One day there you were, bumbling through life, finishing university or college, or even school, thinking,
“yeah I’ll just take that job for a bit of money right now, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do with my life another day.”
And then BAM, suddenly you’re nearly thirty and you didn’t have any career brainwaves or lottery wins. Or maybe you did have a career brainwave, but it just felt too late to make it happen.
The mortgage needs paying. The council tax. The water bill. Jeez, all of a sudden you were an adult with responsibilities.
You feel trapped.
You can’t just up sticks and change your mind about where life is headed. A career change at 30 would be far too scary.
You didn’t even realise that you were bumbling through from job to job, nightmare boss to nightmare boss, crappy work life balance to crappy work life balance, until it felt too late.
Maybe it’s not too late. There are stacks of inspirational people who have dropped the hum drum 9-5 in favour of something they love, but it can feel so unobtainable, so scary and impossible.
And it’s even worse if you still don’t even know what the dream career is. Feeling that Sunday night dread every week, and feeling trapped by a job that you don’t love, with no idea what you should really be doing. And what’s the point in worrying about it anyway, coz lol we already said that…it’s too late to jump careers, the mortgage needs paying.
I’m not here to give you the answers. This isn’t a post full of tips on how to survive a career change at 30, because guess what, I don’t know the answer.
But I’ll tell you one thing I do know, you are not alone.
The numbers are out there, with around 65% of 24-34 year olds craving a career change. That’s more than half of us desperate for a career change at 30.
So failing the ability to help you out of your career woes, I’ll tell you what I can about dealing with these feels.
It’s about feeling fulfilled
It’s kind of easy to just keep that job that is comfortable. The pay is good. The demand on your time isn’t too bad. It “fits” with your lifestyle.
But there’s this feeling bubbling away underneath the surface that tells you that this isn’t what life is all about.
We spend at least 37.5 hours of our week at work. Take into equation that we should be spending around 56 hours asleep, and maybe 10 hours commuting, we’ve only got around 64 hours left to play with over 7 days. And that’s not to mention all of the other mundane tasks adulting brings with it, or the fact that we’re usually shattered after 8 hours in the office.
My point is, work eats into a lot of our time, and so to spend that time feeling unfulfilled, no matter how many perks your job brings, isn’t going to work for you.
You find yourself being dragged down, unenthusiastic about any projects that come your way, or dreading the next person who asks you a work related question.
It all becomes a bit much. Seriously, you’re not the only one who feels like that.
Do something about it. Anything.
Ok, so maybe I do have a little bit of advice…but it’s advice to myself too, I’m no expert.
I’m guessing you probs have no idea what would really fulfill you each and every day. You probs just get up for the same old work day, 5 days a week, and dream about 5pm or Friday evening to roll around.
Maybe you dig your head in the sand and try not to think about the fact that you would love a career change. You think it’s so impossible, that it’s not worth thinking about.
But try doing something about it today. And I don’t mean wallowing in a constant stream of thoughts which basically sound like this “what could I do?” on repeat.
Do some research. Start small, and just make a list of all of the things you love to do.
Does it lead you to anything at all that could be a career? Is there anything that you could do in your spare time that would help you learn about that thing?
Remind yourself that you’re only 30
And hopefully I can, at the very least, make you feel a little bit better about it all.
Don’t think about the fact that OMG you’re 30 and it’s so old and how did it happen. Think about the fact that you are only 30.
Soz to be the bearer of bad news, but the likelihood is, we’re all going to be working for another 40 years. And the longest you’ve possibly worked so far in your life is 14 years. 14 years seems a lot when it only felt like yesterday that you left school, but compared to 40 years, it’s nothing.
I have so many friends drowning their sorrows about turning 30, but guys…celebrate it. You know how I feel about ageing. It’s a positive, and certainly not a negative.
I’m hoping that my thirties bring a phase of life where I start to understand myself better. To know who I really am, what is important, and what makes me happy. And maybe even try and lose some of the shit that doesn’t.
We’re only 30 (well slight lie, I’m 29), and we’ve got time to make changes. Big or small, sooner or later, let’s all hold hands and agree that it isn’t impossible.
What’s everyone else saying about a career change at 30?
Of course, I googled “how to master a career change at 30” once I started writing this post, and to be honest, I’m not sure how helpful it was.
I don’t really find it groundbreaking for people to give me tips on “how to retrain” etc etc, because let’s bring it back to where I started, this is about money and time. Two things that are seriously lacking, and are usually required for the whole “retraining” game. I did however, find this article on changing careers when you have no idea what you’re doing useful, give it a read.
I would LOVE to know your stories. Have you nodded your entire way through this post? Or do you have some relatable, achievable advice on what to do if you fancy a career change at 30?
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