Quite out of the blue, I received an email at work from a former colleague and somewhat friend, from a previous location and position. He, (I'll call him Pete) I, and a third person owed an expensive software system together for a few years, teamed up on some contract assignments, and worked together. That situation disbanded over 15 years ago. The third person died last year in a freak accident, and Pete and I had an email exchange over the death and funeral arrangements. Prior to that, I'd had no contact with him for literally years and another acquaintance had told me that Pete had died (which each of us admitted was not a surprise given some of his behavior.)
A bit of background: my profession is one in which there are varying levels of licensing (mandatory) and certifications (voluntary.) I chose to go for voluntary certifications after getting the mandatory basic licensing, as well as several professional designations, and I obtained an MBA along the way. Pete got the basic level of licensing, and although he was a candidate for the higher certifications and designations, he never completed them and, in fact, took the view that they were a waste. He also has had a lot of really great opportunities that came his way, that he squandered. One example was the opportunity to present findings to a government-based public commission in a hearing-type situation. (One prepares a report, appears before the commission for a particular economic position usually in opposition to another and a decision rendered.) He was engaged to prepare two reports on two separate issues. He completed the first and submitted it, then showed up both drunk and hungover to the commission; he never delivered the second report. In another instance, he was recruited for and obtained a very nice position as a reviewer of other work product. He didn't want to give up his business of creating the work product, so for one week he did the review job while trying to run the production business. On Tuesday of the second week, he just never showed up to the review job.
Now it's 16+ years on, and he's nearing age 60. He left one specialty of the business to enter another, dropping all of his licensing for the first specialty. The second specialty completely dried up and he's having trouble getting "back" into the first.
(sorry for the length)
Last week, he sent me an email. He wanted to know if I could recommend a program that he could take, like graduate school or a few courses, to make a career shift to essentially reviewing the product rather than producing it.
I really can't advise him on this. I can tell him what I did all those years ago, getting the designations and the MBA, but I was in my twenties then and he knows that I did those things. I could tell him that when we, in my current firm, are seeking candidates to do the analysis that he is considering, we look to hire them out of undergrad or graduate school, and that he would be wasting his time (assuming he stuck with it.) I don't want to take on the position of being his advisor because, frankly, I did do that back then and he neither accepted nor appreciated my counsel.
What I want to do, basically, is punt.
Could you help me edit this suggested email to him?
"Hello Pete, it's been a few years since I was in school and I'm not up to date on the programs and outcomes. I'd suggest registering at This Professional Forum (www.thisprofessionalforum
dot whatever) which has a very active board where you could pose this question and receive better answers. Good luck, CB."
Refinements? Questions? Ignore altogether? I'd appreciate any advice.