3412 Words | Reading Time: 20 Minutes
Is it too late to become successful and make something out of life if you are 40 and have outdated skills, no college, and you’re unemployed?
At what age is it too late for change? You might be wondering this if you’ve recently turned 40 or are nearing 40, and you’re feeling disappointed or stuck in life. Are your career and finances not where you want them to be? Are you feeling unfulfilled, lacking purpose, or in need of direction?
Perhaps you’ve recently been laid off from your job, or you had to quit for personal reasons which you didn’t foresee. Or, maybe you’ve finally quit an unfulfilling job where you were getting burnt out. You thought you would find something better, but so far it hasn’t happened. Maybe now you’re going through the shameful process of applying for unemployment.
For many of you, it’s simply that you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for the last ten or twenty years, and now that your kids are older and can take care of themselves, you’re finding yourself with a lot of free time. If this is the case, you’re probably bored and realizing you should find a job, right? Are you wondering what jobs are out there for you, and if you have the skills to get them? Are you worried that perhaps the skills you do have are now outdated?
You want to find work that you enjoy, that is connected to your passions and gives you a sense of purpose. You’d like a job that provides you with the financial freedom and lifestyle you desire and deserve to have. If you’re starting to doubt that you’ll ever get there, don’t give up yet. Do yourself the favour of reading to the end of this article.
Who Is Unemployed, and Why?
If you’ve been unemployed or underemployed and you don’t know what to do next, you’re not alone. In the U.S. and Canada, about 4-6 percent of adults are unemployed.
Those numbers can be much higher in particular areas hit harder by declining industries, which can see mass unemployment as the economy changes and entire industries come and go.
If you’ve been dealing with unemployment, you might be feeling the daily shame and disappointment about where you live, how you live, the bills piling up, your lack of purpose and your lack of savings.It is a painful place to be in, but there is hope, and it’s not too late for change. Click To Tweet
Many of you probably had an image of what life would be like at 40. You saw yourself owning a nice home, a nice car, having a solid nest egg of savings, being landed in a career you enjoy and having stability. It can be incredibly heartbreaking and disappointing to enter your 40s with those dreams unmaterialized.
It might seem like all hope is lost, and that start-up success is a young person’s game. You might think it’s too late for you – but it’s not. If you are ready and willing to take some risks and make some smart changes, you can still have the life you’ve dreamed of.
Regional or national unemployment rates reflect what percentage of the potential workforce is currently without work. You might hear it discussed in the news and by politicians and economists as an indicator of the overall health of the economy.
It is also important to consider that unemployment rates demonstrate the percentage of the labour force currently without work. The way the potential labour force is defined can exclude those not reported as looking for work such as students, retirees, and homemakers. The unemployment rate reflects only those who report that they are available to work, and are actively looking for work but cannot find it.
Statistics on the unemployment rate include more than just those currently receiving unemployment insurance. This is because there are many more long-term unemployed individuals whose benefits have run out and are no longer covered, as well as those who did not apply or were not eligible.
The Employment Gap
The definition of long-term unemployment is when an individual has been out of work for over 27 weeks. About 19% of the total unemployment rate is made of up the long-term unemployed, and those statistics are likely under-counted.
When you have been out of work for a long time, there will also be significant gaps of time on your resume which are difficult to explain to a potential new employer. An experiment where over 12,000 resumes were sent to 3,000 different employers found that those with longer jobless stretches in their resumes were significantly less likely to get a callback.
An employment gap in your resume is not the only reason why the more time you spend out the labour market the harder it can be to break back in.The struggle of the long-term unemployed to recover can also be due to their declining confidence, fading memory of skills and training, skills becoming outdated, and declining career networks. Click To Tweet
That’s why I highly suggest updating your skills to coincide with modern demand, and developing an in-demand High Income Skill. Developing a new high-income skill will help you attract employers, as it will help you climb the Wealth Ladder and become a specialist, or better yet an expert.
Why Don’t You Just Get a job?
Some regions of the world are hit much harder by unemployment than others, when the types of jobs and industries available there face decline due to being replaced by automation, being outsourced, or other changes in production and demand.
When a region’s major industry has a downturn, such as the decline of oil prices putting many people in Alberta out of work, this can cause a spike in regional unemployment. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics shows the wide variance in unemployment rates in different states. If you are living in one of the parts of the world with mass unemployment, you may be more likely to feel like it is out of your control and there is no hope to turn things around.
No one wants to be unemployed and broke – so why are so many people stuck in this spot?
People around you might not understand why you are unemployed. Friends and family might be pressuring you, judging you, criticizing you, and shaming you. Speaking of shame, it’s possible that you could get a job right now, but not one you’d be proud of.Many of you would probably rather be unemployed than face the shame of being caught working somewhere that feels beneath you. Click To Tweet
While it isn’t helpful to make excuses, you can try to explain to your loved ones that there are many reasons that can contribute to a person becoming unemployed. Let’s discuss some of the factors that can result in unemployment.
