I'm just shy of 37, and as of this past Sunday, I'm "between careers".
I spent the last 18 years in the ski industry. Started as a humble snowmaker, did a few years as a snowcat operator, and spent the last ten or so in ski patrol, mostly as an avalanche technician. The pay sucked, the job was mostly seasonal, but I learned lots, it was heaps of fun, and it took me to ski hills in New Zealand and Australia for a few seasons. Over this summer, I got paid to ride a DH mountain bike.
A couple years ago I realized that I'd gone about as far as I could in the ski industry. I suppose I could've gone on to earn my ACMG ski guide certification, but that is a lot of work, time, and self-induced poverty that I wasn't sure I was ready or willing to do.
So, I started making moves to something different. Built tube guitar amplifiers for a summer or two, and much as I love a good tube amp, selling them for a living as a one-person garage operation took too much time and work for the paltry profits I made. I have some kickass amps, though
Last summer, I took a few university distance-learning courses with the goal of earning a degree in geology or something - I had no clear picture of where I would go with it; I just wanted to do... something.
The clincher was that my wife has a good full-time job at the same resort I worked at, we had a house, dog, friends, and a mostly comfortable little groove (rut?) going. Then last fall, we separated. Very amicably, fortunately (we're still friends, and until next week, still living in the same house).
So, I no longer was attached to any one place, job or, uh, person. We split our assets evenly, and my ex agreed to buy out the house and car. So now I have no mortgage (and no house), but I did have a nice little nest egg from selling out, so to speak.
I've always-always-ALWAYS wanted to fly. I've often pined that if I ever had the money, time and freedom, I'd get my commercial helicopter license.
Well, *presto*. Training starts on Sept 15.
It'll be a lot of work, time, and self-induced poverty , but it's something that I'm extremely motivated and excited about. The one advantage of coming from the ski industry is that I'm used to being po'.
Does anyone know if it's possible to get another bachelor's degree without having to do all the distribution requirements and such? I already did that stuff for my first bachelor's degree and I would not be eager to do it again. If I go back to school, I just want to learn what I want to learn and be done as soon as possible.
Cripes, just thinking about it is giving me pause. Another bachelor's degree will take like 7 or 8 years part time.
Usually a second Bachelor's degree requires fewer "general education" courses, but you still have to fulfill the upper-level (third and fourth year) distribution of so many credits in the major, so many in minor, etcetera. If your first degree was unrelated you may also need to take introductory courses to satisfy prerequisites. Usually, though, they'll drop you straight into third-year status so you only have to take 60 credits rather than the full 120 that a stand-alone Bachelor's requires.
Oh yeah, I'm in the middle of this myself - though I don't think you can call it a "career change" when I never got a career off the ground to start with. I'm working on a second BA in psychology, aiming for a Master's program that focuses on counselling. My previous education is in Classics and in biology/environmental studies. I'm very interested in the interplay between our personalities, experiences, and the physical reality of bodies and environments. (In other words, if you come to me unhappy with your life, I'm a lot more likely to ask you about your exercise and eating than your feelings about your mother!)
Last edited by Buglady; 09-03-08 at 11:10 AM.
Reason: cat hit post before I was finished
I am 54 years old - two years ago I quit my job (computer related) and went back to school to get my Masters of Arts Teaching degree - I am now a teacher (or will be when someone hires me ). All I can say is it was a great experience - it was not easy, but it was very satisfying. My friends (and wife) thought I was (am) nuts going from a well paying tech career to a poorer paying teaching career, but it was something I always wanted to do, so I did it. I was doing my student teaching at the same time my daughters boyfriend was doing his . It was strange - real strange, but I really did not care.
What made this easy is that my kids are out of the house (one in the military and one in college) and we have no other payments other than our house.
Oh, currently, I am pursuing my PhD (Educational Technology Management) which I will finish in Jan 2010, just in time for my wife's retirement and our planned hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.
I love being old(er) - I have never had so much fun!
Set your mind to success and forget all of the negative thoughts and you will succeed. Jump in with both feet or you will be piece-mealing yourself to failure.
So, just make the change - mid-life means you need to start doing all those things you want to before you are on your death bed regretting all of the things you failed to do because you were a chicken s$$$.