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Old 01-21-2010, 03:42 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,980 times
Reputation: 10

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I am 48, and have many years of entry level experience in the accounting field. My job ended a year ago, so I returned to a community college to try an get my accounting degree. However, I feel like at my age this process is too long. I also don't know if this is what I relly want to do. Life has been so-o-o-o- hard with no real support, but I keep trying anyway! My unemployment will run out soon and I have no one but my self and a child to support. Should I go for a trade skill to get me back employed, should I finish college with my 56 credits, or what?
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,053 posts, read 6,486,413 times
Reputation: 6032
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48 and stuck View Post
I am 48, and have many years of entry level experience in the accounting field. My job ended a year ago, so I returned to a community college to try an get my accounting degree. However, I feel like at my age this process is too long. I also don't know if this is what I relly want to do. Life has been so-o-o-o- hard with no real support, but I keep trying anyway! My unemployment will run out soon and I have no one but my self and a child to support. Should I go for a trade skill to get me back employed, should I finish college with my 56 credits, or what?
*************************************************
48 and stuck,
It sounds like you didn't like accounting at an entry level so what makes you think you would like working in the same field with more education at a higher level? You won't.

What are your hobbies? Do you have some kind of skill that you excel at that you can turn into an income producing venture? Look at the yellow pages and take notice of all the businesses that may require the skills and talents that you have from your hobbies. Heck man you are more than half way through your life span. Do you want to spend the rest of your productive years just doing something to put money on the table? Find something you really want to do and figure out a way to make it pay.

GL2
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:18 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,429 posts, read 32,563,555 times
Reputation: 38548
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48 and stuck View Post
I also don't know if this is what I relly want to do.

<snip>

Should I go for a trade skill to get me back employed, should I finish college with my 56 credits, or what?


Only YOU know the answer.... you have to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

I am surprised that at 48 you don't know that yet!
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,980 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Only YOU know the answer.... you have to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

I am surprised that at 48 you don't know that yet!
ok pittchick, you tell me. first of all sometimes in life people take jobs because they need to work. it's not that i didn't think about what i wanted to do with my life, but up until i became unemployed, i just thought maybe, just maybe i could make a fresh start with something new. also, many people are just surviving out here. and are too in places and jobs they don't want to be in, so don't say your surprised at 48 someone should know as they are growing up what they should want to become. sometimes people get thrusted into situations and find themselves stuck.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:03 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,429 posts, read 32,563,555 times
Reputation: 38548
So, what do you want to do NOW?
And yes, I AM surprised that you don't know what you want to do with your life at an age when many are looking to retire.

YOU have talents and dreams that only YOU know about... use them, live them!
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
917 posts, read 2,436,346 times
Reputation: 1017
If you know you want to do accounting (either because you think you can handle the job until you retire or you enjoy it), then finish up your course.

If you absolutely hate it but don't know what else to do, take a break from school. Get any job you can and work at it until you can think of a job you want to do. By 48, you should have some idea of a type of work you wouldn't mind doing til retirement. You may not be able to embark on a fulfilling career at this point in your life, but you should be able to find something you don't hate. My dad was 47 and had no idea what to do with his life, so he spent a few years working in a grocery store because he had to earn a living. He still doesn't have a job that makes him excited to give up, but he did realize he preferred office work and now works for an insurance company.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 10,605,009 times
Reputation: 2496
Finish up the degree because it will show employers that you sought out to a task and completed it. Not that much more to go and there's always doubt at the end of a degree program and it sounds like you are currently there. If you had doubts about your major, you probably would have stopped way before your 56 credits. I work with a program that helps High School kids get into college so we see the patterns. Another thing is how did you feel taking your courses; did you get A's and B's in your courses? If you have a good GPA, then I think its just doubt sinking in.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Southern California
79 posts, read 182,309 times
Reputation: 83
48:

You have to do what ever you can to put food on the table and take care of your family; especially with a child to support as well. Unless you have some cushy govt job, you are not looking to retire at 48, or even 55 for that matter. Here is what I did, for what it is worth.

I was a financial advisor, without college, for most of the 90's. I decided I wanted to do something else, and decided to go back to school. I went to a local community college at night, studied accounting and other general required courses. It took me 6 years just to complete my 2 year degree. Hey, 1 or 2 classes per semester at night while working all day takes awhile.

I went on to complete undergrad and finally graduated from law school in my mid 30's. Yes, I was much younger than you are now, but it was really wierd sitting in classes with 18 year olds when you much older. Frankly, I was a better student for it, and my life experience carried a ton of weight during school and most importantly after.

If you have 56 credits, you are almost finished with at least the undergrad 60 (assuming you took the correct courses, electives, etc.). I do not think it is a case of "you do not KNOW what you want to be". I am a parent, and frankly, I did what I did to make their lives better. Whether it is being a lawyer or sweeping streets, or even staying in the accounting field, the kids are what matters.

I agree that we tend to get thrust into jobs sometimes based on where we are at in life; or just by certain circumstances. Sure, I should have went to college right after high school, and earned a degree before going into the workforce...it was just not practical for me at that time....I needed money.

Starting over is not easy. I remained in a field/practice area that was similar to my past experience...that way I could utilize and leverage my experience with new jobs and tasks. For example, as I mentioned I worked as a financial advisor. I earned an economics undergrad degree from USC then focused on tax in law school. While in law school, I worked for a securities regulatory agency and did securities litigation. I also worked for a firm that did estate planning and corporate formation. Now, I am back in the securities arena but in a different position and practice area. The key is I was able to use all of my past experience in my current position which really allowed me to stand out from the rest of my associates and other job candidates; and do something different but similar in nature.

Do not let age be an issue. I was in law school with a 43 year old, who wanted a change after working in the same profession (non legal) for almost 17 years. He is doing well now and does not regret it. He too, utilized his past to work in a new field where his past experience could be utilized.

It is tough out there right now, and I do not envy you. Isn't there some programs where you can continue to go to school while you collect unemployment? A friend of mine was a welder for many years then sold cars for almost 12 years. He was fired when the Ford dealer closed and he was able to go back to college and receive unemployment until he finished college. He just had to take a certain amount of credits each semester and take courses that were in that field. He completed welding courses to bring him up to date with what has changed and he finally landed a job...a job he would not have received if it were not for the credential he received through the local community college.

I would finish school and leverage all of the experience you have. Starting new, is frankly, starting new. What area would you go into if you did not practice accounting? Would it be a related field? Or something completely different?

You are not a spring chicken, but you are not over the hill either. How long do you think it would take for you to finish? One more thing on being no spring chicken. I have an assistant who is 58 years old, and she went back to college to become a paralegal. She just finished her education last year and is now working for the company as a paralegal instead of an admin assistant. Message here is, do not let age be an issue, it is never too late.

Good luck! Fill us in on some of the issues...
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