Is it too late for a career change at age 59?

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I just turned 59 and want to change fields. I’ve worked in interior horticultural maintenance for 30 years. I also had a side hustle as a technical director at a medical firm for 17 years. There is nowhere else for me to grow. I’ve never had to look for a job — I’ve always had referrals. I’m comfortable on a computer but I haven’t learned any office programs and I’m finding it a challenge to use job sites, since I’m not sure what search terms to look for. Should I seek out a headhunter or did I miss the bus?
Wow, my friend — your main gig is interior horticultural maintenance and your side hustle is technical director at a medical firm? Seems that should be in reverse. Listen, you are 59 years young and there’s no reason why you can’t reinvent yourself, but I wouldn’t chase headhunters. They mostly fit square pegs into square holes and that isn’t you. Your future path will likely follow the success you’ve had in getting help from your network of friends. You may also consider taking continuing education classes and certification programs. You haven’t missed the bus. You just need to stay positive and make your own path, as you have done successfully so far.

We are relocating to Florida, and are in contract to sell our house with a Dec. 8 closing. Both my wife and I are still working. When should we let our employers know? If we tell them and the contract falls through, then what? We are working from home and we thought about asking if we could work from Florida, even if just until they go back to the office.
I haven’t heard of anyone moving from New York to Florida before. You crazy kids are real pioneers! You answered your own question. Florida is practically a New York borough, so why not ask your employer if they would allow you to work from Florida, before telling them you plan to move and give notice? If they agree, you can get settled before giving notice, or you may not have to quit your job at all. This pandemic is forcing most employers to rethink how and where work gets done. You might be able to have your early bird special and eat it, too.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work.

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