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Is 30 too old to start a new career?
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Poliphilo
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Sep 20, 2011, 09:17 AM
 
At what age do you think it is too late to start out on a new career?

The question has enormous personal significance for me.

Those who care to know the details may click and read; the rest are free to scroll indifferently to the end of the post.

 


I wonder what my reader thinks. Is there an occupational shelf-life?
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Sep 20, 2011, 09:29 AM
 
Sounds like you don't yet have a career. So, 30 is a great time to start one.
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Thorzdad
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Sep 20, 2011, 09:39 AM
 
30 is young.
Wait until you're in your 50s are you're forced to start a new career. You'll look-back fondly to when you were 30 and had so many doors open to you.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Sep 20, 2011, 09:59 AM
 
I should hope that 30 isn't too old to start a new career. I don't think you're ever too old. Unless you want to be a pro athlete of some kind.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
-Q-
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Sep 20, 2011, 10:07 AM
 
30 is certainly not "too old." As they say in the south here, bless your heart.

The question becomes "how do you do this?" Are you dropping the current comfy but tedious job to go back to school? Or are you going to night classes? Or are you just dropping what you're doing to jump feet first into a new opportunity? You have the added concern of having a wife and a daughter that are impacted by your decision, as well. '

But no, you're not too old.
     
Poliphilo  (op)
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Sep 20, 2011, 10:17 AM
 
That's reassuring.

I guess have been acclimated to the Korean job market.

Korean men go through school, college, then two years of military service. After all that, they usually land a job at around 25-27. Chances are they get made redundant or forced into retirement in their late thirties to mid forties.

I didn't believe it at first, but it's true.

15-20 years of preparation, 10-15 years of employment.

Bleak.
     
Poliphilo  (op)
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Sep 20, 2011, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by -Q- View Post
30 is certainly not "too old." As they say in the south here, bless your heart.

The question becomes "how do you do this?" Are you dropping the current comfy but tedious job to go back to school? Or are you going to night classes? Or are you just dropping what you're doing to jump feet first into a new opportunity? You have the added concern of having a wife and a daughter that are impacted by your decision, as well. '

But no, you're not too old.
Thank you, Sir.

For simplicity's sake, I omitted the fact that I went back home for six months in 2004 and worked in commercial television production as a digital video editor. I hated it so much I quit after 8 weeks, panicked, and returned to Korea.

I majored in Film and Television, but alas, TV, and especially post production, are not my thing.

I'd like to find work in print media. I can see myself involved in marketing, perhaps writing copy. I'm still kind of scoping it out. But if taking a course would improve my prospects, I'd have no problem with that.
     
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Sep 20, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
Cheap beer and clean subways. Why rock the boat?
     
Lateralus
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Sep 20, 2011, 03:36 PM
 
I certainly hope it's not too old. I just turned 27 after coming off a few years of traveling abroad, have no college, a fairly crap job and am planning to leave the country again next summer on another youth visa.

With life expectancies climbing into the 80s, I figure I've got another few-to-several years to figure stuff out.
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ort888
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Sep 20, 2011, 03:52 PM
 
30 is too old for anything. You should be arguing with fellow trigenarians about who gets the best spot at the duckpond staring window.

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Sep 20, 2011, 05:19 PM
 
I don't think its ever to late to start a new carrier or go back to school. That said turning 31 was the most depressing day of my entire life
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Brien
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Sep 20, 2011, 07:47 PM
 
I'll be 26 next month and I haven't even started my first career, so I'd say that 30 isn't too old at all.
     
glideslope
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Sep 20, 2011, 10:32 PM
 
Don't think so. However, I did start having chronic bursitis in my shoulders at 37.
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Poliphilo  (op)
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Sep 20, 2011, 11:24 PM
 
I'm glad I started this thread.

It's just something about hitting 30 that makes me nervous. I feel like I really ought to be getting my act together.
     
Kerrigan
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Sep 21, 2011, 01:31 AM
 
I'm 26. I have not started a career. I just finished law school, and I'm joining the military.

In other words, I've made a living out of doing nothing, and I plan to continue this until someone pays me to retire.

In other news, I've been on MacNN for more than a decade.
     
ghporter
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Sep 21, 2011, 07:21 AM
 
I changed careers at about 50. It's not about age, it's about will and drive. And endurance; changing takes a LOT of work. But if you're up to that challenge, any age is "not too old" to change careers. Or to start one, for that matter.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 21, 2011, 07:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
I'm 26. I have not started a career. I just finished law school, and I'm joining the military.

In other words, I've made a living out of doing nothing, and I plan to continue this until someone pays me to retire.
Well, or you get killed, of course.
     
ghporter
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Sep 21, 2011, 07:42 AM
 
Someone who just finished law school and joins the military has a high probability of being placed in the Judge Advocate's office, either as a paralegal or in a program that gets him through the bar with a commitment of several years service as an attorney for the military service. Neither of which generally gets a person very near harm's way, but with the way the US military has changed over the last couple of years, that could also have changed.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
BadKosh
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Sep 21, 2011, 09:48 AM
 
Heck, I'm 55+ and I've already HAD multiple careers. DJ, Audio Engineer, County Gov't Assemby Programmer, Relational Database/Schedule Management programmer&Instructor, Customer Service rep, Office Manager, Mac Consultant, Gov't contractor. I also took off for almost 3 years and painted Brass model Steam engines for collectors.
     
