Suddenly, 55 years old and unemployed!
In the last few Fellow Funders newsletters we have been unveiling the concepts that should be considered basic in the field of startups, whether you are an entrepreneur, which we prefer to call micro-entrepreneurs, or an investor. In the next newsletters we will continue with this work.
But today we are going to deal with an increasingly common problem that, with the right perspective, can become the opportunity of a lifetime: unemployment after the age of 50.
In the generation to which I belong (I will no longer be 50), we were used to develop our professional life with a reduced number of company changes and continuing to work until we reached retirement age.
When that time came, our closest environment considered that we were ready to take care of the grandchildren and practice high-risk sports such as petanque or dominoes. However, most of us were not prepared for a phenomenon that nowadays occurs with too much frequency and excessive frivolity: The ERE for age or its lighter version, the “voluntary” early retirement.
We don’t seem to have much choice
Nowadays, it is very common to see people around 50 years oldin our closest circle , who have been declared “obsolete” by the company they have worked for all their lives. Regardless of the economic problem that this situation causes, what hurts the most is that these people (among whom I include myself) are not finished. We have a fighting spirit, we want to continue in the breach and we have an intellectual and technical background that no country that wants to call itself civilized and in its “right mind” should do without.
And then the great dilemma arises: What do I do now, after working 10 hours a day and taking my computer with me on weekends to continue working? If our objective is to re-enter the labor market as an employee, the perspective, at least in Spain, does not seem too flattering. According to the latest statistics, 40% of the unemployed over 50 years old have been looking for a job for more than 4 years, and 72% take more than a year to find it… Heartbreaking!
So, what can you do?
Unfortunately in Fellow Funders we do not have miraculous solutions but we can propose you an idea… Have you ever considered the possibility of entrepreneurship? If you have strength and courage, what is the problem? Entrepreneurs with “a certain age” have a number of advantages (experience, perseverance, a relative economic cushion …) but we also have our disadvantages (family burdens…). As a fact, “American entrepreneurs between 56 and 64 years old have had the highest entrepreneurial activity in the last 10 years, launching 1 out of every 3 new companies in the U.S.” And why can’t this process be replicated in Spain?
A matter of attitude
In Europe, especially in Spain, we have the idea that entrepreneurial activity is linked to a young age where life is seen in a different way and habits and behaviors are more convenient to start a business activity on one’s own account. But why can’t a person over 50 be an entrepreneur? It is only a matter of carefully analyzing our capabilities, adopting a positive attitude towards life and above all: having enthusiasm… A lot of enthusiasm. Of course, there are going to be a lot of bumps to avoid. Many days you will return home with the feeling that “today I have taken the world by storm” and others you will return with the feeling of “why the hell do I have to look for these problems“. And yet, there’s one thing I can tell you: if you adopt a positive attitude, the experience can be wonderful.
At Fellow Funders we can tell you about our experience. A large part of partners, after a long working life in the financial world, decided one day to take the plunge and become entrepreneurs. It has not been an easy process and we still have a long way to go. We must tell you that for some (including myself) the departure of their company was relatively traumatic and required a certain “grieving period“. However, we can also tell you that the experience is paying off. We have been forced to retrain and “reinvent” ourselves, to improve our skills and abilities and to constantly update our competencies.
We remain committed to help professionalize alternative investment and we believe that this (specifically Equity Crowdfunding) should be basic for the development and consolidation of the innovation fabric in Spain. In Fellow Funders we are committed to maintain at all times the principles of Fellow Funders (trust, transparency, security and long-term monitoring of projects), the very essence of our company.
Do you want to help us achieve our goals? Do you want to join the Fellow Funders world? We are waiting for you!