“Do what you love, the money will follow”

I’m thrilled to be able to share this real story about job transition with our readers. Paul’s story is an inspiration to us all, particularly in a time of great uncertainty. In relaying his experiences about job transition, he touches upon a range of common issues: past experience, career direction, education, networking, persistance and fortitude, patience and handling rejection. And this is yet another great story that shatters those old myths about being too old to learn, not to mention demonstrating a real aptitude, and excitement, for computer technology. Kudos to Paul!

I was in the wholesale produce business from a youngster (family business) till age 59. Part of that career as an owner and part as an employee, so I experienced the whole gamut of business responsibilities. Throughout my career I was always interested in and took a hands on approach to anything related to Information Technology. Gradually, the middleman was being forced out of the wholesale produce arena, so by age 59 I was looking for a position related to but not actually in produce. Sales and management in particular. Although I had a plethora of business acumen, no positions appeared on the horizon that really held my interest.

I decided at this point to invest in some higher education. I enrolled in a tech school and gained some Microsoft Computer Certifications. After about a year of schooling, I forged into the IT workplace. I networked like crazy and landed a contract job. After working as a contractor for a few months in Ohio, we decided to move to San Diego, CA. where our sons now live. I was able to obtain a job there in IT with General Electric, a full time position. This transition was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, getting reeducated and prospecting for a new job while having no experience. It took the acceptance of entering a new career at a pay scale far below what I was used to. It took a lot of patience and the ability to shrug off a long string of rejections. What kept me going throughout this transition was my burning desire to succeed in a career that I REALLY loved.

Now, given the sad state of my retirement plans after being deflated by the stock market debacle, I am very grateful that, although I may have to work longer than I anticipated before retiring, if in fact I ever do, at least I am doing what I enjoy. I am excited when I get up in the morning and look forward to troubleshooting and fixing computers. I have a pay raise coming in about three months, so I am starting to “catch up” to my accustomed livelihood.

It’s the old adage, “Do what you love, the money will follow.”

Paul Gailey 



  1. Bob

    At a time when I seek inspiration, your story is quite pleasant to savor.

    Similar factors prompt me to rethink my job search….from what’s been
    workable to me to what work I really choose to do. So reading of your
    success in following your personal direction, it’s reassuring that you did
    succeed in achieving what you’d set out to do.

    Reading about retraining for a career, I hope to follow in the footsteps of
    upgrading my computer skills through a community college nearby. And
    with assistance in tuition/books/seminars, this is appropriate to my goal.

    Simply reading about your experience reminds me that….if you do good
    things, good things happen.

    Best To You!

    Bob Nash
    Dallas, Georgia

  2. Kate


    Amazing story. I love it. With a husband just laid off at age 57 I find it inspirational and wonder if he could do something like this.

    Best of success,

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