurses are about 20 mos of training & the registered nurses are all 4 year bachelor programs)

 

The aide programs are not tons of money but very steady work & with the growing geriatric & dementia population, I think the need will continue so IMO this is a good field to get into.

 

Also, I know a couple women here who started cleaning services. You can provide services for private houses & apartments (esp again seniors who need housekeeping help) or for offices (that can work for homeschooling or sahm because they do it in the evenings or very early mornings..)

 

I would advise you to contact whatever employment agencies are in your area if you're planning to stay there because it seems to me employment markets very geographically.

 

I agree.  Look into certification programs.  My dd is looking at PT Assist. via a certification program at the local CC.  It's a 2yr program.  

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If the real estate market is good in your area, you might find a job there, as an administrative assistant to a busy top realtor. I did also get my own real estate license, which cost about $450 (although my boss paid for it, so that I could take her lower priced buyers and handle her office and listings and buyers when she was at her summer house for several months), and it took only five weeks of classes, at three hours a day for four days a week. Then it was another month, I think, until I could take the state exam, but I had the results immediately, and since my boss's broker signed the paperwork to take me on, I was all set right away.

 

This is a great thread; thank you for starting it. I need to find my post-kids career (since I don't really want to go back to real estate; it was okay, but I didn't love it and knew it was only temporary until I had kids). My other pre-kids career was nannying, and that I truly loved, but it's easier to have the energy when you're young. Although I did work in campus daycare for a while in college, and the lead teacher was a sweet, lovely lady in her fifties or so, and she was getting along just fine, so I suppose I could do that too.

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My advice may not be the most practical, but do some research before you tell me I am crazy. I stead of trading your time for money which you would be doing, think about running your own business.

 

I know people who have their own businesses doing the following:

 

Massage Envy

Chick-FIL-A

Mathnasium

Kumon

Goddard School

The Little Gym

 

None of them had ANY training.

 

Just an idea.

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Yes, see if you can do some kind of online career assessment, and also look in your local paper to see who is hiring.  I went through a similar period of soul-searching about 8 years ago and thankfully found my niche although I was already teaching some at the community college level and just expanded what and where I teach.

 

There are lots of one and two-year certificates that are not physically demanding: administrative assistant, x-ray, medical assistant, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistant, paralegal, health information systems, medical coding, dental assisting, etc.

 

Nursing is a competitive, physically demanding program.  I have several 50-ish friends who decided during the prerequisites that it was too much, and several who completed it but say it was the hardest thing they ever did.  The hours are very long during the clinical portion.  I'm pretty fit, but I know I couldn't do it at this point of life.

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You might be interested in what I do (transcribing university and high school classes for deaf and hard of hearing students).  Are you a fast typist with good grammatical and spelling skills?  Can you hear well and process things in your brain quickly?  I got started in this field six years ago when I was 42.  I plan to do it as long as I can and as long as the technology holds out (so far so good on that front! Voice recognition software is nowhere near the level of precise service that I can provide).

 

The bigger question at the beginning is are there big schools/universities near you?  You have to find a place that either is already currently using this service or that is willing to see you through training and put you to work.  The training time is about six weeks and only costs about $400.  If you do have some bigger school systems within driving/walking distance, PM links to their home pages and I can take a look to see if they might already be providing this service.

 

By the way, once you have 50 hours in onsite, you can choose to try and get some remote assignments.  I now work a full time schedule from home (20-28 hours a week, which is considered pretty full time in this field; it's hard on you physically).  I Skype into classrooms all over the country and transcribe the class from what I hear through my headphones.  :)

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My mom went back to school at 48 using loans, and then more than doubled my parents' income with her new job. Being 46, you could potentially do two years of school followed by a 20 year career. Loans may make sense, especially in a well-paying, high demand field.

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A couple of thoughts: 

 

1) Jobs in hospitals provide health insurance, even at the part time level. The hospital I work for has insurance for people who work only 8 hours a week. (right now I'm a pt per diem employee at the hospital--I gave up that insurance for the coverage at my FT job). You can work in the cafeteria, housekeeping, medical records (which requires no training), patient admissions clerk. There are all sorts of clerical/non-degree jobs in hospitals.

