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Job Mismatch - Where to Go from Here?

By olprof67 ·
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm a 55-year-old business graduate who found himself manning a help desk in a call center when his career imploded three years ago. In that time I've picked up a wide variety of new, if relatively simple skills; often find myself more comfortable then some of the "network administrators" I deal with.

The problem is that my employer, a consumer-oriented ISP, continues to increase the breadth, but not the depth, of the subjects to which I've been exposed. I want to gain exposure to skills which will enable me to solve more involved problems without a fixation on handle times, personal multitasking and stenography.

My employer, on the other hand, wants more of my time devoted to dead-end tasks like arguing over billing, making tasteless sales pitches, and teaching an octogenarian to program a TV remote.
All of these "advances" bring more headaches and tighter schedules, but never an increase in pay.

Worst of all, almost all paths of career advancement at my present job involve a combination of front-line supervisory responsibility, coupled with constant exposure to an overindulged public which doesn't understand our business, and has been led to expect far too much. Threre just aren't any moves upward here for introverts who seek some measure of autonomy and privacy.

I know that sooner or later, all this will come to an end, most likely when some nameless actuary decides I'm too great a threat to the health-insurance plan. But I have no idea how to identify which of the multiplicity of skills I've acquired in recent years offer the possibility of a retirement sideline more in synch with my mode of living. Any input would be appreciated.

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It's not quite that bad, and you still have some control over your destiny.

by DC_GUY In reply to Job Mismatch - Where to G ...

Your group health insurance plan can't cancel you just for having birthdays, so don't fret over that. And one advantage of being 55 or over is that the company can't easily get away with dismissing you without being nailed for age discrimination.

If they have a mandatory retirement age, that's your brick wall. Mine doesn't and we have people in their 70s still hanging in. But they're not getting promotions.

I'm older than you are and I've had to accept the fact that I'm considered a "short-timer," even though due to my economic circumstances I may be one of those over-seventy employees one day.

I keep an eye open for training opportunities. That's the one kind of work that they consider us well-suited for and I've always loved it and been good at it. I apply for every opportunity to transfer into the training section and one of these days I might succeed.

As for choosing a retirement sideline, all I can do is quote Joseph Campbell and say "follow your bliss." You will be coming across to prospective clients as avuncular, you can't help that. So you may as well adopt the companion traits of sincerity, helpfulness, caring, wisdom, and perhaps a touch of eccentricity to add that "professorial" air.

This is best done by pursuing something that you feel passionate about. The passion will come across in your sales pitch and be interpreted as both competence and energy. The latter (if not both) will help counter the stereotype of older workers.

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What I'd do

by Oz_Media In reply to Job Mismatch - Where to G ...

well I am not very sympathetic in these cases and i will apologize ni advance if I seem cold or crass.

I would quit and decide EXACTLY what kind of stuff I want o do each day, then do it. It really is as easy as that.

When someone told me that many years ago, I said "well that's fine for you but I have rent and bills to pay, I can't sit in Llimboland while all the bills pile up!"

He assured me I could do it though.

Three years (at least) later, we were still friends and i was bitching and complaining about my chosen patch etc. Again he said very simply, quit and do what you want to each day. Again my reply was "I'd love to but I have bills, rent, life etc" I can't even afford to wait four months for womething to build as I am living check to check.

Siz months later I was sick of what I was doing and decided to just get up and walk out (sales management at that time). Guess what? By the end of the month I had rent, somehow. I paid my bills somewhow. I was happy as ****, somehow. Then I realized that I had may skills that people wanted, no formal study but just experience in different areas and I found I was of a different use to different people. I NEVER looked back, I've been in and out of automotive, have worked as an onsite contractor and now do my own thing with a coulpe of contracts I have that let me netadmin from home at a fantastic salary. Past aquaintances spiff me for providing leads, consulting for them etc. I have too much ork and it just keeps piling up, I don't know how to keep up now. I run a business promoting and managing bands into europe, it pays well sometimes when contracts are signed and residual CD sales come in. I restore cars in my free time (which is whenever I choose to be free).

My point, if you don't like it, leave. Don't be a slave to some guy just because he has convinced people to work for him as he is thier only hope. Do your own thing and if you want YOU can have people work for you as it is THIER only hope.

Bills, rent and stuff, it all just materializes, if you are motivated and want it, you can have it, this is after all NORTH AMERICA we can do as we please, we have no dictators, we can choose our own path.

Now I may sound like the guy that first told me to get out and do my own thing, but was he wrong? Not at all.

Warning: If you are not motivated and not a mover that can get things done by yourself, stay where you are, I don't want to ruin any lives here.

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