/ If you could train for a new career...

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Darkskys - on 26 Mar 2013
I've just gone through with redundancy and I'm in a position where I'd like to train for a new career instead of working in call centres although I have no clue what to do.
I've been looking at environmental studies and also graphic design but this is as far as my mind allows me to wonder.
If you had the chance to start again at this time of your life (I'm 28) what would you do?
toad - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: 28 is nothing. Follow your star
Tony the Blade on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I retrained at 30.

I'm ready to do it again at 50 (plans are already in place).

I've finally realised I'm not going to play Premiership football, nor am I going to solo Eigerwand any time soon.

If I could do it again... I'd become an International mountain guide. Cliched as it's on a climbing forum I know, but it's true. I'd be Alan Kimber! :-)
adstapleton - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

Architect - they seem to get paid well for drawing pictures of houses, and i like the idea of designing and building my own home. There seems to be a plethora of architects on Grand Designs so i'm assuming having said profession under one's belt makes it much easier to self build.

Having said that i'm pretty happy designing and lifing critical gas turbine components for the best remaining UK manufacturing company around.
Dauphin - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

go travelling for a year or so, work elsewhere in the world, let your mind really wander

d
Skyfall - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

What are your qualifications and skills?
teflonpete - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:
Anything you like really, 28 is still young enough to do pretty much anything you fancy. You've been working for around 10 years and still have nearly 40 to go so 28 is a good time for re-training. Be careful with environmental work if you want to earn a living with it. I'm doing a degree in environmental science with OU at the moment and it's a fascinating subject, but you need to aim for the right niche, something connected with industrial environmental legislation compliance or local authority. A lot of conservation work, whilst well worthwhile, is done by voluntary groups, and you won't earn a living at it.
New POD - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: In 1984, I choose to apply for university courses with the word Engineering in the title, because I thought that I'd be able to design engines. Having done particular poorly I ended up doing manufacturing engineering at polytechnic. I did this because I thought that accountancy would not be for me.
29 years on and I'm contracting via my own ltd company, and every time I see my accountant, I'm sure I'd enjoy that more.
It would give me more money for climbing and car engines.
Father Noel Furlong on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

Geologist. The oil industry is crying out for them and they earn a packet (up to 150K).

Christ knows i wish i'd stuck in when i was younger and become a Geologist instead of ending upwhere i am now.......
Robh101 - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: Dont bother with Environmental Studies at the moment, the job market is rubbish. Virtually evveryone who I know how has studied this area (myself included) is struggling to find work, even those with prior experience/Msc's etc
TryfAndy on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

Looking back now, wish I'd taken an opportunity at the time & gone to agricultural college after school then become a gamekeeper. I always wanted to, but the lure of more money dragged me away from it. Now I've realised money isn't the important thing in life, happiness is.

Saying that, I've just changed career direction drastically at the age of 27 and am very happy with what I'm now doing. Give it a go, do what will make you happy.
Steve nevers on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to Darkskys)
>
> Geologist.

This combined with a decent level of the Rope Access and you'll be able to work in a lot of areas. I'm looking into the last one at the moment due to the amount of rigging work and that i can get off the back of it. (oilrigs to setting up huge festival marquees etc.)

annieman - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: What are your passions? Do something that you would enjoy. Sounds easy.

At 49 I took redundancy and went off to Costa Rica with Raleigh International, working as a volunteer project manager, for three months. Gave me time and perspective to think about what to do next. Also had a lot of fun with a totally new group of friends and collegues.

What skills can you transfer?

Enjoy.
Robin
Simon_Sheff - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

> If you had the chance to start again at this time of your life (I'm 28) what would you do?

Your asking the wrong question. Don't worry what others are doing, what do u want to do for the next 20 years? Decide that then start moving dude
stubbed on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I really fancy being a florist. But if I was made redundant and got funding for retraining I would go for accountancy: I like numbers & analysis, I could work for myself, at home, part time and take time off for school holidays. And it pays reasonably too.
Skyfall - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I suppose part of it is... do you want a vocational career or do you just want something which interests you and hopefully pays well?

As I asked above, what skills/exams do you already have? Also, more importantly, what does the inner you want to do for a job or at least what type of job?

Someone mentioned accountancy and I'll comment on that as it's what I know. If you were to do a pure accountancy qualification, it would mean several years of hard studying whilst working. However, people do get into it fairly late on. If you go the traditional route, you will end up doing some drudge work early on (audit junior...) but within a fairly short period of time you can start doing some pretty interesting work and specialise eg. corporate finance, business restructuring, tax etc. Many people stay in accountancy practises, some go into industry (as internal accounants), whilst others use it as a springboard into general business.

