Stop thinking that someone else has a job for you. Start creating jobs for someone else. If you're over the age of 30, your community needs you to create jobs, not take them.
You've got an interesting world of experience. Cross-industry experience no less. Start your own company -- don't let the big word fool you, it's meaningless. You'll pay far fewer taxes, you'll be able to get free and very inexpensive employees from schools, co-ops, interns, neighbours, and anyone willing to "start at the bottom".
It needn't be a big company. Just you and a physical assitant is all you need. And you want the physical assistant a) so you can shift your business into a different path to be flexible in five years and b) so you can worry about business admin stuff like client relations and invoicing and c) because someone should cover for you when you're on a beach somewhere enjoying life.
Clients don't tend to ask for credentials -- I own and run a programming company, and no client has ever asked. They ask about skills. You've got 'em.
And since it's your business, you can get just about any client by offering to do the work and not collect any money until the end. It's only a risk if you don't know what you're doing. If you do, you manage to buy a new client with nothing more than delaying payment by a month or two. That's effectively free client acquisition.
Dude, just dive in. Expect to pay $2'000 per year on accountants and lawyers, just to get it off your plate and so your government talks to them instead of you. You don't need insurance unless you're punching holes into walls -- and those premiums aren't a big deal either.
Get decent business cards, and give them to your neighbours. Each of them works in an office building somewhere. And each of their employers needs networking done at some point.
Take small jobs, they turn into big jobs. Take small clients, they turn into big clients. Take clients with bounded projects that have a start and an end. They'll become your best repeat business. Don't spend more than 25% of your typical month on a single client (with many exceptions of course).
Small business helps small business. Talk to other small business owners. Even your competitors. It doesn't hurt my business to help my small-business competitors. It just improves both of our small businesses vs the many many others. If you've got no one to talk to, talk to me.