Sharukh is a talented freelance writer and writes fantastically (and beautifully, I must add) about a country he is so deeply in love with – India. His lyrical words will transport you there mentally and in soul, and that is why I jump at the opportunity when he offers to write a post for MiddleMe!!
So, you’ve worked really hard all these years and have established your career in a certain job sector that gives you decent income to survive but does not offer you emotional and personal satisfaction that can keep you going. Life situations can be quite tricky at times when you are stuck with making choices. With 18 years of work experience behind me, I realize that the scariest thing in life as a human being is making decisions. Decisions that will lead to consequences and consequences that you’re unsure of. Your actions may work the way you imagine it, or it may backfire and you might end up in a worse situation. It’s a gamble, and the longer you take to decide, the more frustrated you become.
Changing a career in midlife is a lot harder than changing careers when you’re relatively young. This is because early in life you don’t have enough responsibilities to shoulder and you don’t have enough experience, so you can excuse yourself that you were experimenting with various career choices and employers would believe you. Early in life, you don’t have a family, kids and various bills that you end up paying now. Changing a career after working a decade or more can be challenging because there would be questions about why you want a career change now and what else can you do better other than your current job profile. So, how do you decide if you really want to give your life and career a shift that can have lasting consequences and how do you accomplish it?
Experienced Man or a Puppet – What You Want to Be
Are you stuck in a job that provides you financial profit, but you have little scope for improving your skills or learning something new? I have seen a lot of people doing that, they just wake up in the morning, catch a train, go to the office, do what they’re told to do and commute home and that’s it. They continue to do that for years and years and there is no scope for improving their skills or talent. Of course, people would argue that sticking with a good pay job is important especially in a crumbling economy and rising unemployment situation. However, think about this – you only work for 40 to 50 years. This means you only have these years to hone your skills and talent. If you end up wasting this for financial profit you will certainly have money on your side, but you’ll be someone who learned nothing in life except earning money and following orders. So, what you want to be when you’re old, an experienced man/woman who knows how to fight life battles or a puppet that follow orders?
Understanding the Cause of Dissatisfaction
It’s not that those people who continue doing the same job over and over are always satisfied with their job. Every individual has different ways to tackle his or her dissatisfaction. You might be feeling frustrated because you don’t want to leave your job and end up in a financial mess, but you’re not happy emotionally, but that is completely fine. When you’re unhappy with your current job you need to understand what’s causing you dissatisfaction. Is it the nagging and irritating boss? Or unhealthy work environment? Or your commute issues? Or that you’re just tired of working in the same format. Once you realize the root cause of dissatisfaction, you will be able to make better decisions about how to go in the future. Take your time to decide how you want to eliminate this dissatisfaction and what kind of options are open to you and how much you’re interested in developing a certain skill. If you’re not much interested you will end up in a frustrating situation to change career ten years later.
Do What You Love, But Protect What You Do
When you’re browsing the internet, you’ll find these inspiration quote wallpapers and websites that will inspire you to do what you love. Inspiration is a good thing, but mere inspiration is not a good thing. To support your inspiration you need a plan of action. If you have a dream, protect and nurture it. A realistic plan of action is critical to do what you love. If you don’t have a reliable source of income you need a plan that has a backup option to protect your finances when your plans are not working and to safeguard yourself and your family from any dramatic life situation. If you don’t have enough money power to balance your life and nurture your dreams, you will go back to the same old boring job. Remember at the end of the day, you will need a little bit of money power to fuel your dreams and aspirations and balance your lifestyle as well.
Be Prepared for the Change
One funny thing that I notice about us as human beings is that we don’t want to change, but we want others to change (as per our convenience). Secondly, we want our lifestyle to improve (change to better), but we’re scared of that change. It’s quite paradoxical that we want to change and want to stay in the comfort zone at the same time. Let me tell you that’s not going to happen. You may talk to the experts and professionals on how to go about achieving your dream, read tips online (like you’re doing now), but no amount of research is enough because life can throw in surprises that you’re not prepared for. If you want change, you have to be prepared for it from within. Your comfort zone may get affected, your lifestyle may get affected, your daily routine may go for a toss, but that should not make you step backward. Nothing in life is permanent and that applies to your hardships as well. When you start working towards your new goal everything will sooner or later fall into place and you’ll gradually adjust to your new routine and lifestyle and see your dreams turning into reality. Don’t expect change if you can’t risk your comfort.
Midlife career shift is not a bad thing. Not everyone thinks of a midlife career change and therefore, it might make you feel that something is wrong with you, but it’s perfectly fine. As human beings, we want to keep pushing ourselves and learn new things and when we master it we want to move on to the next level. However, don’t just jump to conclusions and quit the job, or pick professions that your friends are into because what worked for them might not work for you. Slow down your thoughts and put it on a piece of paper so that you can see them up-front and come up with solutions that will serve you for a long time to come. Good luck.
Did you enjoy this post? How did you feel about midlife career shift? Would you dare to take the plunge? Join us in the comments below!
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