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Work advice... 15:59 - Jun 4 with 1145 viewsbluewein

Barely use this site anymore, but have always found people to be pretty good at this sort of thing so asking for a little help.

I’ve been in the same trade since I left school. I’ve always been good at my job and always thought I loved what I did. Until the last month or so. I’m 34 on Friday and I’ve realised that the job I’ve done for nearly 18 years is not for me anymore. I’m completely disillusioned with it. For the first time in my life I’m considering switching to a new career. My one small problem is, I don’t know what that career is. I have no idea what I would want to do with my life. There’s nothing I’ve ever considered in the past. Is this being naive? Maybe a case of reluctance or scared of the unknown?

The other issue, as we all find with life is finance. I’d say my job pays me a comfortable wage, which allows me to do the things I enjoy (travelling to watch Town, gigs and festivals) and keeps me happy in life. Obviously there’s no way I could jump from one job into something I’ve never done before and expect to carry on living the same way and being paid the same. However, I know that if I had to give up the things I enjoy outside of my life, I’d be pretty miserable. Work to live and all that.

So, am I being too naive? Am I looking at the short term, being selfish and no more than that? Am I just having a mini, slightly early midlife crisis? Has anyone ever been in a similar position and what did you do to change things?

Like I say, I barely use this site nowadays so if I come back to people then there’s a chance I won’t be relying for a couple days. You’re all good eggs on the whole and hopeful some of you will have some decent advice...

Cheers in advance...

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Work advice... on 16:05 - Jun 4 with 1107 viewsTIB

Would be worth looking at your present job and if any of the skills can transfer into another career? Skills + experience often worth more than a qualification.

Also, you've done this for 18 years...sounds like you have a real interest in it and maybe you just need something to break up the working week?

It's taken me a good few years to a find and carve out a "career" I enjoy...but I have Away Days as a sideline more so for my own interests and to break up my week than for financial benefit. I just needed that creative outlet so it wasn't just work, weekend, work weekend etc.

Best of luck lad.
[Post edited 4 Jun 2019 16:06]

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Work advice... on 16:07 - Jun 4 with 1097 viewsHerbivore

It's not uncommon for people to want to change career, especially after such a long time doing the same thing. I wouldn't chalk it up as an early midlife crisis.

The key thing is to really think about what you do want to do. Maybe research some different careers and get a sense of whether they'd be for you. If something really jumps out look into what training etc. you might need to get a role in that field, would that be affordable, what are the longer term prospects.

If there's nothing else you really want to do then keep an eye out for jobs that pay well and sound interesting where you'd meet the person spec. Sometimes people fall into a job they really enjoy.

Otherwise, stick the current job out for a bit longer and see what happens. Things might improve or you might be done with it, in which case find something that pays the bills elsewhere whilst you think about your longer term plans.

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Work advice... on 16:15 - Jun 4 with 1066 viewsNo9

I was a year or so younger then you when I made the break. I saw any work progression was waitin on dead mens shoes, the only way was to move jobs. The opportunity came unexpectedly with a European Company, I jumped in & never looked back.
Things were very different then, the EU was opening up to Brits who were willing to travel, Harold Wilson's government gave tax breaks to people willing to work abroad.
I have never regretted making the change to my life that I did, quite the reverse.
Unfortunately these days I don't see things in such a positive light the world is becoming not only a less safe place but also one where there are protectionisms emerging.
Unless you have the luck I had my recommendation would be to sit tight & see A/ what hapens after brexit & B/ if someone offers you something out of the blue
Good luck
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Work advice... on 16:22 - Jun 4 with 1048 viewswkj

Mid 30s, I bit the bullet and went back to uni whilst working. Mentally my plight was similar to yours, it isn't to late to make a change, far from it- but I will say this... whatever choice you make, make sure you can viably commit to it, and if you decide to take the plunge, you must commit to your decision. The worst thing you can do is flip flop and fight with yourself over it.

http://www.twitter.com/wkjezz3306
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Work advice... on 16:25 - Jun 4 with 1027 viewsSpruceMoose

Work advice... on 16:22 - Jun 4 by wkj

Mid 30s, I bit the bullet and went back to uni whilst working. Mentally my plight was similar to yours, it isn't to late to make a change, far from it- but I will say this... whatever choice you make, make sure you can viably commit to it, and if you decide to take the plunge, you must commit to your decision. The worst thing you can do is flip flop and fight with yourself over it.


And this year I was proud to watch wkj take to the stage as principal ballerina for the Bungay State Ballet.

Seriously though, he's right, it's never too late to make a change. The time required to achieve your goal will still pass if you don;t make the leap. Then you'll have reached the point where you get to think 'I could have done it by now'.

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Work advice... on 16:29 - Jun 4 with 1019 viewsunbelievablue

If you want a wholesale career change from your current trade, it's all about the 'transferable skills' you've built up (horrible phrase but serves a purpose).

If I was you, I'd list out the following:

1. Your skills which are non-trade specific
2. Your knowledge which is non-trade specific
3. What your interests are outside of work
4. Type of work culture / environment which interests you most

This way you can start to create a really broad long list of things which you might be interested in.

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Work advice... on 16:54 - Jun 4 with 962 viewsPinewoodblue

Can you isolate whatever it is about your job you are disillusioned with ? Is it just your employer or the industry you are in that has lead you to the conclusion it is time for a change?

You need to know these answers before you can make a decision. Good luck.

