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At 65, He Found New Opportunities in a New City

Dave Morris persevered in the face of uncertainty with help from BACK TO WORK 50+.

spinner image Dave Morris Story Photo

After losing his job in a mass layoff at age 65, Dave Morris had some decisions to make.

“I knew I still had to work,” says Dave, now 68. “We made every kind of credit mistake you can make in your 40s, which is why I'm still working in my 60s.”

Dave and his wife of 42 years, Kelly, knew that paying the mortgage on their Los Angeles home wouldn’t be feasible for long without his salary. It was a good time to sell the house and leave L.A. “We looked for cities that were up and coming, where companies were opening new offices,” he says. Atlanta seemed to fit the bill, so in 2021 they sold their house and moved to Georgia.

Dave was hired at Visa’s Atlanta office in the spring of 2022 to facilitate emergency phone calls that, he explains, “happen behind the scenes when big systems break down.” But the hours were grueling and the pressure was intense. “I was having health problems and there was a lot of stress. It was unsustainable,” he says. Unable to keep up, he was let go after just one year.

The search for a new job was daunting. “These days, a job hunt is always on LinkedIn,” Dave says. “Your face is going to be out there. I was like, I'm 68 and I'm a Black man. How am I going to do? I had some fear about that.” 

Dave was diligent about seeking out every possible resource to find work. One day while doing internet research, he learned about BACK TO WORK 50+, one of several AARP Foundation programs designed to help older adults re-enter the workforce. He applied and was accepted, and that’s when things started to turn around.

Practically, the program helped Dave prepare for interviews, update his tech skills, and, most important for older jobseekers, learn how the job market had changed since his last job search. “Many of us come from a time where we saw an ad in the paper, knocked on doors, brought a paper résumé with us,” muses Dave. “BACK TO WORK 50+ is a great friendly environment to learn how things work now.”

With what he learned, Dave brought his LinkedIn profile up to date, which attracted the attention of a recruiter for a banking software company where Dave was ultimately hired as an incident call facilitator. The job functions are similar to what he’s done in the past, but he’s happier at work than he’s been in a long time.

“The work has aspects that interest me and engage me,” he says. “My manager is transparent and straightforward, and I feel appreciated, like I have something to contribute.”

An updated résumé and new skills were instrumental in helping Dave find a job, but it was the emotional support provided by the BACK TO WORK 50+ weekly group sessions that had the most impact.

“Hearing other participants’ stories really helped me get past fear and doubt,” he says. “I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get another job at my age, but failure was not an option. Confidence is so important, and I got that from BACK TO WORK 50+.” 

Learn more about BACK TO WORK 50+ and register for a workshop. 

Read more stories about how our programs have helped people find hope, and about the volunteers who give so much of themselves to help others.

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