Updates from new blog at www.nextchapternewlife.com/blog/

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I hate my job …Am I too old to change careers?

Even though you will live to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 90-100 years of age, spending a major amount of your time doing something you hate is way too much time lost. The quick answer is, No, you aren't too old to change careers.

A myth that has and does exist in our society is that "older" people aren't wanted in the business setting. We cost too much, we're too out of date and we are just: out of it. I have never believed this and now that I'm in the group we're talking about, I still don't believe it. If you are one of those unfortunate people that does believe this, I ask you now to work on getting rid of that unhelpful line of thinking. What you think can manifest itself in your life. If you don't believe me, read Dr. Dwayne Dyer's book The Power of Intention. He basically outlines for you that your thinking almost literally programs you to accomplish whatever those thoughts are. Call it the power of positive thinking, call it whatever you want but by this time in your life, you have heard this message in one form or another – you will get further in life by a good, positive attitude than a negative one. So, first thing is to change your thought patterns, by whatever means you can muster.

The next thing to know is that you need to start working on your escape plan. Time to do something you love, not just like. Figuring this out will be heavy lifting, so know that up front. But, don't chicken out, you don't just have wonderful things magically appear; you must work on yourself if you're going to make great things happen.

If you're sitting there not knowing where to turn and what to do, my first advice to you is to start by doing an analysis of yourself. I would develop a list of all of the kind of work you have experience with. Don't make this a general description like "computer programmer", really list the work like coding, coordinating meetings, inspecting equipment, creating tests, etc. Once you have that list (which you can continue to add to over time), make two columns, one column labeled as "work I like" and the other "work I never want to do again". Then check each item in one column or the other. Add work elements to the list you might not have ever done, but would like to such as "healing arts, working with children, artistic" (these go into the "work I like") Look at the "Work I like" very critically and start thinking outside the box. What kind of work does this suggest? Next, do a work environment list and evaluate it. By work environment, I'm talking about things like what work situations have you worked best in. It can cover things like travel, work teams, or solo projects. You have to figure out what it is that just doesn't work for you at this point, and what you think would work for you.

You now need to kick into research mode. Go to the library and check out several books on job search, retooling yourself and all other related topics. There are loads of these kinds of books. Most of them have exercises like I mentioned and many others that will help you start arriving at some actions and conclusions. I also wouldn't be shy of considering seriously retooling yourself by going back to school. If you have always thought teaching was great, then get your teaching credential. Go talk to people in the professions that hold interest for you, learn more about the work (and in the process you might make a great future contact) The bottom-line is that you have to work at getting new work. You need to treat this one like it is a job in itself. The reward will be worth the effort.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't toss in a few pearls of wisdom on how you're feeling about now. If you are one of these people, you probably haven't taken that next big step because of your own fears. That's normal. Change can be such a frightening thing that it will cause us to stop dead in our tracks, looking like a deer in the headlights. It's too hard to move, yet it's too hard to stay. At least with staying where you are, you know the terrain. You might not like it, but it has a comforting feeling of familiarity to it. Yuk!! Change for pity sakes. I must now quote a former boss of mine: "You must always make fear and anxiety your friend, because the minute you lose them and get comfortable, you will be too afraid to move forward."

So, there you have it. Don't stay at a job or job situation you can't stand and just know that you can recreate yourself at any age. Colonel Sanders didn't start his empire until he was well into his 60's.