‘Frictional’ or Voluntary Unemployment
One type of unemployment is ‘frictional unemployment’, which is when unemployment is the choice of the individual or due to personal reasons. While you might be facing this type of joblessness due to painful life circumstances, the good news is that frictional unemployment is more likely to be short term.
Some of the personal circumstances that can lead to frictional or voluntary unemployment are personal tragedy or trauma, having to care for children or ill family members, or your own health issues. Many people are medically unable to work, due to chronic or sudden illness or injury, such as recovering from a car accident.
It’s also common to feel the need to quit your job or feel unable to find work if you are in an emotional crisis, such as a divorce, grieving the death of a loved one, or recovering from a traumatic incident.
Often, seeking therapy to recover from trauma or to become mentally stronger can help put you in a better position to seek work.
Some people face certain types of discrimination that can make it harder to find and retain work. Or maybe you’ve had to move to a new city or area, and can’t find jobs that fit with your experience and training.
You may have found yourself in voluntary unemployment because you want a better career but are stuck with not being able to get the job you want.Many people leave their jobs because they were unhappy, burnt out, unfulfilled, and underpaid - only to find that they aren’t able to find the job they hoped would be out there for them. Click To Tweet
People can be unemployed because they don’t have the education or skills needed for jobs in demand or the jobs they want. Or they may be highly trained, but are not able to find a job that utilizes or financially rewards the education and skills they have developed.
These people can be out of work because they feel lost and unsure about their future, and don’t even know what kind of work they want to look for, or what type of skills they need to acquire.
A lack of motivation, negative mindset, low self-esteem and pessimism can all also lead to and prolong unemployment.
Structural Unemployment: Forces Beyond Your Control
Another type of unemployment is structural unemployment, which is caused by technological advances that reduce the need for workers, and the outsourcing of jobs to other parts of the world. These broad economic and political forces at play can feel far beyond your control.
Modernization and globalization have led to sweeping changes in the economy. With increasingly advanced technology, many industries have become more automated. Think of an automotive factory – work that used to be done by thousands of men can now be done by just a few intelligent and powerful machines.
Technological advancement is a wonderful thing, but if you are one of the people that has been put out of work because of it, you may feel incredibly discouraged to see your skills and craft becoming obsolete. This problem is quite common for unemployed people in their 40s, because their skills are often outdated by the time they want to re-enter the job market.
Modernization and automation has resulted in certain pockets of high unemployment, such as the “Rust Belt” in the United States where there are tens of thousands of people left unemployed due to factory closures. This area used to be a major hub of manufacturing, providing good middle-class jobs. But the abandoned factories has led to the name Rust Belt.
With globalization, economic borders have become much easier to cross: more goods are shipped around the world, and the global trend has been to reduce the taxes and barriers that prevent this movement of goods. In manufacturing, it’s difficult for developed countries to compete with developing countries.
The cost of labour is so much higher that companies have flooded to outsource production to the developing world, where goods can be produced at a fraction of the cost. As factories close down or move abroad, they have left a wave of unemployed workers in their wake.
Cyclical Unemployment: The Downward Spiral
What if you aren’t one of the frictionally unemployed who is out of work for personal reasons, or one of the structurally unemployed who lost work due to industrial change? You may fall into the category of cyclical unemployment, also called demand-deficient unemployment.
This can be a general trend across different workplaces, or it could be in particular industries that have a decline in demand. For example, a teacher might find that their local school districts are full and not hiring anymore teachers. In cyclical unemployment, you have skills and training that you are ready and willing to use, but there simply aren’t enough jobs in your field.
What causes these cycles of low demand for skilled workers?Cyclical unemployment occurs when the economy is in a recession. Click To Tweet
Think of the Great Depression of 1929, or the financial crisis of 2008. In a recession, people have less consumer confidence and less money to spend. As they spend less, there is less demand for goods and services. Companies are unable to sell as much of their goods, and their profits fall. They then have to lay off the workers they can no longer afford to pay.
More people become out-of-work, and then more people are unable to go shopping or spend money. This leads to even more layoffs – and so the downward spiral continues, causing mass unemployment.
Like structural unemployment, individuals have very little control over cyclical unemployment.
If reading this is getting you down and making you feel even more hopeless, what I have to say next is what you really need to hear, because there is hope.
Turning Your Life Around: The Growth Mindset
Now that we’ve established the different reasons people are unemployed and how they can get stuck in a jobless state, let’s get into the good stuff: how do you get out of it and turn things around? How do you acquire skills that will help you get a job in today’s economy? How do you change your life for the better? You might have to start by changing your mindset.
Stanford researcher Carol Dweck studied why some people can make a change and succeed, while others remain stuck. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she described the former as having a “growth mindset” and the latter as having a “fixed mindset”.
A fixed mindset means we believe what we are is all we can be: that we have a certain level of intelligence, creativity, and skill that we can’t change – or that it’s too late to change.