Others specialise in something like tax from the start which can be done without going the formal accountancy route but by doing separate (quite hard) tax qualifications, again whilst working over a number of years. However, if you fancy something which uses your brain and is actually quite close to law (without the fuss of retraining as a lawyer), it does have something to commend it. I found it an enjoyable career and it's possible and normal to further specialise. Although it might not sound it, it's also a very client focussed business with lots of client interaction and, if you work on the private client side of things, you will end up spending more time understanding and working with your clients than doing pure technical work. Regardless, tax is not all about figures, very far from it. Again, you can remain within an existing accountancy practice, go into industry (internal tax manager at a large corporate for example) or even set up your own practice in time.

In terms of quality of life, the early years would be intensive, but pay rapidly increases to compensate. After a few years you can start to get your life back. In the very large accountancy practices it may never be a 9-5 job (work hard, play hard mentality) but you can find a balance.

Of course, to get a training contract (where you work for a firm and they pay for your training over several years - a not inconsiderable cost), you will need to have good exam results so far and demonstrate commitment etc. You don't say if you have a degree or whatever. If you fail your exams persistently, you will end up being shown the door due to the terms of the training contract. As the tax exams can be done over as long a period as you like, that might be an easier route in if it appealed in any way.

The pay can be good - from ok to almost as much as you can imagine (fancy being an equity partner in the Big 4 and earning around 1m each year?). However, don't underestimate how hard it is to get used to working whilst studying and doing exams, there is the risk you don't pass the exams and end up having to retrain again, and whilst not a vocation it is rarely a 9-5 job even if it is office based.
jenniwat001 on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I'm 29, I am in the middle of retraining as a social worker. I'm glad I've done it (but we will see next year!) The biggest worry for me was the finances, but I have a very supportive boyfriend and with a few lifestyle changes and a bursary from the NHS we are just about making ends meet!
Skyfall - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:

Funnily enough i did geology but came out of Uni at a time when there were no jobs - which is why I ended up getting into accountancy/tax. I often think it's an easy cop out and always said I'd sold out. However, that's only partly true because it's hard work and it turned out to be almost exactly what I wanted.
shark - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I think the first thing to do is to establish what you like and what you are like. If you do a job you enjoy you will do well at and it won't feel so much like a job.

If you enjoyed the people contact in call centres maybe sales is an option? It gets a bad rep but there are no exams (unless you go into financial services) though the uncertainty and pressure for results doesn't appeal to most. If you want to explore further read the awfully brilliant titled classic by Bettger: "How I raised myself from failure to success in selling". Written 65 years ago but will always be relevant.
ceri - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: You're not that old: I'm the second oldest in the first year of Vet School at Nottingham, I'll be 36 when I qualify :)
ring ouzel on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: I work in the environmental field. I used to work in conservation where there are long hours, often rubbish working conditions, little chance of a permanent job and you need 2 relevant degrees, voluntary experience and preferably a specialism to get a foot in the door. We would still get over 200 applications per job though. I did quite well at it but left as I became disillusioned with it (lots of people do). Now I work in environmental consultancy for less money but I am actually out looking for wildlife which is good. Oh and I know several companies, including ours, who are crying out for qualified ecologists. Get yourself well versed in ornithology or botany and top that up with mammals and you'll get work.
Stanners - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:
Royal Airforce, Royal Navy/marines Officer
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Stanners:
> (In reply to Darkskys)
> Royal Airforce, Royal Navy/marines Officer

Three completely different jobs there!
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: Tree surgeon
phja - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I've been at uni 7 yearsdoing physics masters and phd...had enough...now fancy being a train driver so am going for that
kathrync - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I'm 32 and in the middle of re-training (or at least nudging my career in a slightly different direction). There are at least two people on my course older than me doing the same thing.

The key for me was to stop thinking in big terms about what career I wanted and to think instead about what I enjoyed and what I disliked about the job I was already doing and how I could push it towards doing more of what I liked. In my case, I was working in a lab and particularly enjoying the parts of my job where I was seconded temporarily to a different project to solve a problem. I am now studying a more specialised area that is often outsourced by labs; by working for one of the companies that takes outsourced work, I can make that way of working my job.
pork pie girl - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: vet. without any doubt
In reply to Darkskys:

easy. Lawyer, why I chose an English degree I have no idea!
Stanners - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:
officer in the forces in general was what I was getting at, don't worry we all know royal marines officer is the best and most prestigious (my future career) ;)
Sam_in_Leeds - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

On a similar note, what about doing something in financial services?

I currently work as a paraplanner for a an independent financial adviser/investment manager

I work for/alongside a financial adviser, preparing reports/doing research/preparing for client meetings/dealing with regulation type stuff etc.

