There are lucky souls on this earth who find their calling early. Many of us envy them, but some people find it in their early years. They may be 22 and on their way through medical school knowing that they were put on this earth to heal someone. It doesn’t mean they’ve peaked of course, but it does mean they’re lucky.
Some people find their calling early and then fall out of love with it. Things happen in life that change us, change our jobs, or change our industries. Companies change and responsibilities evolve. Sometimes we are promoted out of a job that was the perfect fit for us, or we outgrow the perfect job.
The Challenges for Older Employees
When you’re young and looking for your calling life appears filled with opportunities, and most of the time you’re living on less than you elders. Perhaps you rent an apartment and live in a city. You probably don’t have dependents. Of course, I realize there are things like student debt and individual challenges, but hear me out.
As you climb your career ladder, you get used to certain things. Apart from a larger paycheck than your early career years, you probably have earned a certain level of responsibility and respect within your company and industry. Maybe even a title that reflects that. You also probably have a mortgage, more luxuries in your life that you don’t want to give up, and children who depend on you. Leaving the job you used to love for a new one you’re passionate about may mean giving up a lot. It’s frightening, but so is the idea of spending the rest of your work life in a job that drains you.
First Steps Focus: Your Mindset
Like almost everything we try to accomplish in life, fear is the primary obstacle to our success. Fear of losing our material belongings, status, and security are especially difficult when we look to alter our career. And of course, the demon of all fears – fear of failure – overshadows it all. There is no easy answer; tackling fear can be a show-stopper if we let it. So my one piece of advice, the only way I know to get past it, is to accept it. Know and accept that you will be scared, and get comfortable with that fear.
But understand this, it won’t always be scary. You will actually, despite what you think now, get used to the idea of change and it will become less scary. And you don’t have to QUIT your job. You can do the work on yourself and your career without giving up your job, you just have to commit to it and remain focused, and disciplined, on walking down that path.
If any of what I described above resonates with you, and you desperately want to love your job again, there is help out there. This is what career coaches do. You don’t have to work with me; I’m not trying to hard-sell you, but trust me, working with a professional can make this journey far less scary, and far less frustrating.
Need some inspiration? Check out this post about how four people in different stages of their careers successfully made a shift happen.