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?