Person Man
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Sep 21, 2011, 01:23 PM
 
There were about 10 people in my class in medical school who were in their 40s and even 50s who wanted to change careers and become doctors. So it's never too late to start a new career.

Off the top of my head, there was a computer programmer who wanted to become a doctor, two pharmacists that decided to change, one was a high school English teacher, one was a mechanical engineer, and another was a chemical engineer. So you don't even have to have a heavy biological science background either.

Not to mention the number of doctors who go to law school to become lawyers and the number of lawyers who go to medical school to become doctors. One of my colleagues here is a lawyer-turned-doctor who keeps BOTH degrees current, even though he practices medicine full time. He apparently practiced law for only two years before going back to school. He keeps his law degree current in order to do legal consulting for our clinic.
     
olePigeon
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Sep 21, 2011, 01:39 PM
 
Meh. Make a solid plan so you can retire without worry, then take it easy. Life's short. Some people worry about careers and "shaping up," I figure these are the best years of my life and I'm going to enjoy them.
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RobOnTheCape
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Sep 21, 2011, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
30 is young.
Wait until you're in your 50s are you're forced to start a new career. You'll look-back fondly to when you were 30 and had so many doors open to you.
Funny - I was thinking exactly the same thing - with 50 in mind too.
     
hart
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Sep 21, 2011, 05:39 PM
 
Egads! I hope it's not too late. Count me in on the 50's-and-changing-careers bandwagon.

I've read that the average educated worker can expect to change careers several times nowadays.

Younger people have this idea that they should have this official path laid out sometime before they're 30 but life often doesn't work that way. And some of those people who drive like crazy to get some career going then find out they hate it. I'd hazard that change is more the norm than not.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 21, 2011, 05:42 PM
 
I knew I'd be okay when I told a guy I'd met in a hotel bar that I was fresh out of high school and had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, and he replied that he was 42 and had no idea yet what *he* wanted to do when he grew up.
     
hart
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Sep 21, 2011, 06:57 PM
 
I hope I don't grow up for at least a few decades.
     
kmkkid
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Sep 21, 2011, 07:04 PM
 
I've been pondering the same.

Turning 30 in November and it feels like I'm having a midlife crisis.

I am comfortable where I am with my job, but honestly, bored and looking for a new direction.

Hope its not too late lol.
     
Poliphilo  (op)
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Sep 21, 2011, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I knew I'd be okay when I told a guy I'd met in a hotel bar that I was fresh out of high school and had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, and he replied that he was 42 and had no idea yet what *he* wanted to do when he grew up.
lol
     
ghporter
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Sep 21, 2011, 08:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man View Post
There were about 10 people in my class in medical school who were in their 40s and even 50s who wanted to change careers and become doctors.
Wow. My proverbial hat is off to those folks! That is taking "career change" to a new level.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Kerrigan
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Sep 23, 2011, 12:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Someone who just finished law school and joins the military has a high probability of being placed in the Judge Advocate's office, either as a paralegal or in a program that gets him through the bar with a commitment of several years service as an attorney for the military service. Neither of which generally gets a person very near harm's way, but with the way the US military has changed over the last couple of years, that could also have changed.
I have little or no desire to practice law. I was nudged into law school by my family, and my heart just isn't there. Despite what people may think about the profession, your typical attorney is underpaid, overworked, and not nearly as intelligent as he or she thinks.

Joining the military was a way for me to change gears, pay back the massive debt accrued in law school, and take some initiative in my life. Despite joking about only wanting to retire, I actually want to get out of the military when my contract is over, and start a business--any business. But who knows what will happen?

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / gang aft agley
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 23, 2011, 02:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by hart View Post
I hope I don't grow up for at least a few decades.
Having a kid does worlds for focus (though it doesn't necessarily induce long-term career planning).
     
ghporter
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Sep 23, 2011, 07:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
I have little or no desire to practice law. I was nudged into law school by my family, and my heart just isn't there. Despite what people may think about the profession, your typical attorney is underpaid, overworked, and not nearly as intelligent as he or she thinks.

Joining the military was a way for me to change gears, pay back the massive debt accrued in law school, and take some initiative in my life. Despite joking about only wanting to retire, I actually want to get out of the military when my contract is over, and start a business--any business. But who knows what will happen?

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / gang aft agley
Whatever you do, you're far less likely to be exposed to even peripheral combat than the news makes it seem. I volunteered to go to the desert twice but was turned down because I was "essential" where I was...which was a pretty lame answer since I didn't have a tasking at the moment either time. Depending on which branch you go with, you could wind up advising some young lieutenant on the proper language for a contract, or helping an overworked captain manage a mob of young people who would rather be in front of a big screen playing Gears of War than doing whatever it is they're supposed to be doing...

But I highly commend you for going with the military option. Among other things, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and teach you ways to do things (other than your military job) that will be helpful in whatever you do afterward.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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