Do Something Different
This follows on from an earlier post called “Does the prospect of having to work until your late 60s fill you with fear and dread?”. To recap – you have 3 main options:
- do nothing and carry on your current path, ignoring the problem, or
- chooseto thrive in your current line or work, or
- Do Something Different.
By now, you’ve probably realised that you could well be working until your mid to late 60s. We are living longer than ever before and our working lives are being stretched too, not just to support us financially, but also to occupy us. Already, having a “job for life” (or even one single career) isn’t the norm, nor is it ever likely to be again. So why not take the plunge and Do Something Different?
If we’re going to spend so much of our lives working, why not do something you actually enjoy?!
Where are you today?
I assume that you’re already doing something today – for example, you have a job, run a household, or run a business – and have thought about doing something different. You may have a curiosity or burning desire inside you that you want to fulfil, or are approaching one of life’s crossroads. You may have no idea what you want to do, but you do know you want to do something different from what you’re doing today.
Initiating or experiencing change isn’t always easy to deal with. And it can become even harder, the older we get.
What could change mean for you?
Change can take many sizes and forms. It could be as relatively minor as taking on something incremental (e.g. a voluntary activity), or a new role within your existing organisation. It could be something much bigger like quitting your existing occupation and starting up your own business. Or, it could also include anything in between, in one or multiple steps.
It’s important to realise that we’re all at different starting points and we can all tolerate different levels of change and challenge. There is no ‘one size’ that fits all!
I’ll cover a few examples of change below:
A Different Role
My assumption here is of a different role in your existing organisation. This could be related to what you do today e.g. from a standalone role to that of a people manager (or vice versa) or switching to a project role. Alternatively, this could involve a rotation to a completely different function or location. If you’re looking to make such a move it’s much easier to do this with your existing organisation, where you’ve built up experience, job knowledge and a reputation.
In my current organisation, I know people that have made moves between Finance and HR, as well as between IT and Marketing. Moves which they would never have contemplated outside of the organisation.
A different role could also relate to a vertical move, either an upwards promotion, or downwards, taking a role with fewer responsibilities as you plan to wind things down a little. Your aim may be to enjoy life more or to give you time and scope for alternative activities, whether working at your dream or taking time for leisure.
A Different Organisation
While the “job for life” seems to be an outdated or unusual concept these days, there are still cases where people have worked in the same organisation, sometimes even in very similar roles, for a long time. For some, it could be the only place they’ve ever worked. This can make the prospect of changing companies an extremely significant and daunting challenge. But what if the company no longer serves you well or meets your needs? Or worse still, what if they no longer require you?
This could represent a mammoth upheaval.
While some might relish such an opportunity for change, others would run a mile from it. And again, change can get harder the older and more entrenched we get, whether we’re in the driving seat or not.
A New Career
Some people have been in a certain line of work for a number of years, but it maybe doesn’t serve them well any more. Alternatively, there could be changes within the function or industry, with differing or decreasing requirements. Maybe you’ve discovered something that you’d rather do instead, or a new skill?
There are probably many teachers that teach throughout their working lives, but I know quite a few that have started out teaching and moved into something else and others that start by doing something else and move into teaching.
I also know many coaches that have previously had very diverse careers including as social workers, hairdressers, accountants, teachers, lawyers and military officers!
Starting Something New
Many people dream of running their own business for the freedom and fulfilment that this implies. This could include something straightforward, such as running a café or a B&B, being a property landlord, or becoming an artist. Others have more targeted and specific business ideas and dreams.
You may already know of people that have actually escaped from the rat race to go and do these things, leaving behind their prior lives and following their dreams. Check out some of the examples in my Is this it? Article.
I’m not saying things always work out 100% as planned, but many of these people relish their newfound freedom and rarely regret their decision. After all, they could always go back into the world of employment and get another job… What’s more they’re now armed with additional transferrable skills they’ve acquired.
What if you did decide to act, to make a change, to follow your own dreams – and what if you were successful? Just imagine what possibilities (and opportunities) could open up for you…
Whether you’ve already made the decision to Do Something Different or are still indecisive, there are a couple of options that could help to propel you forward on any one of these veins (or more): figuring out your own path, coaching and mastermind groups.
Figuring out your own path
Many people start out in this way. I’ve certainly been here myself.
- It’s often seen as the cheapest way, with many free resources available (with a little searching).
- It can feel safer, maybe less exposing. Nobody even needs to know!
- There are lots of self-help books – The Freedom Seeker and Free Range Humans are two of my favourites.
- There are also numerous courses, workshops etc. from free to expensive!
But sometimes people discover they’re not making as much progress as they hoped:
- This approach can take a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation to keep up
- You can spend a lot of time and effort (& sometimes money) with limited progress to show for it
- Just because you read a book, it doesn’t mean you take the recommended actions
- Accountability can be hard – especially if others aren’t aware what you’re doing
- Obstacles can get in the way and it can be hard to find a way around them
Coaching could help
As you already know, I’m a big advocate of coaching. It can assist in various different respects:
- Help you to decide where you want to go and what you want to do. This could include exploring why the change is important to you, where you are now, how to get started, and to discover what resources you have at your disposal.
- Enable you to put a realistic plan in place with tangible actions to help you to make positive and steady progress towards your goals.
- Give you the confidence and motivation to keep going when obstacles arise, and to push through these challenges.
- Provide the support you need along your journey and help you to stay accountable to yourself for keeping on track.
Mastermind groups could also assist
Mastermind groups offer a combination of mentoring, brainstorming, accountability and support in a group setting to create the success you want.
If you need more info, this article recommends 7 Reasons To Join A Mastermind Group.
If you’re passionate about what you do today, then that’s great! If you’re not, why remain stuck on your current path for the next decade, or more? Make a positive choice and take the opportunity to Do Something Different, in a way that works for you.
Thank you for reading! For more of my articles, browse my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.
This article has been adapted from its original version published on Blue Diamond