30 Years at the Same Job

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by MALBAR 70, Feb 4, 2020.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Feb 4, 2020 #1

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    Build Mode Activated

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,632
    Likes Received:
    114
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athol, Massachusetts
    For the last 30 years I have held a job with same printing company I started with. Due to lack of work and a general decline in the industry, I was let go of my current position. The severance package was quite generous, considering my time of employment.
    At the age of 50, I find it a daunting task as to the next step in life.
    I'm sure a lot of you have been in the same position, any words of advise and encouragement would be greatly appreciated right now.
    Sorry, and thanks guys....
     
    tball7 likes this.
  2. Feb 4, 2020 #2

    mpitfield

    mpitfield

    mpitfield

    Moderator Staff Member TRF Lifetime Supporter Global Mod

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    4,763
    Likes Received:
    382
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    If your skillset is on the decline, as far as demand, then at 50 it could be a tough road to get a new job, so keep your head up.
     
  3. Feb 4, 2020 #3

    heada

    heada

    heada

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,818
    Likes Received:
    280
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I'm 23 years in at the same company with 20 more to go before retirement. I fear I'll be in the same boat as you in a few years. Looking at options now to cover the eventually. Don't know what to tell you but I wish you luck.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2020 #4

    TSMILLER

    TSMILLER

    TSMILLER

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    44
    I’ve been at the same company for 34 years. Due to seniority and skill set I am not likely to go anywhere before I retire.
    Over the years I have used the companies dime to further my knowledge for many areas of interest to me. As long as it was accredited program, they paid for it. I’ve taken everything from massage therapy to computer forensics. My training is in aviation maintenance with an A&P but transferred to Quality after 18 years.
    You don’t mention just what kind of package was given, but education can not been taken away, once you gain it you”ll always have it.
    Look for a college and go for it.
    You may say, “But I am 50 years old!” After 4 years of college you will be 54!” So you”ll be 54 even if you don’t!
    Keep your head up, and I wish you luck!
     
    GlenP likes this.
  5. Feb 4, 2020 #5

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    Build Mode Activated

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,632
    Likes Received:
    114
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athol, Massachusetts
    Thanks all, this helps.
     
  6. Feb 4, 2020 #6

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    13,513
    Likes Received:
    618
    That's tough man... Praying for you...

    I was a wholesale travel agent* for 10 years, in 2009, I was let go due to the downturn in the industry. Fortunately for me, due to my disability (Asperger's), I qualified for job training via returning to school. I've now got my BA in Applied Linguistics with a TESOL certificate. I'm now living and working in China. It's an adventure. Not always pleasant, but life seldom is.

    God Bless!
    Jim

    *You think your retail travel agent knows anything about your destination? Heck NO!!! They call wholesalers who specialize in various destinations. They were the ones who built up your itinerary. But with the internet, retail travel agencies are obsolete and as such so are wholesalers.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2020 #7

    KennB

    KennB

    KennB

    I-95 Envoy

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,310
    Likes Received:
    109
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Hi Mike,

    While you were at your previous job since 1990 or so, I've been at five companies as a direct employee and held a dozen or so temp positions in that time frame. Most of those companies are gone - out of business or absorbed by others - or have changed in ways that forced a separation. I've been at my current company for two-and-a-half years now and hope to make it my last place of employment.

    At some point you'll have to go to your local MassHire Career Center and start the process of job hunting. They can help with the good advice you've gotten above, additional training and education. Another vital aspect of the job hunt these days is networking. You never know who is going to know of your next opportunity or know someone else who does. Even though I've been back to work for a while now, I still attend one networking group that meets at night for people over 40.

    When you're ready, come to a club meeting or other event or contact me; I may have some advice that would be useful.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2020 #8

    Bat-mite

    Bat-mite

    Bat-mite

    Rocketeer in MD

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Messages:
    10,534
    Likes Received:
    1,349
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Maryland
    That absolutely stinks! That being said, perhaps use some of that severance pay to take some computer classes.
     
  9. Feb 4, 2020 #9

    Zeus-cat

    Zeus-cat

    Zeus-cat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    4,264
    Likes Received:
    435
    If a 4 year college isn't your thing look for a community college in your area. The one near me has a Displaced Worker Services program for people just like you.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2020 #10

    boatgeek

    boatgeek

    boatgeek

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,204
    Likes Received:
    652
    I'm sorry you're in this situation, but I think there are a few ways forward to use your experience.

    Depending on what you were doing, there's probably demand for your skills in industries tangentially related to yours. If you were on the design side, a graphic designer might be interested in someone who has seen a lot of terrible graphic design go to print and knows what looks good on the page. If you were on the mechanics side of the presses, there's also a fair amount of opportunity for people who can run and fix machines and are self-directed. There's not enough people coming out of high school with those skills. Exactly what industry needs people will depend a lot on your local market. In addition to the local unemployment office, you might check if your county has a workforce development organization--they would likely know what industries need the most help.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Feb 4, 2020 #11

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    I am in a similar situation. I have been a cabinetmaker for most of my working life. There was a time when a person could leave a job on a Friday and be working by Tuesday the following week. Those days are long gone. For health reasons I simply cannot do the work I once did. My knees and shoulders are not the best so I don't have a lot of options.