 

2) Jobs at universities often offer free or reduced tuition as a perk. Worth looking into, especially with kids getting older and the possibility of college looms in the horizon. Universities have insurance.

 

3) Civil Service jobs. Most entry level jobs don't require any sort of training. In my state, you take a proficiency exam and wait to be called. It can take months, so if this is how your state operates, get in and take the exams. Civil service has insurance. 

 

4) Lastly, and maybe the most important: If you choose to get training at a private vocational school, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call your state's board of higher ed and see if the schools you're considering are in good standing. Don't ask the school itself--they lie. OMGosh, do they lie. Don't sign a payment agreement or get a loan until you do a thorough investigation of that school. I've worked for our state's higher ed board for 4 months now and I am shocked and aghast at what these private vocational schools try to get away with. I think in the 4 months I've been there, we've shut down 3-4 schools for various reasons--most having to do with mishandling of money and misrepresenting themselves. So, be wise. Any vocational training at a community college would be  a relatively safe bet--they can take a little longer, though. 

 

Don't lose heart. I was unemployed for 12 years before being forced back into the work world. There are employers who'll hire you. Just make sure you network with friends, church members, anyone you know--get the word out you need a job or some training. You may be happily surprised where you putting it out there leads. :)

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Get the help of a professional to guide you through some testing. You can do this, as part of your tuition, at many (most? all?) community colleges. Or you can hire a private person.

But please don't skip this step. You are going to get some training and be a working, middle aged Mom under stress. At least spend some time on *this* side of the decisions so that you'll land in a setting and job role that will sustain rather than drain you.

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I agree that you need to talk to a professional about this. As was mentioned, many community colleges have people like this on staff to help people.

 

Do you have any degrees beyond high school? 

 

Do you live in a town with a college or near one?  Our local colleges provide most of the jobs in the area and they hire all kinds of people for all kinds of jobs.

 

I have a few friends in your situation and they have all gone back to school for nursing or medical technician degrees. They all already had 4 year degrees (one has a law degree) but they all needed a big change.

 

I have 2 more friends who have gone back to get teaching degrees and certification. One in special education and one in history.

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I don't mean to take over your thread, but what age is too old to change careers?  I am 48 1/2 and need to get a full time job in the next year or 2. I don't want to do child care or non-profit work with children.  (my degree is child development)  Am I too old to do something new that will require training?

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So many good ideas here! Here are some of my thoughts.

 

Be sure to look at the physical demands of the job. Someone mentioned x-ray tech. That can be pretty demanding. You may have to move patients from bed to gurney to x-ray table, position the patient, etc. Many of the health care jobs with direct patient contact can have similar physical demands. Medical coder is an area I would look into - no direct patient care.

 

There is a lot of talk in education about "stackable degrees", where you get some training for 1 job, then more training for the next level, until you finally reach your end goal. Here is an example. Phlebotomy (on the job training or CC - my local CC has a 48 hour class + 120 clinical rotation) - Medical Lab Technician (2 year degree) - Clinical Lab Scientist (4 year degree). The hospitals I have worked at have tuition assistance, so if you can get a job with a short training period that you pay for, your employer may help with the remainder of your education.

 

Best wishes.

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I don't mean to take over your thread, but what age is too old to change careers?  I am 48 1/2 and need to get a full time job in the next year or 2. I don't want to do child care or non-profit work with children.  (my degree is child development)  Am I too old to do something new that will require training?

 

Read my other post above for an idea.  I started my career at 42, but could just as easily start it now.  There are some caveats noted above. 

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My child's daycare had many ladies your age who joined as temps and did evening college credits at the local community college to get the certification. This is a national chain and is known to pay very well. If you can get a position as a preschool assistant, the work is a lot easy as the kids take naps in the afternoons and the other times are filled with games, fun and outdoor play. The well reputed ones in my area provide excellent health benefits and have flex times (6 am to 2 pm) etc.

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I don't mean to take over your thread, but what age is too old to change careers?  I am 48 1/2 and need to get a full time job in the next year or 2. I don't want to do child care or non-profit work with children.  (my degree is child development)  Am I too old to do something new that will require training?

 

I spun off for you, so it didn't get hidden.

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Texasmama had some great suggestions.