Those with a fixed mindset tend to give up easily, avoid challenges and growth, see no point in putting forth effort, and feel threatened by or resentful of the success of others.
I believe in you, because I’ve seen how many people sign up for my program and develop new high-income skills that change their life. High-Ticket Closing is a high-income skill that can drastically change your life for the better, and the students that sign up for my High-Ticket Closer Certification Program are of all ages. High-Ticket Closing is the type of business that is quick to pick up for someone that doesn’t want to spend several years learning a new skill.
With the right mindset, you’ll see that the way things have been is not the way they always will be. With growth and effort, you can improve and develop your capacities. Remember that your failures are opportunities for growth. Keep persevering through obstacles and use feedback and criticism as useful learning experiences. Continue to learn. Continue to change. Continue to improve yourself. When you see other people your age succeeding, use it as inspiration. Strive to learn from them and have confidence that with hard work, you can be where they are.
Carol Dweck said, “My research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
Building New Neural Pathways
Research and scientific evidence proves that our brains keep developing even as adults, and so do our capabilities and our ability to acquire new skills.
Research in the field of neuroscience has found evidence of something called neuroplasticity, to show us that our brains are remarkably “plastic”, meaning they have the capacity to adapt and change regardless of your age. The thoughts, habits, and patterns we feel stuck in develop as we use neural networks and pathways over and over again. These paths in our brain become stronger the more we use them.
Think of a trail in the forest: the more you walk along it, the more indented the trail becomes. This makes it even easier and more likely for you to follow the exact same path the next time. While that might seem like bad news, it isn’t. We can change our neural networks.
By repeatedly walking a new path instead of the old one, we can develop thoughts and habits that can move us toward the success we desire and deserve.
Reasons to Have Hope: Late Life Success Stories
Are you still having trouble believing in yourself? If your mindset still feels negative and fixed, let’s look at some examples of people who didn’t get their breaks or become successful until after 40.
Martha Stewart, Joy Behar, and Vera Wang all started their careers after the age of 40. Chip Wilson founded LuluLemon when he was 42, and Donald Fisher founded The Gap at age 41. Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store when he was 44. Imagine if these now-millionaires and billionaires had given up at age 40! If you’ve told yourself it’s too late for you, it’s time to accept that that is just an excuse and the wrong mindset. Get inspired by these late-bloomer success stories, and know that you could achieve late-life success, too.
If you are still refusing to believe this type of dramatic turn of events could happen to you, you may be telling yourself that those famous stories are just anomalies. But research from the Kauffman Foundation found that three-quarters of new entrepreneurs were aged 35-64, and most of them were over 45.
This is corroborated by research from the U.S. Census Bureau and MIT, which showed that in the fastest growing new businesses, the average age of the founder was 45.
The Kauffman Foundation found that those entrepreneurs who started their business later in life were five times more likely to be successful after five years, compared to those who started their business just out of college.
So there you have it. The research proves that most entrepreneurs are over 40, and that older entrepreneurs are more likely to thrive. Research shows that it is never too late, that many people have started a business after 40 and become successful in their 40s, and that there are many advantages to starting a business later in life.
You have more wisdom, life experience, contacts, and skills. You also have more self-awareness: you know who you are, what you like to do, and what your strengths and weaknesses are.
While we may envy those who got their big break at a young age, this envy is counterproductive: it won’t get you anywhere.I firmly believe that you don’t have to be young to become a success story. If you have the willingness to dig deep, believe in yourself, acquire new skills and take smart risks, your big break can happen in your 40s. Click To Tweet
If You Thought It Was Too Late To Be Rich…
By now, hopefully you believe that it is not too late to turn your life around and become a success story. Now that you have hope, what should be your next steps towards the life you deserve?
You may be thinking that you’ve already read more generic advice and personal development books then you can count. What you need something new, something different, and something current.
The first part of the success puzzle is your attitude, confidence, and mindset. When it comes to getting rich, the next part of the equation is finding the right training and mentorship program to give you a specific direction to go in with your new-found confidence. If you thought it was too late to get rich, you were wrong. Now you understand that some of the most successful people didn’t become successful in life until after the age of 40.
There are several different reasons why you might be unemployed. For example, you might be stuck in cyclical unemployment, structural unemployment or frictional unemployment.
These states of unemployment can cause you to feel stuck or hopeless. However, there are several famous late-life success stories that should give you inspiration. Martha Stewart, Chip Wilson and Vera Wang are just a few examples of people who found success later in life and became millionaires or billionaires after age 40.
Developing a growth mindset can help you find success after 40. All you have to do is maintain that growth mindset and acquire new skills that are relevant to today’s booming industries.
If you’re 40 and unemployed, you need to start believing in yourself, and bet on yourself. You get out of life what you put into it. You likely need to update your skills with a modern training program such as my High-Ticket Closer Certification Program. This way, you can start developing the type of relevant skills that will catapult you into success in today’s economy.