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Advice on Un-retiring
Old 05-04-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
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Advice on Un-retiring

I am planning to go back to work, un-retire, in about 1-3 yrs. It's been 5 yrs since I've worked. I'm 45.

I feel a little like a new college graduate. I'm not sure what I want to do or how to go about it. Has anyone done this and do you have any advice?

Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:26 AM   #2
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Asking that question on this forum is a bit like asking a weight-loss forum how to bulk up...
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:44 AM   #3
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You got me there.

I figured that someone out there retired and decided to go back to work after a few years.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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Here is one recent example: Sucked back into the car business.....
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Maybe there's a forum like "backtowork.com" or something like that.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:05 AM   #6
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If you want to go back to your old career, start networking with old work pals, college buddies, etc. Go to some professional conferences to start up the networking and get refreshed on current issues and topics in your industry. Start casting the net to see what is available out there job wise.

Make up a good story about why you took 5 yrs off and what you did and learned and how that makes you a better candidate for work vs a person that has been stuck in the groove for 5 years. Pull the cliche box out - "I'm refreshed, full of creative energy and able to see things with clarity and perspective".

If going into a new career, some of the same advice applies, but you'll be starting from scratch. 1-3 year time frame would also allow getting a professional certification or masters in a new field.

This topic interests me because I plan on ERing relatively young, around age 35 or so. Plan B is to go back to work if the $hit hits the fan. To me, 5 years gap in work seems doable relatively easily, 10 would be pushing it, and 15 makes me think I'll be completely out of the loop and starting from scratch more or less.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:13 AM   #7
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"I'm refreshed, full of creative energy and able to see things with clarity and perspective".
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:45 AM   #8
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@REWahoo - thanks for the link. I was thinking about maybe doing some yacht brokering.

@FUEGO - Does this count as a good story?: I sold my business, bought a sailboat and became a sailing bum expat.

My background is that I was a small business owner of a computer software/consulting firm. I have my MS in geology and was getting a PhD. I started working with an interesting computer technologies and quit the PhD to work with them full time. After a year as a software developer, I started a small company with the man who's now my husband.

Our responsibilities became more and more management and administrative as the company got bigger. And when our son was 2 or 3, we wanted to spend more time with him.

We sold the business and planned to buy a boat, go sailing for two years or so, and then start another business or get jobs. My mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness after we sold, and we spent several years helping with her care. Now we're sailing full time.

Our son is 9 and we want to put him in high school somewhere.

Do I want to go back into the same field? Not in the same position. Maybe as a one person consulting firm.

Go into geology? maybe. I don't have professional certification or experience though.

Finish the PhD? I think I'd have to start all over even though I have a few papers published from the research.

Anyway, thanks for the responses. This post is rather bad timing for me. I will shortly be in the land of no internet. Heading to the Hobbies/Vivarillos and eventually the east US coast via the outer atolls of Belize and Mexico.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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With your background, it seems unlikely working as an employee would be tolerable.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:35 AM   #10
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Agreed. I think you should just look for something interesting that relates to your travels. Definitely not a typical J-O-B type person after all the comparative freedom you've experienced. Any preferences on where you want to come "home" to for your child's high school? That will lead to some obvious directions.
Fair winds, Belize is so lovely!
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Earworms View Post
I am planning to go back to work, un-retire, in about 1-3 yrs. It's been 5 yrs since I've worked. I'm 45.
I feel a little like a new college graduate. I'm not sure what I want to do or how to go about it. Has anyone done this and do you have any advice?
Thanks.
I think before you get a job it'd be good to clearly articulate why you want to get a job.

Is a job necessary for your finances?

Do you want to no longer homeschool your son? (And does he really want to go to a public school? After nine years of learning on his own he thinks that the public schools will be at least as good? "Seriously?") That would involve finding a home with a "nice" school district, which will certainly cost more than living someplace away from the school infrastructure-- where you could cut your housing expenses and homeschool or unschool.

Do you feel a job is necessary for your personal fulfillment?

This is just my personal opinion, but after years of working for yourself and homeschooling then I think you're going to enjoy "getting a job" just as much as your son would enjoy public school. Neither one is necessary for either one of you and the experience will certainly come as an unpleasant shock for both of you.

Since you're probably living frugally and minimally (in terms of house volume, anyway) then you might want to take a look at Jacob Lund Fisker's Extreme Early Retirement blog & discussion board. If you haven't already read about entrepreneurs then you'd enjoy Jessica Livingston's "Founders at Work". You might find that you prefer part-time writing or technical editing or programming to sellin' boats.

Or combine the entrepreneurship, the schedule flexibility, the schooling, and the fulfillment-- like a friend of ours who bought a Kumon franchise and helped our daughter get into one of the nation's top colleges.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #12
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I've found some useful gems in the "What Color is Your Parachute" series in opening the boxes to new possibilities.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Earworms View Post
@REWahoo - thanks for the link. I was thinking about maybe doing some yacht brokering.

@FUEGO - Does this count as a good story?: I sold my business, bought a sailboat and became a sailing bum expat.
Yes, it is a good story. Go with your story, not something made up.
Once again I agree with Nords in that you should focus on where you are going and let this guide you as to interview prep.
Pleasant sailing!
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:50 PM   #14
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Not to be sexist, but I suspect that you are not the only mother of a 9-year-old who has decided to return to the workplace after a few years' absence. There is lots of related advice readily available; see here.

BTW, there is a chapter about yacht broking in Studs Terkel's Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day And How They Feel About What They Do (1974) IIRC, the man interviewed wasn't very keen on his occupation. You might want to check it out before deciding.

Quote:
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I think before you get a job it'd be good to clearly articulate why you want to get a job.
I agree.

P.S. What sort of sailboat do you have?
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #15
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Go into geology? maybe. I don't have professional certification or experience though.
Oceanography?
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