I would also encourage you to explore (perhaps via aptitude tests) what suits you best. 10 or 20 years in a job can be very long if you hate it.

 

Are you near a community college? They usually offer certificate programs in many areas. In CA, you would not have to pay tuition because of the resident fee waiver. If you are not in CA, does something like this exist in your state? Can you apply for grants rather than loans? Can you enter a "retraining/re-entry" program which may assist with fees?

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Can you learn how to repair something?  Cell phones, computer printers, shoes and a ton of other products. You need to be good with your hands and have good eyesight. Here in the "3rd world" we get things fixed that would be thrown away in the USA, because there is nobody trained to repair them, or, their charge for labor is so high.   Years ago, we took an HP Printer to an authorized repair place for warranty service and the Technician was a woman.  The wonderful woman who has performed *miracles* on some of our shoes over the years is probably in her 70's.   I also remember taking an old Osteizer blender in for service many years ago and the service person was a woman. GL

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If you are putting your dc in school and are concerned about committing to longterm educ / training programs, start by updating your skills on Microsoft office applications. Then look for admin assistant jobs in public schools or local government. These jobs usually have a decent starting salary (better than private sector) and benefits (health Ins, leave, and retirement). These jobs also have decent hours without the expectation you will put in sixty hours because you have a salaried position.

 

If you think you can handle getting more significant training then you need to think about the things YOU want and like. My first thought is to get certification in a healthcare field. That is not for everyone. Additionally, I'd avoid some certifications like CNA because that pay is rather low and the work is hard physically. Pharmacy tech, dental hygienist might be better options you have to look at all the requirements and time.

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Add me to those suggesting you check with your local community college to see what they have to offer.  They ought to be able to give you quite a few options AND tell you the job placement rates of graduates.  Tuition is usually reasonable even with loans.  Some programs might get state funding to assist.

 

Different areas tend to have different needs pending which employers are around.

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If you are putting your dc in school and are concerned about committing to longterm educ / training programs, start by updating your skills on Microsoft office applications.

If you are interested in Mocrosoft training, and I agree that's a great place to start, check with your local library. Ours here offers a series of free classes designed to prep students for the Microsoft certification exams. Even if you don't follow through to taking the exams, completing some claases would give you skills that would be useful in a wide variety of jobs and also some recent training/education to put on a resume.

 

Another option if your local library doesn't offer similar classes is to take classes or tutorials online. I took a few through www.gcflearnfree.org that were quite good.

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I want to strongly discourage training for a CNA/STNA (there are different names in different states), basically a certified nurses aid.  This is what both of my sisters did before completing their BSN.  It's VERY physical.  The grunt work of nursing.  It's changing beds (with patients in them), changing diapers, bathing, helping to turn and lift patients etc.  Absolutely good and necessary work, but very physical.  My sisters moaned and groaned about pulled muscles in their 20's.

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I'm not sure how this works or what kind of background employees have but it is another idea that came to mind. Helping someone that needs things done around the house like laundry or help with meals, etc. My mom doesn't have very good health and my dad is her primary caregiver but they have a woman come over once a week that does laundry and light cleaning and can assist my mom with some things while Dad gets out of the house for a couple of hours. Also, my 99yr old grandmother has a woman that spends weekdays with her preparing meals and driving her to doctor appointments, etc. We are all very fond of her. She is not a nurse to my knowledge (a nurse does come by and check on my grandmother sometimes).

I used to help my grandmother when I was in middle school do what she called Paid Companion assistance. Basicly it would be old people in worse off condition than her who weren't really in need of a nurse, but not quite okay totally in their own. She would live with them 2-5 days and help them into and out of the shower, put their shoes on, vacuum, take them to run errands about town, whatever stuff. These were people who were mentally fine and mostly able to get about on their own but just couldn't do a few key things. Like reach all the way to their feet to put on winter shoes, or have enough muscle to push those old vacuums, or they were likely to easily lose balance getting in or out of the showers.

 

Now in grandmas case she was a long time widow, so this was a huge help to her financially bc all these people lived better than she did and they really liked having someone old but not really old helping them bc they had more in common.

 

And I think now a days there's a huge market for this and a lot of people use professional services to hire, but I think it's still a great idea.

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Get the help of a professional to guide you through some testing. You can do this, as part of your tuition, at many (most? all?) community colleges. Or you can hire a private person.

