Finding where you want to be or do in the world can sometimes feel like finding the perfect potato chip after accidentally eating one burnt chip. That is a horrible taste and if the bag has a few more chips that are darker than others, you are a little more cautious about which one you choose.
Choosing a new career over 40 feels the same way. In the past, I have made career choices by who was hiring or who recommended me for a position. Taking charge of my career choice feels more like looking for the good chip after eating a burnt one. I fit well in most places but do I belong there? Can I see myself growing there or is it a forced climb up the career ladder? Can I see myself retiring there or is it a safe place to receive company-sponsored benefits?
The truth is I have an idea of what I really want to do and I feel excited about the idea of it all and then I feel scared, too? What about you? Are you settling where you are because familiarity is better than uncertainty? Are you staying put because stability is more attractive at an age when everything in your body seems so unpredictable? Are you unwilling to take a risk on yourself because you believe the lie that there is no coming back from whatever you choose?
Those are all the questions that I have asked myself recently. Honestly, just thinking about it feels overwhelming. I think about all the things that I don’t know or what could go wrong. Then I can visualize the social media meme that says, “What if it works?”
This makes me think about the blog post that I wrote a while back about how our parents and grandparents taught us to work one job for 30 years or more and retire. Be loyal to the company that pays you until they lay you off because of budget cuts, company mergers, or they simply moved to another city in which you had no interest in moving.
That stability is no longer here yet we choose it over and over ignoring our desire to be and do something different. We sight age as an excuse but as long as schools are educating people and jobs are hiring why not shift? Why not bet on you?
If you are reading this blog, that means that you are searching as hard as I am to find your place without fear. You want to go without explanation or apology. And remember that this is not necessarily a call to be an entrepreneur but if that’s what your desire is, do it! This is a call to choose you.
You are worth it! Let’s go.