You are in your 30s, they say.
You should already know what you want from this life and your career, they say.
According to the research by Vodafone, people of 31-35 years old are the most unhappy at work. They feel undervalued, unfulfilled, demotivated, and they experience a mid-career blues, thinking of career change more often than others but still worrying if it’s worth making a swap here and now when you are not so young and promising as those graduates, full of energy and ready to do everything a boss tells.
All those stories about 35-year-old Mary who gives up a lawyer career for becoming a gardener… Or, a story of 33-year-old John who dreams of writing a book and quits his office job of a successful manager to join the team of professional essay writers…
You read them, you listen to them, and you believe you can do the same. But all those ugly myths about changing career in your 30s keep you on the alert and prevent you from taking the first step toward your better and happier future.
What are they?
And the more important question:
Shall we believe these myths and take them into consideration while thinking of changing career in our mid-life?
Myth #1: You are too old for changing career
Who said that?
Didn’t you read all those articles about people who became millionaires after 40 or guys who proved it was never too late for a career change?
Let’s take Julia Child, a famous chef who wasn’t cooking meals until age 36. She worked as a CIA spy! Or, Barack Obama who published the book at age 43, having earned millions though he couldn’t keep body and soul together before.
Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T car.
Rodney Dangerfield started his career of a comedian when he was 45!
Milkshake device salesman Ray Kroc has built the world’s biggest fast food franchise when he was 52. We all know it as McDonald’s today.
Any more examples needed?
Myth #2: Changing career, you’ll have no way back
It could be true if we lived 20-30 years ago. Someone still believes that once you’ve chosen a career path, it will be your path forever.
However, times change. And the job market changes, too. It’s built for a career change: recent studies suggest it’s okay to change career, as it gives you freedom, allows you to experiment, and lets you try different options to choose what your heart desires.
Though it’s not good for your resume to have multiple and frequently changing job places, no one says you should sit at the same place for the whole life. It will definitely not make you happier and more professional.
Myth #3: You know your perfect job before you get it
Some of us believe they know what is good and what would fit us by 30. We have a picture of our perfect career in head, and we don’t see any point to trying anything else if this “else” doesn’t meet our expectations.
The truth is, you never know what is perfect for you until you try it. Experimenting, you will be able to find your perfect job.
Any examples needed?
The Magliozzi brothers, hosts of Car Talk radio show, would hardly call this job a career of their dream when they graduated from MIT and planned to work by profession. However, they both are satisfied and happy now, considering themselves at their own place.
Myth #4: Career change is for those knowing what to do with life
Assuming that a 35-year-old person should know what he or she wants from life and how to achieve that, it becomes impossible to venture upon a new step if you are not that kind of a person.
If you are in a mid-life crisis, if you have no idea what you want to do for life, if you believe you should change something, and if you are not satisfied with your present, there is one thing for you to remember:
You are not alone.
Just go to Quora, and you’ll find a lot of questions from people experiencing the same doubts:
- “I am 35 years old and still have no idea what I want to do with my career, what to do?”
- “I am a 35-year-old entrepreneur looking to pivot my career. What are some ideas for a new career?”
- “I am a 41 year old professional. I want a change of career but am afraid of uncertainties. How should I go about it?”
- “I am a 35-year-old woman. Am I too old to start a career in the film industry?”
The answers they get speak volumes:
- “I’m in your predicament…I’m 34 and went from education to environmental compliance, which I hated, back to education and am currently looking for work.”
- “I’m creative too and went into advertising. Then journalism. Then publishing. Spent 10years in the media, thinking that’s that a creative person should do. I’m 35 now and studying for a new career and never happier.”
After all, you’ll never know what to do with your life until you start doing something with it.
Myth #5: It’s miserable and embarrassing to start a career in 35+
All doubts and problems appear if you can’t forgive yourself the fact you are in your 30s already but still don’t know what you want from your career.
Accept the fact you are constantly changing: those dreams from your 20s seem strange and not so exciting in your 30s; the jobs you found interesting at age 19 seem awful and boring when you are 35; your abilities and interests change, too. That’s normal, and no one will blame you for starting a new career at your mid-life.
After all, it’s your life. And no career myth or other people’s thoughts shouldn’t disturb you from living it to the max.
Are you in your 30s? Have you thought of changing career now? What does prevent you from doing that?
Let’s share thoughts in comments!