Really enjoy it, a bit like accountancy in that it's a nice mix of numbers/regulations but quite a bit of client contact too. I won't be an adviser anytime soon (don't want to be) but work for a firm that's paying for my exams and I get a fairly decent enough salary (think roughly double what I'd get in a crappy call centre).

I work mainly on pension (pre and post retirement planning) but have also taken plenty of exams in investment/tax planning/Trusts etc too.

Financial advising seems to have a poor reputation, especially on here but tbh most people think a salesman in a Barclays branch flogging products is a financial adviser rather than Chartered Financial Planner/CFA/CFP type adviser I work for.

Found it much easier to get into initially than accounting too?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Stanners:

Ha, not sure about that but streets ahead of the other two you mentioned at the very least!
Indy - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

About 10 years ago looked at moving into Law from finance but it all looked a bit scary and not quite the right time. Have been looking to do the move ever since but those 2 blockers always seem to be there.
ollieollie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: Im still unsure of what Id like to do. Don't think I'll ever know
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to Darkskys)
>
> About 10 years ago looked at moving into Law from finance but it all looked a bit scary and not quite the right time. Have been looking to do the move ever since but those 2 blockers always seem to be there.

I don't there is ever a 'right' time. There will always be reasons not to do it; money, relationships, houses, location. I think most of us, however much we resist it, are somewhat frightened of change and uncertainty and, therefore, avoid it most of the time.

Take a leap and do it, it might be great, it might be rubbish but at least you'll know...

Big Steve - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to Darkskys)
>
> Geologist. The oil industry is crying out for them and they earn a packet (up to 150K).
>
> Christ knows i wish i'd stuck in when i was younger and become a Geologist instead of ending upwhere i am now.......

Thats interesting, I have 3 degrees in geology yet I have never been able to find any work in it, apart from a single 9 month contract 8 years ago
muppetfilter - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Big Steve: have you tried the oil industry ?
wbo - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to BigSteve : - you have got to be kidding me. Demand for any geologists is unreal and has been for some years now. What's your PhD in?
Big Steve - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to wbo: first degree is Applied geology, Masters degree is MRes in Earth & Atmospheric Science, my MPhil was in lake sediment cores, magnetism and sediment source apportionment.

Are there any jobsites you can reccomend?
Darkskys - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: cheers for all the replies. I'm a qualified auto-electrician but I've not done this for years. That's why I've been stuck in office work for the past 4 years.

Money isn't a massive thing, it's quality of life that I'm after. I'd like to do something I enjoy but the only thing I enjoy is the outdoors. I'm leading upto my ML this year but I want this to be a part time thing as I don't want it to take over my life, mainly because its my bit of freedom and I want to keep it this way.

I'm going to have a chat with some chaps at university/college to find out if graphic design would be the right road for me to go down, as I think it'd be something I'd enjoy....but I'm not 100% sure.

All I know is I'd like to go back into re-educating myself.

Thanks again for all the advice given on here, it's really helped :)
Caralynh - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

At 28 you can do whatever you want. I retrained at age 33 and I can see in the future not retraining as such, but adding some out of work qualms to enable me to work in the same field for a different employer. Do some research into what you want to do, what is practically possible, and what you need to do to get there, then, if you can, do it.
Rachel Slater - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Robh101:
> (In reply to Darkskys) Dont bother with Environmental Studies at the moment, the job market is rubbish. Virtually evveryone who I know how has studied this area (myself included) is struggling to find work, even those with prior experience/Msc's etc

I agree. Just finished a degree in Environmental Science and although I loved the course, work is super limited. Currently doing surveying on a recycling project and wishing I did engineering or geology.
Axel Smeets - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

A few people have mentioned accountancy/tax/other financial services which is where I have worked since 2005 (graduated 2004). I got a training contract with a smallish accountancy firm in Sheffield. Like Skyfall mentioned, I thought I'd sold out at the time, being a 'right on' leftie studying politics at university only 12 months prior to getting the job.

However, once you're past the 3 years of exams and doing the crap work, you're almost unrestricted on what you can do with the qualification. I wouldn't change a thing about my career choices so far which I doubt many can say. I now work in a niche area of tax which is very interesting, occasionally very challenging and financially rewarding. If you have an aptitude for numbers, dealing with people and don't mind the occasionally grating nature of all things 'corporate', then financial services is worth looking into.

