Posts Tagged ‘Second Career’

It’s now been four years since I returned from my travels, ready to start the next phase of creating a life that was more attuned to what I had envisioned. The idea was to get work and put some money together to start a business. I had many ideas that came out of interests, travels, moves, situation and opportunities that I saw. Most weren`t micro-level enough so I also thought about additional training – old thoughts about landscape architecture, thoughts that aligned with recurring interests in recreation and leisure, and newer thoughts like food or massage therapy. My job search has been ongoing, but, it has been a four-year waste of time. A year and a half ago I finally did get work – a two day a week retail job. That ended before Christmas, just after I had managed to get a seasonal job.

Last summer, I decided to start researching a couple of my business ideas so I`d have some pieces in place in the event I am ever able to act. While doing so I stumbled upon the idea of making natural soap and related products. Finally, a business that could start at a micro level, had potential for a sustainable livelihood and blended values and interests. I was excited! I would finally be able to “do/act”. I`ve learned a lot but most of my efforts have centred on research rather than development. It`s frustrating. My part-time work didn’t provide much in the way of a disposable income.  It took nine months to gather the very basic equipment and supplies I needed to start experimenting. It`s taking a long time to move forward and get a micro-level business off the ground.

I now have an employment insurance claim and I’m eligible for a self-employment benefit program. I went to chat with an employment counsellor about SEBP a while back and found out that you need $4442 in cash or kind to be eligible for this program. I signed up for the info session, which was held last week.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to develop a business plan and start a small or micro business. It provides workshops, access to advisors, networking and provides EI benefits for 42 weeks. I would like to participate in this program but I don’t have $4442. I’m not sure what annoys me more – the fact that at 52 years of age I don’t have this relatively insignificant asset base or that the Ontario government puts this financial barrier in place.

My other potential option is to go back to school for retraining via the Second Career initiative. I’ve been investigating this over the last month or so as well. The training has to be in a field in which there are full-time jobs, i.e., trades, social services, health, and not more than two years. I`ve looked at it from different angles – what`s available at less than a year, what`s something I can get work at regardless of where I live, what programs would I have taken a few years ago and are they still feasible, what will complement the business I`m trying to develop, what will offer skills or knowledge that I could turn into another business, what will put me back in the job market doing something that I like, what`s still open, what`s missing from the college programs, undergraduate degree and experiences I already have. I`ve explored a number of programs and am going to talk to someone at the college in a few days about the recreation and leisure studies program. I`m holding off hitting the Ontario colleges send transcripts and apply/pay processing fees button till then.

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