    I am 56 and my classes start in March. I am starting out slowly as it has been a long time since I was in a classroom. However in a family of five there could be four of us in College full time in the fall.

    It took a lot of soul searching, prayer and family discussions to find my direction.

    I really hope things work out for you and you find a path.
     
  12. Feb 4, 2020 #12

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,111
    Likes Received:
    776
    Make sure you find some way of maintaining health insurance for yourself and your partner if you have one. A job loss qualifies in most states as a reason to obtain insurance “out of season.” STUFF happens, and you don’t want to be caught in the cold.

    College is great, but at 50 if you go that route, pick something that hopefully and you like and DEFINITELY has a job demand for those skills. I have wonderful nieces that went to great schools, got good grades, one was an English Major, other was German/Latin. Since neither of them wanted to be professors, and the German major didn’t want to work for an international company, their degrees didn’t really do that much good for them in the job market.

    Trade schools and internships are great routes if you can find one that matches your skills and interests and again HAS A JOB DEMAND at the end. Google searches can easily give you an idea what job skills are in demand. Also depends on whether you are willing to relocate.

    I remember talking to an attorney about an acquaintance who was going to go to “paralegal” school. He said that was a waste, he could hire someone as an intern and train them to do it just as well as any school could (how his current paralegal got their job). So particularly if you have good references (30 years on the same job suggests you are definitely RELIABLE!) internships or other unpaid positions might be opportunities to pick up skills AND make contacts that could lead to relatively good paying formal positions in a year or two.

    It’s a new world. Employers frequently are less interested in what diploma you have and more interested in what EXPERIENCE and references you have.

    Best wishes!
     
  13. Feb 4, 2020 #13

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    Our local Tech school has some awesome programs just for folks like us !!! That is where I am heading.
     
    Zeus-cat likes this.
  14. Feb 4, 2020 #14

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    You make some valid points. I have many years of experience in composites and fabrication but no engineering classes. I caqn design and build almost anything and in many cases I have worked on engineering teams. However someone has always had to create the needed computer files for me. I am headed back to school to lean CAD and 3-D modeling. So I agree that experience goes a long way but adding new skills to the experience can help keep we older folks current.
     
  15. Feb 4, 2020 #15

    boatgeek

    boatgeek

    boatgeek

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,204
    Likes Received:
    652
    The guy who led the production department at my prior job said that it was easy to teach a pipefitter to run CAD, but hard to teach a CAD monkey to lay out pipe so that a pipefitter can build it easily. Companies that prioritize having things easy to build/make also want to hire people for the design staff who have done that job.
     
  16. Feb 4, 2020 #16

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    I was in an R&D lab at an aerospace company and on a regular basis engineers would draw stuff up with no earthly idea how to go about fabrication of said item. They would come down to us looking for answers. I am not sure I will ever get on an airplane again....LOL
     
  17. Feb 4, 2020 #17

    Johnly

    Johnly

    Johnly

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    29
    You're never too old to go to college. My wife left her service sector service job at 34, and went to graduate school to earn her PhD in Cellular Biology. Your maturity and acquired wisdom are huge benefits in an educational setting that you shouldn't discount. I also know of several people that had successful careers by turning their end user experience into sales and support positions in a similar field. Your user experience is something that the customer across the table will respect for more that someone who has just read the product manual, but hasn't go their hands dirty.
     
  18. Feb 4, 2020 #18

    Donnager

    Donnager

    Donnager

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    34
    Gender:
    Male
    This has been my experience as well. Guys that know how to install stuff (with the aptitude to draw what they are installing) will outperform people that haven't touched a piece of steel/pipe/etc., even if their CAD skills aren't the best. Most of these people can probably hand sketch a change that is more functional/correct than an outsourced design. When you take into account that most firms require field verification by the contractor, it really tells you the value of their work product (not much).

    No one pays for neat layers with pretty linestyles properly laid out in AutoCAD. They pay for a properly functioning executed project, even if the drawings aren't exactly right.

    I have rarely seen "for construction" drawings that were close to perfect.
     
  19. Feb 4, 2020 #19

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,111
    Likes Received:
    776
    There you go!

    If you know where you want to live, and you know what you want to do, doesn’t hurt to inquire at the job sites that are hiring for THOSE positions in THOSE locations and ask them, “I currently have this experience/skill set, what school/class/internship/experience would it take to make me someone you want to hire in say 6 months to 4 years?” Since any good reasonably large company is ALWAYS going to be needing new people, I suspect they will be honest and helpful to you.

    Here is something my brother, a computer programmer for 40 years, has been a self employed contractor working about two weeks a month quite happily supporting himself for over a decade) sent me when I asked about computer training for a friend of mine


    https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-it-support

    I don’t know if it’s legit, but something to think about.
     
