Uh oh.

I have always been kind of a drifter through life, no clear goals or ambitions, a recent wake up call happened when I learned the job I had for 15 years may be ending soon and I have been sending out resumes. I am in my 50s so the prospect of looking for new work is bad enough but I have come to the realization that I have no "hard" skills. I don't speak another language, don't know how to touch type, can't computer code, have the barest understanding of MS Office and Excel, only vaguely know a few computer programs all of them art related. Back when I was in my 30s friends, who's career paths weren't working out went back to school and learned different skill sets. Since it took until my 40s to pay off my student loans, the idea of going into debt again filled me with dread. On top of that, I'm terrible at networking and I don't play well with others. So yeah, I'm screwed. I'm a few credits away from a BFA, I'm thinking dipping into my savings and going back to school so I can say I accomplished something. however minor. Heed these words people in your 30s and 40s, it's not too late to change paths if things aren't working out for you, don't paint yourself into a corner like I did.


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May 12, 2023 at 3:20pm

Can you hang in there until early retirement? I would just leave for a more affordable alternative. You might be surprised how livable some countries are. Yes, they're developing, but they have enclaves where the quality of life is comparable to the west. The cost of living in Canada is ridiculous for what you get, and the climate is a nightmare for the half the year. Think about it.

5 3Rating: +2

It’s still not too late

May 12, 2023 at 3:27pm

After a catastrophic setback in my early 50’s I lost a career I’d worked hard for for 25 years. I couldn’t get back into that career and after a few years living off savings and selling my home, I finally found another career in my mid-50’s. There are lots of options for you and you’re still not as old as you think. I’m almost 70 now and still working. Please look into the career counselling programs that are available all over the place. They will help to identify the areas you’re most suited for and also the skills that you’re lacking. Once you know those things you’ll be more able to move forward with something new. It’s scary I know but if you look at it as a whole new opportunity, it’s also very exciting!

7 6Rating: +1


May 12, 2023 at 4:03pm

Dont beat yourself up too much and know you are not alone. Keep your wits and figure it out. These kind of useful heartfelt advise are change of pace from the normal superficial meaningless observations. Thank you

5 3Rating: +2

Hello hello

May 13, 2023 at 12:22am

If you're in your 50s, do you really need to get an official BFA? You've worked the last 15 years without one. I would save your money and not get the credits. More important is to get up to speed on basic skills like Excel, Office, making videos. I'm not sure how you could not have any hard skills after 15 years on the job. You will need to learn new skills and learn how to play with others and network. Being a drifter, a floater, can be career suicide when everyone else is upskilling every 6 months staying current. I'm in my 50s, and I help the "olds" as I call them, get shit done, because they don't know how to do anything: social media marketing, making videos, updating digital information, etc. If you don't know how to do these things, I hate to say it but what exactly do you bring to the table? Art can be made easily with AI and digital technologies now. The job market is brutal especially for anyone over 40. I would re-tool immediately if I were you.

2 6Rating: -4

Fellow Traveler

May 13, 2023 at 9:11am

I am in almost the exact same situation as you. I am in my 40's now and have no "hard" skills either. I have been stuck in a degrading, manual labor job since graduating high school. It's taken a toll on my body and I can't do it for much longer. But I wouldn't describe myself as a drifter. I was one of those "arts and humanities" kids who was horrible at math and science. I ended up getting a B.A. in college and decided to pursue teaching. Trouble is, every other "arts/humanities" kid with a BA also wants to teach. So there's no demand. Worse, the local teacher ed. program I went to doesn't train people how to teach. They expect you to know how to teach already. You're basically paying them a bribe for a chance to do a practicum. I spent thousands of dollars just to be forced to discuss the mistreatment of First Nations people, but nothing about planning a unit or managing a classroom etc. before being forced to withdraw. I tried applying for entry level jobs and found out that they don't really exist anymore for "adult" jobs. Entry level jobs are now called "internships" and the only way to get them are perfect grades or, ironically, previous experience. That's why so many international students, who had office jobs at home, get internships. I grudgingly went back to school for something math-related and failed epically. I actually walked out of several exams because I was so lost. It was humiliating and a waste of money. Every minute and every cent I spent on post secondary education was a waste. Like you, I have a minimal understanding of MS office, Excel or any other work related software. I am an introvert so I'm terrible at networking, and work better independently rather than in teams. My future looks grim. I can't imagine going back to school for a third time and I'm bad at working with my hands so pursuing a trade (which is not as simple as the "just go get a trade" people seem to suggest) is not really an option. My only contribution to your suggestion that it's not to late to change paths is that you better make sure that you're choosing a field that's actually in demand. I'm sorry but you can't just "follow your heart" or pursue your passions because that won't pay your bills. Please don't make the same mistakes I did. Upgrade your math and tech skills early or you'll end up like me and the OP.

8 3Rating: +5


May 13, 2023 at 10:11am

They are hiring everybody. No experience is needed. We are short staffed, we like to hire older people too. If you don’t mind dealing with addicts and homeless people you will have a union job and great pay.

5 3Rating: +2

Solution- Ditch Canada

May 13, 2023 at 11:18pm

Stop renting and buy a van to live in. Save every penny, take side jobs and hustles,and in a few years move to SE Asia.
In many areas I see nice newer apartments, with pools and all the amenities, renting for $150 a month. And with online side hustles you can live very well.

4 5Rating: -1

No corners

May 14, 2023 at 11:20am

You are one of thousands who have found themselves backed into a corner but mostly technology-wise. Get into a trade. You may need some tech skills but probably not as much as you might think. Old dawgs can learn new tricks. With AI looming and predicted tech and other jobs disappearing, hand work by whatever description will be the main stay of our economy. Find a niche market you enjoy. You aren't screwed if you pick up a screwdriver. Good luck!

7 4Rating: +3

This is

May 14, 2023 at 2:50pm

very good advice and im gonna take it seriously.

2 2Rating: 0

@Fellow Traveler

May 15, 2023 at 2:35pm

I have seen plenty of soft majors e.g. english, business, politics (science it is not) far from anything related to stem in civil service that same same as engineers from top schools because government reward diploma holder and care less about prestige of school and type of degree because you learn on the job mostly. Its desirable place for arts& humanities specially. Almost all politicians local to national are soft majors with sky high arrogance so just copy them

2 2Rating: 0

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