Age is only a number; so why is a number standing between you and your dream job
You leave education on a mission to find your perfect career, to enter the “real world” and join the grown ups in the exciting world of work; but how long do you actually spend searching for that dream job before you just land somewhere.You start with a determination that you will accept nothing less than the best and you are happy to work you way up. Surely it couldn’t take more than a year to get noticed and be promoted from intern to Marketing Director … right?
Like a ton of bricks you face the reality that you have to get a job to live and there isn’t time to spend hours contemplating what exactly is right for you. So you end up in a job you don’t totally hate but you don’t really enjoy either; maybe you did get promoted a few times but there is no real ambition or desire. You just stay there as the pay check allows you to enjoy the weekend, which is much needed so you can forget the week.
It’s a vicious cycle and you consider changing careers but the thought of beginning again frightens you, you’re not 16 anymore and going back to live with mum and dad rent free isn’t an option.
Does that mean you can’t change you career after a certain age?
Of course not!
Sure it is much easier to change your career path when your newer to the working world but there is never an age where you should stop trying to find a career that makes you happy. Like anything the first step is the hardest but you won’t regret the change; it is all just having the confidence to go and do it.
Why do we stay in dead end jobs and fear getting out there to find something better?
Creatures of Habit
We can all be guilty of this from time to time; enjoying the structure and simply just getting used to what we have. I was in the same boat; before starting this blog I rarely considered doing anything else, I had my pattern, I took my steps forward but everything was comfortable so the effort to make the change almost seemed unnecessary.
Salary is a huge part of this, we get used to a set income and a career change gives a uncertainty that potentially we may need to adjust our spending habits for a while. But what is more important, that extra night out a month, that expensive growing shoe collection or a career that makes you truly happy. Long term it is obviously the latter so stop letting the thought of having to wear the same pair of shoes twice get in the way of making a move.
We don’t know what we want
Now rethinking, I should have started with this point. We all talk, well maybe more moan about wanting something better, a job where
you can feel more fulfilled but the majority of us have no idea what that even is; so how can you change your career when there is nothing to go to.
Sorry to say there is no quick fix, it will take time and work to find your passion.
When I finally made the decision that I wanted to move on, I sat down with my trusted notebook and I wrote down all my ideas; I mean I wrote hundreds. Some ridiculous, some impossible and others that were just laughable but getting everything out in front of me helped me realise where I wanted to be. I wrote my first blog post on the 5 Step Guide to Finding the
and that is literally where it began for me. Don’t think you have to go big and quit your job right now to go exploring, if you want to tread the waters then just dedicate half an hour to a few ideas.
How do you do it?
Firstly be prepared for the unexpected and for some setbacks if you are planning a career change. A career change does give you that renewed sense of optimism that you last felt on your first day of work but use your experience and knowledge to know that not everything works out perfectly first time.
That’s the great things about a career change you already know where the pitfalls might be so use that to your advantage.
Now I am no financial expert, far from it, when I got my mortgage I had to explain to our mortgage broker that if he thought he was
giving me the dummies guide, I needed the guide to that.
This is just about being sensible; a career change could possibly bring a deduction in income if you need time to train back up to your current
level. Despite your experience it is likely this new career path will require you to develop some different skills.
See what is viable for you and your household by doing a budget plan and tracking your outgoings to see how your income could adjust and if that works for you.
If nothing else it is amazing to see where your money goes, that gym membership that you pay for but never use or worse those bills that go out each month but your not quite sure why. I have been there and this section of my own career change was definitely an eye opener, with what I spent on Ubers I am surprised I don’t own shares!
Make Small Changes
Dip your toe in the water and see if you like the temperature first. Consider doing your “ideal career” as a bit on the side for a while, whilst you build your confidence and make sure it is right for you.
When it comes to your career, doing it on the side isn’t classed as cheating. If you want to start your own business for example then going all in can be a scary prospect and worse could mean a huge decrease on your income, so start small. Build up your client list, your website or whatever is needed to get you ready in the evenings whilst maintaining your current job.
Of course it won’t be easy and it will definitely require extra dedication but it will be worth it the end.
I considered going all in with my blog but I am far too much of a worrier for that and I had far too many strange dreams that I’d end up living in a box to completely drop my job. So instead I adjusted my hours so I could spend a bit more time here making it happen. (I am also pleased to say this means I am not currently writing this from a cardboard box)
Age is nothing but a number
Remember that one key phrase, so whether you’re doing this in your 20’s, 30’s or 50’s and 60’s it is never too late. Don’t get to your retirement wishing you had done something different.
Stop living for the weekend and make Monday to Friday count.