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September 25, 2013 / dcwisdom

Unemployable at 57: What’s your story?

Over 50?  Retiring?  Changing careers?  Returning to college?  Are you suddenly finding yourself “unemployable?”

Returning to college in my mid-50s seemed like such a great idea, and I had plenty of reasons for choosing education over employment.  Although I have an in-demand degree in health care which I could market successfully, my mind placed more importance on the idea of nailing another diploma to the wall and increasing my overall chances for successful employment by increasing and diversifying my marketable skills instead of facing life-or-death situations every day.  (After all, life-or-death drama takes a toll after a while.)

However, after several weeks of beating the bushes for a job, I find the tables changed, and I observed that even though businesses pride themselves in non-discriminatory practices, discrimination is still there, however subtly.  Listen:  I’m not ugly; my teeth are still good.  My mind is still sharp.  I have a relatively good haircut and offer, most say, a stable personality (oh, the personality tests I’ve taken!) to the workforce only to be overlooked.  Could it be my age?

Have you interviewed for jobs lately?  Ohmygosh!  It’s a trip!  Some of my interviews have been downright funny!

Yet, I’ve stewed and mulled over the possible reasons why my phone is not ringing.  Last night, my mom, a friend, and I discussed my situation, and they suggested I write a book about my job hunts and unemployment at 57.  There are plenty of us 50-ish “unemployables” out there, so I thought why not? 

I start here and now, and I need your story.

  • Be as direct or as wordy as you want.
  • Be anonymous if you want.
  • I will delete nastiness at the first hint.
  • I am not looking for job opportunities here – just your story.
  • Depending on the number of responses, I will reply to you as soon as I can.
  • Send your stories with “my story” in the subject line to dcwisdom at yahoo dot com (thanks, dear reader, for this suggestion).
  • Please don’t send me ugly things that will destroy my computer.  Please.

I look forward to hearing from you and reading your story.

So in the meantime, I’m crafting, and if poor, starving artists could only live on love, I would.


This is one of our junk finds turned contemporary.  We call it our “17th century plastic/electric mantle clock,” and she works!  This old gal needed a whimsical color update.  She makes me smile.  (If you go back a post or two, you will see her in her original state.)  I will post more make-overs later.

Have a fabulous day!



  1. June / Oct 9 2013 4:02 PM

    I went back to school two years ago at 50 to do the pre-reqs for a Masters in Occupational Therapy. It’s stressful but I’m having a blast and am hopeful about my future. Having said that though, I have just put in my application for OT school. It’s VERY competitive with many many more apps than space available. So, will they look at my age and not want me? Will they think is more worthwhile to educate a 22-year old who has more years to work? Maybe. I know they have had others that have been 40-50ish but certainly not many. I try not to second guess my decision – figure God will work it out however it should work – but I can’t help imagining sometimes what others may be thinking about the “old lady” going back to school! They either think I’m nuts or courageous — hopefully the admissions people choose the latter! Good luck on your job search!

    • dcwisdom / Oct 9 2013 4:24 PM

      Thanks, June, for replying. It is fun, isn’t it? Going to school does make us hopeful. I’ve heard of a few older folks (60-up) going to medical school and practicing following graduation. It’s tough to start again but possible. Anything’s possible! Best wishes to you, June.

      • June / Oct 9 2013 6:21 PM

        My father did just that. Was a pediatrician for 25 years then returned to medical school at 53 to do another 4-year residency in psychiatry. When finished, he moved to an entirely new city and set up a new practice at 57. It can be done but it’s scary!

  2. Vickie / Oct 1 2013 8:38 PM

    Hey Deb – I’m sure age has a bit to do with it – my BIL has been looking for 6 mos and has had dozens of interviews. My son and daughter in law both got jobs within a few weeks. Tony’s slowly picking up a few things here and there. I think it’s a combination, Deb. You’re going to find your spot, too. It only takes ONE JOB. You just gotta find it.

    • dcwisdom / Oct 4 2013 9:34 PM

      Trying not to sweat it. Thanks, Chickie, for the encouragement. 🙂 XO

  3. jmgoyder / Sep 26 2013 11:56 PM

    I am nearing 55 when I can access my superannuation so haven’t yet embarked on finding another job, but when I do I will let you know if I encounter the same kinds of things.

    • dcwisdom / Sep 27 2013 12:19 AM

      Thanks, Julie. I’m getting lots of responses in emails. Looks like I’ll have plenty to write about. Maybe it will be easier for you in Aussieland. 🙂

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