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Career Change


The following analysis is pretty deep into the details of just one particular part of my personal trajectory. You may wish to be able to put this event into either a general context or a midlevel overview.

After being unemployed for about eight months (!), I took a job as accounts payable bookkeeper for the local schools. Half a year into it it became clear that particular job wasn't going to work out, and I was unemployed again for a couple years. My decision to take the bookkeeping job was more than just taking anything that was available. I knew even then I'd never be able to go back to high tech, and in fact over these many months I've never looked back. It was clear to me I was getting off the high tech roller coaster, that I was changing careers at age 49.

My experience has been the conventional wisdom that career changing is fairly easy is wrong. Reading about it doesn't make it real. Think if you actually know of an individual who's made a successful career change. If a career requires college level training for entré, switching into it is not easy at all. I don't think the conventional wisdom about career changing applies to professional careers; it certainly doesn't apply to high tech.

I also found government unemployment services to be almost useless. They're directed toward blue collar jobs. They don't provide much in the way of the resources necessary to find another professional job: networking and referrals, re-education that takes more than a few weeks, and so forth. Faced with a "white collar recession" they seem to be dinosaurs.

Changing careers was a pretty serious decision and I fully expect it will dramatically affect the rest of my life. As such I've got quite a few different explanations/rationalizations:


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