Almost every girl I knew have a thirties crisis when they are single. Our biological clock is no longer just ticking but with each tick, it’s like a bomb blasting with the tick. Boom, boom, boom.. Are you married? No. Boom! Do you have children? Nope. Boom! What about a boyfriend? Nah. Boom!
But mid-thirties crisis is different. It affects everyone, male or female. It’s silly to me sometimes when I think about it but I know deep down I am affected as well. When you are in your teens, it’s the period you enjoy your life and the worries you had been your studies and whether you are popular enough among your friends. Comes to your twenties, fresh from school, ready to go into the working world, gear up for the real battle that schools have prepared you for. You make mistakes at work, you shrugged it off as a learning curve. You hate your boss? You switch to another job. You hate the canteen food? You job hop again. Not enough cash? You look through the classified job ads.
Then you hit the thirties, you start to look deeper into your personal life. Are you a homeowner? Do you still live with a roommate? How’s your social life? Are you eating right? You started to read health tips and getting into yoga or Pilates or whatever is in trend at the moment. You start to panic at your savings and frightening easily about having enough for your retirement funds.
Begin the mid-thirties, you then realized the job you are holding is not enough to satisfy you anymore whether it is passion, money or the career ladder you wished you have climbed. Welcome to the mid-thirties! Some realized it earlier in their late twenties, some in their thirties and some of us in our mid-thirties. It’s what you need to do now to change the course of your life. Alterations only happen in your hands.
First of all, identify your goals and the meaning of success to you. Some think that having a posh apartment right in the middle of the bright light city and cruising the latest car as successful. Some want a business that generates steady income and be a successful business owner. Some hunger over a top position that earns them 5 or even 6 figures a month. Others just want to have a family of their own and a dozen of screaming kids, a grumbling partner and an adorable pup are enough.
Whatever your goals are, you need to know you can reach for it, just be realistic about it. We are in our thirties and we can’t afford to fall and pick ourselves up as easy as it used to be when we are in our twenties. This is because we are getting older (I couldn’t work past midnight even I want to), more bills to pay, our parents are retiring and responsibilities are weighing on our shoulders. But all is said, it is not Mission Impossible to get what we want.
Before you switch your job, look into the possibilities of making your current job more relevant to your needs. That is the easiest way of reaching your goals. If it’s passion you seek, then transfer to another role in another department. If it’s more money you want, find out what you lack in terms of promotion.
Deep dive into your financial health. It’s scary and it’s depressing (sometimes) but it’s a necessary evil. Knowing how much cash you need to set aside in case you falter is important. This will soften the blow should you fall. Now, see how much of spare cash you can manipulate. Is it enough for tide you over for a long break, finding yourself? Is it enough for you to invest in a business? Does it allow you the freedom of backpacking in a whim?
Research into the things or role you want. No longer want to be a pen pushing executive and wish you can serve coffee in your own cafe? Sure, read up on business books and you might want to sign up classes on how to become a coffee connoisseur. Want to leave your boring 9-to-6 job and be a teacher? Can, please find out the courses you’ll have to complete in. Want to be a stay home mum? Even there are articles out there online, detailing the pros and cons.
Look up friends or friend of friends or friend of a friend of friends, someone who had the experience of going through the same thing. It’s motivating to hear success stories in a similar calibre. They could also advise you on the pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. Introduce you to the relevant contacts to ease you into it. Or even (finger-crossed) invest in what you want to do.
To me, this is the most important check you need to do. Check that you have the support of your family and closest friends. They don’t have to support you financially, being there for you mentally and emotionally will be good enough for you to know that someone will be there when you need to vent your frustrations. Or to drive you around because you gave up your company car that goes with your last job. Or to expertly handle the accounts of your newly ecommence business.
Your mentality. Have a few checkpoint in your timeline to allow yourself to stop, breathe and evaluate your current situation. Weight the consequences of moving forward versus not moving forward. I have seen many folks get themselves into depression when things don’t go as smoothly as it should be. Maybe the new job sucks. Maybe you are not getting enough customers. Maybe you are not pregnant. Again. Try to see what else you could have done better and what else can you do more. Talk to someone (that’s what check 4 and 5 comes in handy).
Just do it! If you have covered safely on all the checks above and more, give yourself a chance and dip your toes into the ocean once. It might not be as cold as you think.
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