What is a good career for a retired painting contractor?

Ilikeshinythings

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My father has owned his own painting business for over thirty years, but it is becoming harder and harder for him to do business whilst competing with the under-cutting illegal immigrants in the field. He does business ethically and the cost of insuring and paying a worker would leave him with little for himself, so he has been painting entirely by himself for the past couple of years. At this time, he's become tired of it and would like to pursue a career in a different field.

I understand that a lot of you are professionals and you may have very useful information that I could pass on. I know it is a broad question, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

HarryN

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A couple of general ideas:

a) Does he have any hobbies that can be turned into a small business ?

b) He knows business, and has run one. He should put an adv up on craigslist - resume of sorts.

c) What kind of work do you do ? You don't need to tell me, just ask the question - is there something he could do for you ?

d) Painting contracter - maybe be a solar panel installation contractor ?
 

Ilikeshinythings

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Thanks for the brainstorming Harry. He has a couple of hobbies. He had the idea of possibly becoming a poker dealer since he has a strong liking of the game, and they make decent money. It's a hard position to get into, and it requires taking time off, taking a course, and all of that would leave them without $$. I have mentioned perhaps running a different business, but it seems like he would rather be a part of an already established company so that he would get days off, and vacation time, instead of having to plan them himself (the opposite of what most young entrepreneurs want!). As for me--I'm a student. I am two courses away from a BS in business admin and I work at a fancy restaurant. I've considered opening my own business, but I don't have the time for now. After schools over, I will pursue something big.

Now, solar panel technology has really taken off. We actually did a case study of a company who, instead of using flat panels attached to motors to collect sunlight throughout the day, uses "solar tubes" that are cylindrical and collect sunlight from all angles all day. This is extremely interesting stuff! If you have any more information on this subject, how to go about starting a career in them, and how i could convince him to look into it, please share! Again, thanks a mil. for the response!!
 

HarryN

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Given that you are nearly out of college, I am guessing your Dad is pushing 50 pretty hard - like me. It gets a lot harder to get a job and change careers when you are over 40 than under, and every year is that much tougher - even in the same industry.

I will give you an example - I have used computers since mainframes, written code in several languages, used just about every version of DOS and WIN, have some (limited) experience with Linux, etc. I also do business development for a living.

I applied to work at several internet companies (big brand names) - pretty much got the same answer from the 25 year old's there - "We don't think anyone as old as you can understand a computer, the internet, and business." I agree wtih part of it - there were a lot of internet companies that I just didn't see how they would make money, and they went bust.

Sorry for that rant, the point is, it can be a challenging transformation. He has to want it, and it will take real investment of his time to become familiar with the companies in the industry.

Probably 3 - 4 days in front of a computer running searches for either solar panel installation companies, or solar panel builders will help. Sun Power is a big one.

There are trade shows all over for solar related fields. He might consider spending a week and go to one, including some of the classes. If the show is out of town, he might spend $ 5 K to learn what he needs to, and meet people in the business. On the frugal side, he can just drive up to a local show (SD or LA) for a day and tour the exhibits floor. Have him bring business cards and a resume.

Good luck.
 
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