This is something I hear time and time again from my clients, but I’m not talking about retirees, I’m talking about people in their 30’s! But I get it, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are today and I know it’s hard to walk away from something you’ve put your heart and soul into and potentially start again.
Also, there’s something about our culture that says you have to have everything in place by the time you’re in your 30’s and changing careers at this age is definitely not encouraged. But who are these people who make the rules about how to live our lives? What are they doing that’s so inspirational? Often, these people who offer up comments on how we are living our lives and what we should and shouldn’t be doing, are deeply unhappy with their own lives and are unfortunately projecting their fears and dissatisfaction onto us. This took me a long time to realise early on in my career and in my younger seeking approval years and it definitely influenced my career decisions back then.
Additionally, (and slightly controversially) it’s important to also be aware that sometimes those ‘people’ don’t actually exist, but instead it’s your thoughts that dictate your life and your opinion about where you think you should be that can be making you feel out of place.
So, let’s get back to the original question – are you in fact ‘too old’ to start again in your career? Let’s say you’re in your mid thirties and you’ve been working since you left university, so around 10 -15 years. It’s a long time, but, if we look at the steadily increasing retirement age of 65 years old, you’ve got about another 30 years of work ahead of you. That’s twice or possibly three times as many years as you have been working so far. So, if you think you’re bored, confused and unsatisfied in your career now, how are you going to feel at 65? You can see how important it is to address this issue now.
Also, what does it mean to start again? Are you completely finished with your industry and wanting a complete change or are you just feeling a bit uninspired and looking to freshen things up and take stock of where you are?
Sometimes when we are feeling like this, it seems like we need to take extreme action, give everything up and run away and live in a tree house, but while that may be good for some people, I believe that the majority of people don’t need to take such drastic action.
Here are some things for you to think about: How do you feel when you wake up in the morning with another day of work ahead? Do you light up at the thought of those early morning team meetings or the sound of another email pinging into your inbox from your boss? Can you see yourself working in that environment or do you think a complete change is what’s needed?
It can be so hard to answer these questions yourself without the thought of what’s next paralysing your brain. It’s much more appealing to carry on and brush it under the carpet and hope it goes away…..until those thoughts pop into your mind again and again.
Talking this through with a friend or someone you trust can help. Also, actually researching what’s out there and what the entry requirements are for your chosen career area can help you to see that it is possible to change career at any age, you may just need a bit of help to get there.
About the author: Hey there! I’m Lola Brocklesby, founder of Viva Career Coaching and I love helping people who are striving for more in their career to finally find a career that they love. If that’s you, please get in touch.