ARE YOU EVER TO OLD TO CHANGE CAREERS?

At 17 we’re expected to know what we want to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives.  It’s a big ask.  It takes a lot of self reflection and honesty to know what you might be good at and what you might like to do.  It’s hard to base such a major decision on little life experience.

Things happen to us throughout our lives that change us.  And not surprisingly, change our focus on our careers.

Me, I had children.  Before I had children I worked in corporate marketing.  After children, I knew I could never go back.  Not because I didn’t want to work.  I just didn’t want to work in that environment.  Not until my children were older.

So in the past 10 years I’ve had 4 children.  I’ve been a little busy and preoccupied to give my paid career much mind.  I’ve had contract jobs along the way but the ad hoc blocks that I’ve accumulated haven’t yet been assembled into a towering career.

Many things are going on right now.  I’m 37.  I’m not young anymore.  It’s true when they say it just catches up with you.  Mid life crisis phenomenon isn’t new.  I’m certainly heading that way.  Mid life epiphany?

But I feel like that at no other point in my life have I known myself better than I do now.  I have evolved.  I have become.  I am not yet finished but have built on those foundations I laid in my teens.

I am currently going through ebb and flow of self doubt and resurrection of courage.  But how old is too old?

At 37 I am more honest with myself and at times I don’t like what I see; and at times I am very proud of the person  I have become.  At 37, I can now see who has in fact influenced me throughout my life.  At 37, I can see what events in my life have had a life lasting impact and haunt me daily.

I’d like to get the end of my life with more joyous moments than sour.  Perception is the key.

At 37, I am smarter than I have ever been, but have filled my mind with so much information I almost drown in information overload and shut down.

But I know for certain what I want to be.  I knew at age 9.  For some reason by the time I got to university I changed my mind.  I should have trusted my 9 year old gut instinct.

Being the daughter of strict migrant parents all I had to keep me company were my thoughts, dreams and self reflection.

We all want to make an impact in our world.  Now I suppose you could argue that having 4 children is my impact.  I have stamped my DNA in this world to carry on for generations.  Perhaps there is no greater impact than children.

However, I won’t be around to see what my DNA leads to so I would like to do something for the ‘short’ term.  I don’t know why but parenting 4 children is simply not enough.  Probably because while being a parent is a large part of my identity; it is not my only identity.

When I think back to my teenage years I lived in absolutes trying to carve out my identity.  I loved Rock Music.  I couldn’t possibly love dance music too.  It’s one or the other; never both. The Beatles or Elvis.  Ford or Holden.

20 years on I am now more self assured that I can love both rock and dance music. The Beatles and Elvis.  And to be honest, I don’t really have any particular allegiance to either Ford or Holden; I currently drive a Mazda.

So now that I think I’ve finally grown up, how easy will it be to adopt a career change?

What about you?  Have you thought of a career change?

Futhermore, is the parent who has a break away from work, more likely to have a career change than the parent who works continuously throughout?  Hmmmm, any HR Managers out there?

8 Comments

  • At 2011.04.13 16:16, Enzo said:

    Love this post :)

    • At 2011.04.13 18:10, Danny said:

      I am currently breaking from work for parenthood and when I go back to work it wont be hairdressing! I am not quite sure what it will be but I want to do something I really enjoy. Life is too short just to work for the sake of making money…

      • At 2011.04.14 23:57, Maria said:

        Life is definitely way to short working a job you don’t like.

      • At 2011.04.13 22:16, Tamar said:

        I read this post just after finishing my assignment for uni. At the end of this semester, in 8 weeks’ time, I would have completed 1.5 years of my 6 year part time degree, as well as my 30th week of pregnancy. I know many people who have come to the same conclusion as you and I who have not taken a break from their career to have children. I think it comes down to understanding yourself and honest reflection. If all goes as planned by 39, I would have had 3 kids (well in few months, number three would have joined the world), have completed my second degree and have had a number of part time jobs to help pay for a ridiculous mortgage. I’d like to think that by the time I’m forty, I would have started a fruitful consultancy and have the ideal life where I can work my own hours and be around for my kids after school. I’ll let you Mrs M how I go. Hopefully, my kids and husband don’t resent me at the end of this degree and I enjoyed the process… hmmm

        • At 2011.04.14 23:59, Maria said:

          And by 45 you will have retired :-)

        • At 2011.04.14 23:38, Kleonaptra said:

          Horse trainer, from 2 years old to now. Never waivered, never wanted to change. I used to make up stories people loved which led to love of literature and a need to write later on.

          But ‘Deli Assistant’ is what currently butters my bread!

          • At 2011.04.15 00:01, Maria said:

            Kleo you are still around. I was just thinking about you today and wondered if you had your baby.

            Sometimes you just know what you want to do. I wanted to be a journo since I was 9. A uni lecturer scared me off which is how I ended up in marketing. Should have stuck to my guns.

            • At 2011.04.19 06:39, Lachy said:

              Fuck it. What have you got to lose?

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