  20. Feb 4, 2020 #20

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    Build Mode Activated

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,632
    Likes Received:
    114
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athol, Massachusetts
    Wow, Thank You guys! There are some great suggestions here.The rocket community is FULL of awesome people, you are certainly making this easier to deal with.
    This just happened last night (I was a night shift worker for the majority of my 30 years) and I'm still processing everything. I'd like to find something a little less physical,my former job took quite a bit out of me. I started work as a bundler/helper on a web press and worked my way through the positions to become a journeyman pressman. Going back to school is an option that I may explore as well as seeking out other jobs similar to what I did.
     
    K'Tesh likes this.
  21. Feb 4, 2020 #21

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,111
    Likes Received:
    776
    Being able to work regular night shifts is a skill in itself. Make sure you keep that is your resume! In my specialty, pay for the same job is bumped up 50% if you do it at night!
     
  22. Feb 4, 2020 #22

    lawndartman

    lawndartman

    lawndartman

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    5
    At the age of 64, I was asked by a friend to go and learn CAD drawing for his company. I was an Ironworker. It was quite the shock. But I did it, and I wish I had done it years before. Go for it my friend, BE Positive. Retrain, don't look back....BTW, I am 70 now. I do not wish to retire anytime soon. I love my new job.
     
  23. Feb 4, 2020 #23

    spigalau

    spigalau

    spigalau

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
  24. Feb 4, 2020 #24

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    ThreeJsDad

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    I am pretty much right where you were. I am really excited about what these certifications can do for me.
     
  25. Feb 4, 2020 #25

    TSMILLER

    TSMILLER

    TSMILLER

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    44
    This is something I need to look into. Not planning on changing jobs, but it could build on my forensics knowledge!
     
  26. Feb 4, 2020 #26

    skip_dye

    skip_dye

    skip_dye

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    1
    If your community has a tech school, stop by there and see what they have to offer.

    Our offers many programs for people in your situation.

    Good luck,

    Alan
     
  27. Feb 4, 2020 #27

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,111
    Likes Received:
    776
    Keep your eyes open for opportunities.

    Lots of online and brick and mortar education programs (associates, bachelors, masters degree programs as well as certification programs), all of which give you a piece of paper that says that “somebody” thinks you learned something. Just make sure that whatever profession you are going after “respects” the source of your piece of paper. That’s why I harp on working it backward: figure out “who” you want to work for (can be a specific company or a certain specialty) before your decide which training/education route you want to take.

    I am concerned there are too many diploma/professional certificate “paper mills” out there, ESPECIALLY online. Also look at the graduation/completion rates for whatever program you pick. My son got involved with one where the completion rate was significantly less than 50%. Unfortunately he had some personal issues crop up and was unable to complete it. It was costly not just in terms of tuition but also in terms of time wasted.

    Look for accredited programs, especially those that have some sort of professional licensing examinations or other finish line verifications that “prove” the value of the program.

    Also, take the time to get into get good physical shape, if you aren’t already. That will pay dividends across the board.
     
  28. Feb 4, 2020 #28

    Lynn McCall

    Lynn McCall

    Lynn McCall

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2019
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    My experience is a lot like Kennb. I have worked over 30 years in IT as an employee and consultant. I have had to adapt in an ever changing job market. Most of my employers are gone. Many clients are gone. My skill set has totally evolved. It wasn't optional.

    I recommend being open to change. You never know how things will go. Take advantage of any program/training you find.

    Consider doing something (career / business) from your bucket list.

    Last but not least... Half of life is showing up and then don't give up when others do.

    Wish you the best
     
  29. Feb 4, 2020 #29

    75Grandville

    75Grandville

    75Grandville

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    27
    All, I want to wish everyone best of luck in your future endeavors.

    I try not to give advice - one look at my life would be ample explanation. ;) I will, however, discuss options.

    I do know that life is too short to be stuck in a job that you dislike long-term. Whatever direction you decide to go, why not try to ensure that it is something that you will enjoy? Or at least not loathe.

    One thought would be to start a thread about what jobs people currently have, and what path they might suggest to get there. Another would be to look in a general way at what you like to do, and seeing what careers would match up with that. Mostly I'm thinking that it's a good way to see some of the varied options that are out there. There may very well be such a thread out there.

    For example, I'm a Statistician in a managerial role. I get to do analysis, solve problems, predict the future, and do applied research. And some other stuff, but that is what I enjoy doing. I've been in my current position for 5 years. I've worked in healthcare analytics, legal/litigation consulting, and data wrangling/coding. I also work with a couple other guys who have Bachelors, one in Mathematics and one in Engineering, who do similar things.

    I know that in the company I work for, Quality Engineers do a lot of problem solving. OK, so do the rest of the engineers, but QEs don't necessarily have a specialized engineering degree. So, based on my experience, I might suggest that sort of position for someone who likes problem solving and working with data.

    If you do pursue further educational opportunities, you might want to consider what the demand is today for that skillset, and what it will look like for the next 20 years. For example, driving a Taxi is probably not a good career move. It seems to be an industry in decline.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
    NateB and Jmhepworth like this.
  30. Feb 5, 2020 #30

    Zeus-cat

    Zeus-cat

    Zeus-cat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    4,264
    Likes Received:
    435
    I am sorry to hear of your guy's problems, but heartened by the attitude that you are going to tackle the issues. Good luck to you guys and keep us informed.
     

Share This Page

Group Builder