What does a 65-year-old woman do when she is suddenly unemployed after working her whole adult life and is in no way ready to retire from a career she loves?
Just a month ago, I was informed that the small business where I’ve hung my hat for the last three years is going to close its doors. This was not just a shock, but a reality check for me.
This was supposed to be my last job — the one I stayed in until I left on my own terms, to ride off into the sunset and spend the rest of my days reading and painting. Who is going to hire me now? I’m told I look young for my age, but there’s no hiding the age spots on my face and the laugh lines around my eyes and mouth. Competing in the job market with candidates that are half my age or younger has no appeal to me whatsoever.
You have to understand, I went back to school at the age of 50 to get my degree in Interior Design. I worked in office administration for years until I had the guts to push the reset button and go for my lifelong dream of becoming an interior designer. I approached my classes the way a dog attacks a bone. My sheer determination allowed me to finish in two years while working full time. My younger classmates hated me because I was so l focused and not very much fun, but that was fine with me. I graduated with a 4.0 and got my first design job six months after graduation. That job lasted for several years and I worked for two more design companies, including the one that just closed.
Back to my question: What does a 65-year-old woman do when she is suddenly unemployed after working her whole adult life and is in no way ready to retire? While she is somewhere between “Designing Women” and “Golden Girls”? She pushes reset yet again!
I am launching my own business where I can put into practice all the things I’ve spent the last 15 years learning. Each job has taught me things along the way that prepared me for the next chapter.
Life is an adventure and I have been blessed to have the opportunities that I’ve had. With the help and encouragement of my daughter and granddaughter, I have my own website and you can even follow me on Instagram! I’ve acquired a wonderful group of clients that are like my extended family. All of the clients I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years are fully supportive of my decision to start my own business and fortunately, they plan to stick with me in my new venture.
C.S. Lewis once said “We are never too old to follow our dreams.” As long as I am physically able, I will continue to do so. I’m excited. I’m scared. I’m ready.