A career change at 40 something now equals a mid-life crisis
Or so it seems
My dad worked in the same company for his entire life. That was back in the day when you received a gold watch for your long service to a company. But those days are long gone.
Research from the HILDA survey in 2014 and presented in the McCrindle blog Job mobility in Australia says that on average, people in Australia stay in a job just 3 years and 4 months. And if you look at under 25s, that average is just 1 year and 8 months.
We move companies frequently. We look for new challenges to devour. New skills to learn. A new environment to work within.
But how many 40-somethings decide to change careers? Re-training and the subsequent career change seems to be as prevalent as tree-changes were a decade ago. Is it the new mid-life crisis for those born in the late 60s and early 70s?
For me it’s been an evolutionary change. It’s not something I knew I wanted to do, it just happened. After 7 years in the one company (yes, my longest time in the one workplace) I moved to another role. I have spent the last 15 months trying to find myself.
Trying to find what interests me. What I’m good at. Dealing with self-doubt all while trying to find where I wanted my career to go. I undertook a feature writing course which I enjoyed. I loved being back in the classroom so to speak, even if it was online.
Learning as a hobby
I enjoyed doing something that wasn’t part of my 9-5. To be able to learn and improve and then to put it all into practice.
I then started to move towards copywriting. I decided I wanted to learn something that would help other more directly. People who hated writing, who struggled with it or who simply didn’t have the time for it. I could help them reach their customers more effectively.
About this time I started to get into social media marketing as a way to get more visibility to my business. What’s even better was that I thoroughly enjoyed it too.
I loved creating posts and seeing the reaction they got, or didn’t get as was often the case in the early stages. I tried to sell. That didn’t work. I shared content from others as I had none of my own to share.
Social media marketing
In the process I learned all about social media marketing. How to create other content apart from blogs. How to create memes, and the tools to use. I learned the best ways to promote your content, the times, all about influencer marketing and the list goes on.
I then ventured into learning about SEO. I’ve always had a technical background. So I aced through the tech side of SEO. As an overall strategy I realised that content marketing, social media, SEO and copywriting are all interrelated.
And if it wasn’t for the numerous courses I’ve done, I wouldn’t be at the place I am today. After doing the SEO course I’ve since ventured into digital marketing. I guess this is where I plan on being for some time.
Digital marketing is an ever-changing environment. It relies on being analytical and uses data to drive your marketing strategies. It’s also something that has given me connections to people world-wide. People I wouldn’t normally have had the opportunity to meet.
Life-long learning and career change
Those that have successfully found what they love to do, and get paid for doing is something that we all strive towards. When we spend so much time at work, it’s important to enjoy who you work with, and what you do. While I learnt so much from all the courses I did, I also learned what I didn’t like.
I’ve learned that you can always continue to improve.
Here’s what I learned during my career mid-life crisis
- Try something you enjoy first and build on it.
- Don’t give up if you don’t find your next career choice in one go.
- It’s never too late to re-train.
- Just because someone says you’re not good at something, doesn’t mean you aren’t. It also doesn’t meant that you won’t.
- Try short courses rather than certificates or diplomas or bachelor degrees to get a feel for what you like first.
- What you decide to do can also be changed – you aren’t stuck doing it.
- You can always improve as long as you have the right mindset.
- Courses are generally much cheaper than a sports car.
- There’s lots of sounding boards out there to connect with.
- When you’re ready to jump to that career, you’ll know