But please don't skip this step. You are going to get some training and be a working, middle aged Mom under stress. At least spend some time on *this* side of the decisions so that you'll land in a setting and job role that will sustain rather than drain you.

 

 

Joanne... how do you look for someone in this  field?

 

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If you are interested in some training, but don't want to commit to community college classes for a degree that will take a couple of years or more, check out Careerstep. They offer online training for various careers that you would not necessarily need a college degree for. I work an at home job now but I am keeping them in mind for training for out of the home employment in case that is what I need to do in a year or two.

 

Also, check out the site, workplacelikehome.com  They are a message board for people who work from home. They discuss various legitimate work from home jobs. 

 

I also agree with the poster who mentioned learning the various Microsoft applications. I plan to do this also.

 

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I'm wondering if this thread should be pinned? There's so much good advice and many of us are looking around and wondering what we're going to do with the rest of our lives, post homeschool/child raising.

Yeah...or tagged if it is not too late.

 

There have been other good threads about this type of topic but people have a hard time pulling them back up by searching.

 

I know I've read/participated in threads about working at home, partime jobs, making extra money, etc...then have a hard time finding them 6 months later. And I'm a pretty good searcher. :-)

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WOW!!! So many great  ideas! It really helps also to hear *negatives* about certain careers (like the BSN being so physically demanding).

 

I really don't have huge preferences. I would like something that isn't physically taxing, or mathy, and I really don't want to work with kids. I do have some interest in physical fitness-so maybe occupational or physical therapy assistant may be a good fit. I am very good at organizing. I'd probably like to be a high level administrative assistant but not too much money there. I am basically flexible.

 

Honestly, I HAVE NO DESIRE to work at all-I am a homebody and never ever had any interest in working outside the home. I'm sad that I have to. So I pretty much just want the easiest thing I can do. I know that sounds bad :(

 

 

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I'm 42, and last year started to work again.  I had no training in anything prior to having kids, homeschooling etc.  

 

I did some training to become a Bowen Practitioner (I took quite a while with the training, but it could easily be done in 9-12 month (not full-time), and now I do practice, but at a slow rate (only because my other commitments take up so much time, but I do want to change this around sometime soon!) I can get $50 a treatment, which is around 50 minutes, but I allow an hour for some chat time, etc.

 

I also help a lady with 10month old twins that don't sleep much, and a busy toddler.  I cook, clean, bath babies, bounce on the trampoline with the toddler, hang washing out, fold it up, and lots more.  I do this for 2 days a week for 5hrs each time @ $25/hr

 

I also privately tutor 5 students for remedial spelling and reading.  Each of them has 2 or 3 1-hour sessions each week, and I get paid $25/hr.

 

I like having the variation of jobs. I love each of them. It's only about 23-25hrs per week, but it's enough for me at the moment, especially having to still run the house.  Although I do pay a neighbouring teen boy to mow my lawn and do some gardening for 2hrs a week, and his sister helps me for 2 hours cleaning in the house.  Of course, being teens I pay them the going rate for their age, so it's a good deal for me, and they love the money, too.  Win, win!

 

This is more than you needed to know, but you might find helpful anyway. :)

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A couple of posters have suggested training to be a paralegal, but be sure you look for current statistics in your area if this is of interest to you.  I am an attorney and am constantly running into people looking for paralegal jobs but not many  actually working as paralegals.  There seems to be a glut of inexperienced graduates of third-tier law schools competing for work that used to be done by paralegals.  

 

I don't know anything about demand for these jobs, but I have been paying attention lately to people in jobs that are not the traditional skilled trades (you probably don' want to be a plumber) but do not require a four-year degree, so I will second the recommendations for respiratory therapists, phlebotomists and the guys at the orthopedist's office who put on and remove casts.  I have no idea what that position is called, but they always crack me up when they sneer at the casts the doctors put on.

 

This might be more physical than you're looking for, but a physical therapy assistant can make good money as well, and I am sure the level of physicality depends on what kind of PT it is.  A lot of PT wouldn't require heavy lifting, I wouldn't think.  We're on the frequent customer plan with a sports PT, and her job is physical but nothing that a fit seventy-year old couldn't do.

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