Employment Options at 60

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By the time most of us reach the age of 60 there are usually a few age-related health issues to deal with. Cronic health problems generally get worse as we age, making it difficult to perform at our previous level. It can make full-time employment more stressful having to deal with physical or mental issues, especially when you are working around younger people who don’t have to worry about things like that. I had a long career using computers for mechanical design, facilities planning, audio and video editing, and documentation control. Although I haven’t been employed for the last 3 years, my Linkedin page still has a list of my skills and work experience. The page isn’t setup to seek employment. But, from time to time, people will contact me with employment opportunities. Most of the contacts are from recruiters, which I generally ignore.

My documentation management experience is very specific to electronic device design. It can be hard for a company to find someone who has that specific skill set. Recently I was contacted by a recruitment consultant at a large well-known American company. The opportunity looked like a perfect fit and the work location was less than ten miles from my home. The problem was that I started thinking about how much time I would have to spend looking at a computer screen again. I was recently diagnosed with a PVD. Posterior vitreous detachment is when the gel that fills the eyeball separates from the retina. It’s a common condition with age. PVD can cause floaters or flashes of light, which often fade over time. PVD isn’t painful or sight-threatening. My condition resulted in a permanent floater in my left eye. People who are near sighted are more prone to the condition. I feel that it was the 40+ years looking at computer screens for 8 hours a day that is to blame. I also have peripheral vascular disease (peripheral neuropathy) which causes discomfort in my legs. Again, from sitting too much in front of a computer.

Because of this, I decided not to pursue the employment opportunity. I know you are probably thinking that I had to be sitting at a computer to write this. Yes, but at home I can limit my time to only a few hours each day. If I was ten years younger, I would have jumped at the chance to work for this company. I just didn’t want to be the guy that had excuses to not be at their computer when there was work to be done. I worked with someone like that. This guy was probably in his early 60’s and would often be away from his desk chit chatting with anyone who would listen. I know that anyone who reads this blog may think that I am making excuses for not trying to find a job while complaining about my struggle to make ends meet. I’m just trying to document my financial challenges in view of my health limited employment options.

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