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Work advice... on 18:11 - Jun 4 with 869 viewsjontysnut

Work advice... on 16:22 - Jun 4 by wkj

Mid 30s, I bit the bullet and went back to uni whilst working. Mentally my plight was similar to yours, it isn't to late to make a change, far from it- but I will say this... whatever choice you make, make sure you can viably commit to it, and if you decide to take the plunge, you must commit to your decision. The worst thing you can do is flip flop and fight with yourself over it.


Lad I work with mid 30s fed up with not being valued packed it in and is retraining as a diagnostic radiographer.
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Work advice... on 18:13 - Jun 4 with 865 viewswkj

Work advice... on 18:11 - Jun 4 by jontysnut

Lad I work with mid 30s fed up with not being valued packed it in and is retraining as a diagnostic radiographer.


I'm personally moving from developer to digital forensics so your post gives me hope

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Work advice... on 18:24 - Jun 4 with 852 viewsbluelagos

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/06/happiness-index-wellbeing-survey-u

Read this book, it will (imho) answer many of your questions. Genuinely worth reading given the cross roads you are at.

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Work advice... on 18:36 - Jun 4 with 833 viewsbluelagos

Work advice... on 18:24 - Jun 4 by bluelagos

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/06/happiness-index-wellbeing-survey-u

Read this book, it will (imho) answer many of your questions. Genuinely worth reading given the cross roads you are at.


I'd also ask yerself are you fed up with your role, your employer or your career? To walk away from a career, when a new employer would solve your discontent, would potentially be a mistake. So make sure first :-)

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Work advice... on 19:07 - Jun 4 with 792 viewsBloomBlue

34? You're still young sometimes in life you have to step back to step forward. Yes it would be a big step to completely change career, but if you're disillusioned your career is only going to go backwards.

I've seen it so often where people just walk the treadmill and then delighted they are made redundant or sacked because that has forced the decision to jump. Trouble is that invariably doesn't help because they never did any planning and take the same role with another company and disillusioned again within weeks.

When I jumped I first decided what I wanted to do I then looked at what training I could do and then undertook the training. The positive now is there are now loads of training companies in all industries / careers

I know its easy for me to say and you're scared but do something different now if you leave it another 10 years it will become even harder.
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Work advice... on 19:42 - Jun 4 with 761 viewsbahri

Is it the job or the employer?
If you have 18 years experience and ,as you say, good at your job could you set up your own business?
It may seem a huge step, but over the time you must have built up numerous contacts.
It's easier than you think.
Best of luck in whatever you decide.

redandella

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Work advice... on 19:52 - Jun 4 with 743 viewsWeWereZombies

If you have been happy in your job for eighteen years and then suddenly in the last month have become unhappy can you put your finger on anything that might have caused this? No career progression and you have become worried about what the future holds? Someone with better qualifications joined your organisation and you realise they are going to get the plum jobs? Perhaps something outside of work like feeling stuck in a rut socially (not saying you are, just trying to give examples of unsettling life events that can leak into otherwise contented areas)?

There have been lots of good suggestions for career changes earlier in this thread but you may need to consider that it is not a move sideways that you need but a move upwards. To achieve that you may need to advance any studies you can in your current field, be assertive with your manager and other officers of the organisation towards your advancement or start networking more intensively to provide opportunities to get a grade or two higher and bank some of that eighteen years experience with a more responsible position.

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Work advice... on 19:57 - Jun 4 with 733 viewsgordon

Follow other people's advice in looking at what you might be interested in, but then be realistic that it might be (depending on what it is, but for example) a year of evening study at a local college and volunteering for a day at the weekend to get the skills/experience needed. Point is you may need to put in place a proper plan to be employable in the new field, which may involve sacrifice, but obviously if you're putting in that effort potential employers will be aware and take into consideration.

Another really, really valuable tip, is if you have identified a particular career, just give a few people a ring (e.g.) in the sector and ask how much they value formal qualifications, technical knowledge, direct experience or transferable skills, etc. Talking to people will give you a really good idea of whether it's do-able or not.

Third point, is if you're going to make a significant sacrifice, make sure you're doing it for something you're genuinely passionate / interested in.
[Post edited 4 Jun 2019 19:58]
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Work advice... on 20:33 - Jun 4 with 675 viewsChurchman

Lots of good advice on here which I won’t repeat. At 38 I decided I’d had enough of the working world I was in. I was ‘dying inside’ and decided to make a change. Circumstances including having some money to buy me time and a wife that went full time in her teaching job meant it was a decision I could take, but I still found it a tough thing to do, given I was walking away to no job at all from a secure reasonably paid job and all the work friends and acquaintances I’d made over many years.

But despite ups and downs, it’s something I wouldn’t change for the world. I would have been better off financially staying where I was for sure, but changing mid career I learnt new skills had so many interesting experiences and absolutely no regrets.

My advice is to try and understand what your skills are, the experience you have, what you like in this world, what type of person you are. If you don’t know, make a plan (timeline) to develop your understanding of these as a first step to make that change. Be clear and understand/plan finances too as lack of management of those will force your hand and what you do and will also make life miserable. Planning will also give you time to be sure it isn’t just a phase we all but the luckiest go through.

Most important at 34 you are young enough to make a change. It’s when you get into your 40s it gets harder as I found out when I was out of work again at 44. But even then I managed to make a good third career which if I can do, anyone can!

Come what may, good luck!
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