The modern job market isn’t so pleasant to those in their more advanced years, as many job offers come with age restrictions. Despite being qualified for job offers, older folks are discouraged from applying due to age restrictions. At Fetchly, we believe everyone should have equal opportunity to apply for jobs, and age should never be a limitation. Alexa from the QA department shares her experience with changing careers, from her 20’s down to her early 40s when she finally landed her dream job. She talked about some steps she took to go after her dreams despite being older, and finally, all her efforts paid off when she finally landed a remote role with Fetchly Labs. Alexa shares her story in a bid to encourage those who are older and believe they have more to offer to society to go after fulfilling those goals. According to Alexa, age doesn’t have to be a reason to settle for less either because companies like Fetchly labs are multicultural and unbiased in their recruitment process.
The reality of the modern job market makes it quite hard for older adults to look past their age and go after their dreams. Competing with professionals in their 20s can be discouraging as many organizations aren’t so keen on employing people over 40.
Thankfully, there’s always hope, which is why I’ve decided to share my story with the world.
I hope that talking about my career experience will change the narrative and motivate anyone in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s to chase after their dream job.
Let’s get into it!
The Beginning of My Career Journey
After taking a 4-year course in Nutrition at the Federal Fluminense University (UFF), Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), I struggled for months to get a job. Eventually, I settled for a sales representative job because it was available then. While working as a sales rep, I still searched for jobs within my field of study because I really wanted hands-on experience. Eventually, I got a job as the Head of Planning and Production for an industrial kitchen.
Getting that job in my early 20s felt like a major accomplishment because I finally got to work in my field. However, the job was extremely stressful as I had to work night shifts, holidays, and even weekends! Not to mention that the working conditions weren’t the best. We lacked water and electricity to work on some days.
After working for 3 years, I became pregnant, so I quit the job to focus on raising my daughter. However, after 2 years, I decided it was time to start working again.
From Maternity Leave to Getting Fired
At the time, I was in search of an opportunity that would give me the flexibility I needed to spend time with my family. Fortunately, a good friend and neighbor recommended that I take the same 10-month Executive Secretary course she took to get a job at a law firm. I took the course, and soon enough, I was hired by the same law firm to work in the financial department.
Regardless of my inexperience in handling electronic billing, I learned quickly and provided excellent results in my department. I moved up the ranks in no time and became the supervisor of the E-billing team. Everything ran smoothly until I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter.
I assumed that after my maternity leave, I’d continue working, but when I returned, I was fired. Losing the job was a very sad and depressing time for me because I found it really enjoyable. Also, considering my age and how long it would take to get another job made me unhappy.
I started searching for jobs again, but after trying for 5 years without success, I focused on spending time with my family. Soon, I became pregnant again.
Starting all over in a New Country
I moved to Canada with my family to start over. The long-term plan was to get a permanent resident visa in Canada, so I started taking a nursing course at Fanshawe College. After my first semester, the Coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020 and changed all our plans.
We had no choice but to move back to Brazil, where we shared a room in my mother’s house because we literally had to start from scratch. I knew I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mum forever, so I kept trying to find a flexible job. I applied for several roles daily but didn’t get any offers. I almost gave up because many companies didn’t want to hire someone in her 40s.
Still, I felt like I had a chance, so I changed my strategy and focused on applying for administrative positions based on my previous job experience. After several unsuccessful interviews, I finally got positive feedback in December 2020.
New Job, New Me
I received a LinkedIn message from Michael Huey, Fetchly Lab’s CEO and co-founder. After two interviews, I got the job as a Quality Assurance Analyst regardless of my age and experience. I was so thrilled!
When I joined Fetchly, I had to take courses related to UI/UX experience to be more prepared for the QA role. Also, Tim, the UX/UI lead at Fetchly, gave me some extra training to help me fit into the work environment.
The main challenges I had were adapting to remote work and the “start-up” company lifestyle because it was all new to me. I also had to learn to become more detail-oriented and to organize my routine at home as I’ve been out of work for 5 years. Starting all over in an entirely new work setting was not easy, but thankfully I had the help and support of my superiors.
I’ve been working with Fetchly for 1 year and 8 months. While I was working, I got pregnant with my fourth child. At first, I was scared to tell my boss for fear of losing my job, but eventually, I did, and he was very understanding. I took my maternity leave, got back, and my job was still waiting for me.
Working with Fetchly has been an amazing experience so far. The company is multi-cultural, embraces diversity, and offers flexible and comfortable working conditions. Working in an organization that encourages growth has helped me learn new skills and improve on existing ones.
Overall, it’s been a beautiful journey. I am grateful for every single professional opportunity that crossed my path because they all contributed to the person I am now.
Age should never be a limitation. No matter what, we all have dreams, and all of them should be validated. Make a firm decision to break through all obstacles that may come and go after that idealized job.
*This is not the official Fetchly opinion but the opinion of the writer who is employed by Fetchly*