At the age of 50 I decided to leave my job after almost 15 years of a business development and international marketing management career. By coincidence, I found a classified which offered a role, in the field I specialized at a high-tech company. Although the company was a long drive from home, since a substantial part of the job was intended to be done abroad, the distance less relevant.
The job appealed to me enormously. It promised a wealth of knowledge and experiences on my favorite areas of interest with a good salary. If I had to create a dream job, this was it.
Not an easy decision considering my age and the fact that already then, the employment situation at relatively advanced age was not trivial.
There were significant uncertainties. Would I adapt to the position, would it suit me, would I cope with unknown technologies. I realized however, that if I did not, at that time, jump and dive in, it will not be easier later and I would regret for not trying. I felt that I must get up and make a change.
Shortly after started a cycle of events that required me to collect and put into action all the experience, knowledge, talent and patience I had acquired through my life.
After two years at the high-tech company, 2001 arrived,with the "tech bubble burst". Many companies collapsed and closed. The company, where I held a senior position and in which I invested part of my savings was in real danger and there was a need to take measures. Among other things, we decided that I should leave, the firm couldn't afford my position.
So I found myself, two years later, older, wiser and unemployed.
The difficulty of finding a job as the years go by, does not get any easier. After the age of fifty every year that passes requires increased creative effort, patience and all the abilities you possess. Even those that during the passing of the years "fell asleep".
That period was challenging. I had to "invent" myself again. Develop methods and processes in order not to fall into a state of chronic unemployment, a serious hazard regarding the age in question. Also, had to find all the "treasures" hidden in me even those that "rusted" over the years and turn them on again to help face the new challenge.
I put in operation lots creative thinking and in-depth examination of what I had “in stock” and what was required to create an active, focused and effective job search process.
At the same time, I decided to look for things to do while looking for work, I learned that finding things to do is crucial for mental wellbeing.
As in most cases, there were ups and downs. Attempts of jobs in different places, some of them for a limited period, some unsuccessful, some successful but without interesting options.
Every lapse in the process, every failed attempt, would involve dealing again with frustration, collecting again the pieces and a new beginning.
One of the principles I apply throughout life, is that every failure or mistake brings about a lesson and an experience to be learned.
Finally I found a job. During the last 10 years I am working in an interesting and rewarding position.
This period of turmoil that lasted several years taught me the most important lessons of my life. I got priceless insights. The experiences I had shouldn’t be wasted or dissolved into oblivion. Therefore, I decided:
Engage in delivering the knowledge and experience I have gained to others.
Spend time and mentor people who struggle to find a job or make career changes, make a living or deciding about the next step.
Assist entrepreneurs, developers, people who start to build their own business.
Train and activate the atrophied "muscles" that helped me during the difficult periods and gave me the energy to help myself and others.
Exercise mindfulness, live in the present and use the past experiences as jump-boards for the future.
To fill the free time and life as much as possible with community and social activity. Time is our most important resource and is non-recyclable it should be spent wisely.