No one has mentioned that luck plays a massive part in career choices and changes. I was made redundant in 2009 in a job I wasn't massively keen on. A chance phone call with an old work colleague led me teaming up with her on a casual basis (just the two of us). Less than 4 years later there's 10 of us, the company has grown fifteen fold and I've somehow found myself with a share interest in the company. The saying it's not what you know, it's who you know certainly rings true in this case. At 28, you've may have got some friends who can be of use to you in your next move. They may prove invaluable, as was the case with me. Use them to your advantage.

If someone had suggested that to me when I'd just been made redundant I would be in my current position 4 years down the line, I would have laughed at them. I'd love to say it was due to skill, but I can't. It was simply luck.

So, it's only fair to wish you good luck.
ice.solo - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

consider making a plan.

leave whatever you have now so you could come back to it (or a version of it), try something new for 4 years, re-evaluate then.
you may just find that a lot of your previous career applies to some new niche you carve yourself.

i say this as someone who had a good career path (tho complex), then at 29 retrained to work in something completely different (substance detox and rehab), but then left that 4 years later to go into something related to the original career but with a new perspective bought on by the second choice (R&D).

the trick, i believe, is to navigate your own path - learn what you can about both new data and ways of making your own independant position in the world.

throw your net wide but only take the best.
Father Noel Furlong on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Big Steve:
> (In reply to wbo) first degree is Applied geology, Masters degree is MRes in Earth & Atmospheric Science, my MPhil was in lake sediment cores, magnetism and sediment source apportionment.
>
> Are there any jobsites you can reccomend?

No idea if this is any use but best of luck......

http://www.oilcareers.com/content/jobsearch/job_search.asp?topCat1=8&subCat1=0&Country=&...



goldmember - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong: best thread in ages
bouldery bits - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

Tree. Surgeon.
mark s - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: I'm 38 and have started my firefighter training.I'm 4 weeks in and its really enjoyable.bloody hard work at times and lots to take in.
Never too old to try something new.
goldmember - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong: on a related note. What is the best way to get a foothold in the oil industry? my background is mainly admin stuff with a degree in environmental education.
Baron Weasel - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: I'm re-training doing plumbing and heating engineering. Different job every day, plenty of work and money out here too. Looking forward to getting set up :-)
TAG_UTLEY - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

Also suggest geology/geosciences, lots of jobs here and abroad. Of course there is still competition for the jobs, but the demand is very high. After all, if we can't grow it, we probably dig out the ground.

It's also reassuring that other people suggest geology, as I am coming to the end of a Masters in Geoscience.
In reply to Darkskys: Painting and decorating.
Pompey - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:
I re-trained at 27 - gave up a far-better paid job in management to train as a physio, using up all my savings and acquiring a student loan in the process. Best thing I ever did :):). At the time I remember wondering if I was mad for changing career at 27 - such a grand old age! It's been hard work financially, but I now have a challenging job that I love, and where I get paid to nag people :)
Father Noel Furlong on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to goldmember:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong) on a related note. What is the best way to get a foothold in the oil industry? my background is mainly admin stuff with a degree in environmental education.

Sorry i can't help you there. I work in local government and am still exploring the oil industry myself, with no success yet.
Rekotin on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys:

I'd say the most important bit is to work in the area that genuinely interests you and isn't a chore. You'll spend most of your available free time working, so it's senseless for it to be anything other than what you love to do anyway. This will have a big impact in your quality of life, stress levels and god knows what else + generally sets you in a very positive mood since you don't need to nag about your work etc.

I think this way you can almost consider the job as a hobby and this has been my key to happiness for the last 10 years (I'm 35 now, working in the games industry). I used to work on some graphic design etc. bits and bops, but the advertising world isn't for me and apparently none of my friends either - it's a soul draining place no matter how talented you are.

I have about half a dozen other things I still want to do job-wise in the future, so it's a very much a "hobby" point of view in thinking. Physio is definitely one of them, I like the idea of helping people + knowing a thing or two about the human body. With work, if you ever wake up feeling like not going to work, then it's time to change the job or swich the company. Has worked for me 100%.

It's also good to remember that the amount of people who live to 100 nowadays is rapidly increasing and there's a chance you'll hit close to that + you're probably in a fit condition as well. So I'd mentally prep to not stick with what you'll land in the future, but constantly see if there's something else there that might be even more interesting and judge everything from your quality of life -point of view.
subalpine - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: f*ck physics- give me drystone walling or hedgelaying anyday- if only..
Darkskys - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Darkskys: its given me loads to go off this thread. A good friend who currently works as a graphic design artist is going to show me a few things on Tuesday to see if its something I'd be interested in. So far its ticked all the boxes but we'll see.

On another note...as a on the side thing, I'm taking up my ML which I've been meaning to do for years but this could also be another possibility in the future as I progress :)

Happy Easter guys and gals, thankyou for the input


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