If you are out of work and feel like giving up you should take a leaf out of Paul Smith’s book.
Fifty-year-old Paul lost his occupation of 25 years as a furniture salesman just weeks before Christmas.
Paul, of Mansfield Road, Alfreton, applied for 240 jobs in three weeks without a single response.
The Alfreton man was ready to throw the towel in but instead he decided to re-train as a barber - a job he had always wanted to do.
“It was hard,” said Paul. “I was thinking, ‘oh my god, am I ever going to get a job again with all these young ones up-to-date with computers.
“I have never signed on in my life - I started work on a building site when I was 15.”
Paul said the experience of getting knocked back so many times left him feeling quite down and physically ill, but luckily a breakthrough came.
He had always been interested in barbering and decided to reach for his ambition before it was too late.
So he accessed a training course in Leicester with help from Alfreton Job Centre and was promised a job at Mansfield’s Salon 34 if he completed the course.
“I found it quite easy because you have to be able to talk to people and I am used to that from working in retail,” said Paul.
“At 50-plus I thought I was too old but this is not the case - it is never to late to learn.”
He now works at the Mansfield hairdresser as a barber.
Not only that, he has also been offered the chance to work as a trainer for the Leicester-based British Barbers’ Association.
Said Paul: “So from thinking I would never get a job at 52 years old I have now got a job and I am starting to train to be a trainer.
“There is work for us oldies and you can do it. You just have to put yourself out really.
“I thought I would never get another job and it was soul-destroying but this has really changed my life.”