Author Topic: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?  (Read 3208 times)

Brenda

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Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« on: June 05, 2015, 08:28:16 AM »
Ok, so my prior career is thoroughly incompatible with being a single parent.  Or a depressed widow.  As in utterly unworkable.  Now, as someone in early middle age, I'm faced with the prospect of having to start all over again in terms of how to earn money.

Life insurance - thankfully! - has given me a little time to sort my life out, but the prospect of changing careers at my age is frightening.  I have absolutely no idea what to do!  College-educated, but rather lacking in transferable skills and experience.

Anyone else have their career destroyed by the death of a spouse?

widowat33

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 10:00:25 AM »
I actually didn't have a career before. I was mostly a stay at home mom and would work part time jobs on and off.
He was pretty much the sole provider the entire marriage.
When he passed away I knew I needed to do something to be able to support myself and my two boys.
So less than two months after he died I started college to become a mental health and addiction counselor. I just finished my first year and in September I will be returning for another year to finish the program.
I have to say it's been a blessing to go back to school and have something positive to focus on for the future. The school I attend is very holistic and has helped me in my healing journey. I love learning and it's helped boost my confidence, because once he died I wasn't sure of anything anymore. I felt lost.
So sometimes change is good, whether it's starting school or a new career, even if it is scary at first.

Wheelerswife

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 03:04:08 PM »
My career wasn't destroyed, but I left a career of 26 years after my first husband died.  That was about 5 years ago.  I went back to school, but didn't have my new career figured out yet when my second husband died.  I will finish a master's degree in a year and a half and then begin the search for a new job in a new career.

Best of luck to you.  I actually like school and it keeps me focused...forward focused.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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keeptrying

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 02:51:41 PM »
I did technical work. I met my husband through our work. Then I started to have children, lots for the next few years. Never had a babysitter. Now with my kids very young ages, I won't be able to work for a while, until they get older. Even now after these years leaving the technical field, everything changes and advances and I wouldn't even know where to begin. We also just moved across country to a place where I don't even know if they have any good technical jobs around here anyhow. I can't really even think that far ahead though.. that is a while from now.. I still can't even figure out how to get through today...

mo12

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 10:30:42 PM »
I'm over a year out but wanted to share my experience. I took several months off after my husband died.  I also had a 2 month old baby and I was grieving so hard I literally could not do my job.  However, after almost 8 months the fog and depression started to lift- although I was still grieving and still am, I could think and function and be good at my job again.  I actually went back to a different job in the same field- I moved back to my hometown and needed better hours as a single parent...  I remember being so afraid in the early months that I'd never function like I did before, I felt I was losing myself as well as the love of my life, my role as his wife, etc etc.  Anyways I don't know what your career is and if there are any positions that aren't quite as demanding, but for what it's worth, this type of grief that makes your brain not work, it's not forever... it'll take time but if you still WANT your career don't give up just yet! 

mmg19

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 01:15:38 PM »
I'm not 18 months out and starting a different career path.

Necessity is the mother of invention is an English proverb meaning that difficult or impossible scenarios prompt inventions aimed at reducing the difficulty.[2]

Although I have a college degree, it is not marketable or not for me in my location.  I went to work out of necessity 2 months after LH's passing.  Not in my field or even my comfort zone but it paid the bills and good people to work with.  For the past year I have taken classes needed and just passed the required tests to be certified to teach.  This week I have been hired as a middle school science teacher for the fall term.  I am scared of the unknown and at the same time excited about the opportunity to actually begin on a career path.  At 45 I figure I have 25 working years ahead of me and I can do this.  Actually this career is very compatible with my life as a single parent.  I will be leaving old job Aug. 1 and start new one Aug. 10. 

My boys are so happy with this change.  We can do this.  My new favorite saying is "Necessity is the mother of invention".  Changing careers in middle age is not that unusual in the workplace.  (((Hugs))) Brenda.  Good Luck with finding your new career.

Trying

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 07:23:39 PM »
Wow mmg, congratulations on the new career!  I think teaching will be very compatible with being a single mom.  I wish you the best of luck with this new chapter.

I'm 46, almost 21 months out and contemplating a career change.  It's scary and I don't have a real handle on the direction I want to go so I really appreciate hearing everyone else's journey.
You will forever be my always.

jodiwitz

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 11:11:39 AM »
This is exactly what I'm currently worrying about. I'm 50, 15 days out, and have a 12 y/o and 16 y/o at home, both with special needs.  I haven't worked outside the home for 25 years. I don't think I can go back to my previous career (medical transcriptionist) because of carpal tunnel. I have to find a good job with health insurance for us and I've never had to do that before. There is so much responsibility now it's mind boggling.

My SILs believe I can afford to stay home until the first of the year.  But I've never been a career minded person, so I don't really know what I want to do.
I dreamed of Chuck for the first time last night. He was in bed laying beside me, and I put my hand on his cheek and said, "I know you're not real" and he said, "Yes, I am. I'm here, I'll always be here."  :'( :'(

Jess

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 11:29:07 AM »
This is exactly what I'm currently worrying about. I'm 50, 15 days out, and have a 12 y/o and 16 y/o at home, both with special needs.  I haven't worked outside the home for 25 years. I don't think I can go back to my previous career (medical transcriptionist) because of carpal tunnel. I have to find a good job with health insurance for us and I've never had to do that before. There is so much responsibility now it's mind boggling.

My SILs believe I can afford to stay home until the first of the year.  But I've never been a career minded person, so I don't really know what I want to do.

Jodi, right now all you need to do is focus on the basics- breathe, eat, drink water, try to sleep. I know it is natural to think of everything all at the same time that has to be considered, but do what you can to slow your brain down. You have time. Often it may feel like there is too much time. When the time comes to get serious about bringing in income, you can and will come up with a plan to do it. Your life is completely different now and that can take a while to accept, but as you accept it think about what may make you happy. For example, if you love being around kids, maybe a daycare would be a good place to dip your toes back into the workforce. The answers will come.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

Virgo

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Re: Starting a new career mid-life, post-death?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 07:03:01 PM »
Career destroyed? Yes and no. I've been a stay at home mom for 16 years. Obviously being an only parent I'm not going to be able to stay home indefinitely. My plan is to go back to college full time. Financially I can stay home for another four years or so comfortably.
Jen

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss