Photo by The Growth Coach – Chauntele Holley
As someone who is far removed from her 20’s, this thought was freeing yet challenging. I am great at a lot of things but I am not sure where my Zone of Genius is. This made me think about other people in my situation. Society seems to put pressure on having it all figured out as adults when it is the furthest thing from the truth. Some of us still don’t know what we want to do now that we are grown-ups.
I celebrate every adult who has known like one of my former co-workers that she wanted to be a doctor since she was a little girl but that is not the case for many people. We are searching but also settling into positions and roles because it’s where our journey led us out of necessity. Life happened and we stayed where we landed.
Some of us have done well in the areas where we landed but it always felt like something was missing. With the lie of being too old, too much responsibility, or it’s too late swirling around in our minds, we don’t even try to consider that there is another way. The most interesting part is that we read stories about someone our age or older beginning something new and we don’t consider if that could be us.
People begin second careers all the time so what are we afraid of? Is it starting something new? Your current position or your old job was once new to you. Is it that you need to go back to school? I get it going back to school after all these years might seem scary but there’s so much support out there. Is it that you are afraid to choose the wrong thing, again? So. Yes, I said, “so.”
Our parents taught us the value of staying on the job for 30 years and that was great for them. Unfortunately, most of those companies did not return the favor. My mom worked her way up for a particular company from an entry-level position to management. When this company was tired of her, they tried everything to force her out because of her age. Loyalty was gone. Fortunately, she left for medical reasons before they could cause any more stress. My mother hasn’t heard from that company since she left. Their loyalty contract ended the moment she could no longer perform the work that she had been doing for them for over 30 years. She was replaceable.
Is that what you want for your career? Look. I think that the Millenials got this part right. I read an article that says that they do not stay on jobs very long because they don’t feel the same loyalty that our parents felt. They are looking for a place that is a good fit for both them and the company. They recognize that an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with the workplace is not something in which they are interested. They want to work in their Zone of Genius so they are willing to keep trying until they find it.
Are you willing to take the leap into the unknown to find what works for you? Are you ready to shine bright again? Go back to school. Apply for a new position. Shadow someone in a field in which you are interested. Don’t spend the remainder of your time working in a space where you dread going. Entrepreneurship may not be calling you. Your next job is and they are wondering what they have been doing all this time without you.
What’s your next move? Let’s chat.