Do You Think Making a Midlife Career Change is Crazy?
Early on in my career, I began feeling restless. There were thoughts of leaving my law career behind. I dismissed it as a crazy notion.
When I first had the thought that something was missing, it caught me off guard. I remember it like yesterday. I had just gotten a promotion and moved across offices. I remember sitting in my new chair organizing my desk and glancing out the window at the same time. There was this feeling that came over me that led me to think that maybe this, meaning the promotion was not enough. I quickly dismissed the feeling as ridiculous.
The thought of increased responsibility, the challenge and more money, well of course it was enough and I should be grateful. At the time, I was newly married, thinking about a family, new home and responsibilities that I would have to attend to. There was nothing like keeping busy and having a little time to really think about much else that time goes by really fast.
Fast forward, several years went by and I was offered another promotion along with a new opportunity. This time I jumped on the new opportunity. After several years, I was forced into “time out” after going through a layoff. It forced me to slow down. Then I began taking the time to reflect on what I was thinking about and those thoughts of leaving law behind returned again with full force. I entertained the thoughts but shut them down because the idea of leaving law behind was not popular. I spoke to friends, family members and well-meaning professionals. Some were sympathetic and some thought it was a crazy notion. Looking back, I realize I was just getting more confused by the minute. Was it really true that wanting to leave something you set out to achieve a crazy notion?
Now, looking back, the answer is no, not at all. The real question I wasn’t addressing is why I wasn’t satisfied?
The thought of addressing this question terrified me. What if there really was no such thing as satisfaction for me? Yes, I had read about people who had always known what they really wanted to do with their life but not me. What if I was entertaining a fantasy that simply didn’t exist? I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to figure out what I was really looking for, nor recognize it. Then, the thought hit me that I was being impractical and irresponsible.
Growing up, I was taught that work was not supposed to be satisfying or fun and a person had to do what they had to do to make a living. You have to work hard to get ahead, so that is what I did. Even still, there were two hungry children to feed, clothe and educate, so that is what I focused on and I am glad I did. Now that this period of my life is wrapping up, what’s next?
Now, that I am midlife, I finally have some answers for myself to the question, “Why the dissatisfaction?” The truth is, it is perfectly normal in most cases to feel that way. There really was something more for me to discover about me and what I really was called to do. If someone would have told me one day, I would be helping mid-career professional women work through their feelings of dissatisfaction, discover their brilliance and gifts in order to make a greater impact in the world, I wouldn’t have believed them.
If you need someone to help you explore the answers to your questions, I am here. I am here to help.