Career change or career development is difficult and stressful. …And that’s on top of my heavy workload in my current role.
I hear you. You don’t like your job, some days you’d like to pack it in. But you can’t allow yourself to think that… There’s the mortgage to pay, perhaps you’re supporting children at school or university. You tell yourself to ‘knuckle down’ and just get on with it.
You feel that your job sounds good (on paper). You’ve got a great job title… Some people would kill for such a job… And yet this job is killing you; slowly, relentlessly, devouring your soul…
I Hear How You’re Feeling Conflicted
I hear you. I hear how you’re feeling conflicted. I hear how you’re exhausted by the demands of your job. The commutes feel harder than they did 20 years ago. Some days you’re not even sure if your organisation values your years of experience. All those bright young things seem to bounce round the office – fingers flying as they text, working at a frenzied pace.
It’s a tantalising idea to change or develop your career at midlife. But surely, you feel, working on changing your career will just further overload you and your ‘to do’ list?
Psst! I’ll let you into a secret. Midlife career change CAN be joyful. That was the exact word that Sarah* used to describe her midlife career change journey. Sarah had become increasingly unfulfilled with her senior role in business development. She’d led a team for the last few years and they’d delivered their targets. Now things were getting tougher. Their targets had been increased in a declining market, and though she’d fought hard, she’d not been given a penny of additional promotional spend. Sarah kept up her good work… developing new strategies and tactics… She continued to give her all. She was no shirker.
Exhale Ahhhh, Relax and Play…
But then Sarah took her summer holiday. She reclined on the golden sands of an Italian beach, and marveled at the azure sea. She felt herself exhale, ahhhh, relax, and let go of all thoughts of work. She laughed with her husband and had play fights with him in the sea. And she realised she’d forgotten how to play in the last few years.
When she returned home, we met and she told me she was up for ‘playing’ with the idea of changing her career. She was up for dreaming of new possibilities of how she could work and live. I helped her to look at the world of work with ‘fresh eyes’, and notice just how much it has changed in the last fifteen years… And how there are now many new ways to work, earn a living and contribute. During our time together Sarah got excited and inspired… And now she’s arrived at a place where she’s talking to a charity about using her skills part time to support them in fundraising. She’s also planning to set up an interior design business with a friend. But most importantly, she tells me she’s rejuvenated and excited about the next 20 years of her working life.
And now I see YOU. I see all you’ve achieved in the last 15 or 20 years; the way you’ve shown up consistently in your role; despite crises at home, bad weather and ‘off days’. I acknowledge how you’ve contributed hugely to leading and developing your team, how you’ve kept your skills up to date, and dealt with the office politics and conflict along the way.
And in this summer holiday season, I wonder, could you make the space, to exhale - ahhhh, and relax, and in your own time to get playful again… About life and your career?
* Name and some details have been changed to protect confidentiality
© 2018 Trudy Lloyd & Associates. All Rights Reserved.
Trudy believes that everyone should enjoy meaningful, satisfying and rewarding work - work that fires them up! She is fascinated by human potential and the life journeys people make to find work and careers where they can channel and develop their skills and talents in meaningful and satisfying ways.