I am completely unsatisfied with my job. I make a lot of money because I have been here so long so it is hard to leave. Plus I worked hard to be where I am now. But I dread going in every day. I just turned 38 and I am worried that it is too late to start over.
“A career in jeopardy”
Dear "career in jeopardy,"
I understand how hard it can be going everyday to a job that makes you unhappy.
We have all had a job or two like that but we were conflicted because the money was so good that we don’t want to leave. Surprisingly when I switched careers to one where I made exactly half of what I made at the old job, I was much happier. I also had another job where I was unhappy and I decided to change things so that I could stay there.
The key is deciding if things can be changed. Believe it or not, a lot of it starts with you…
Do I stay…
Right now you are not doing yourself any good. It is possible that you are not working nearly as effectively as you would in a job you loved. However, what could make you happier at your current job? Can you ask for different or additional work so your current load doesn’t become so cumbersome? Can you take on a project that will give you some recognition?
The important thing is to realize whether or not there is room to grow at this company. Is it possible that you can be at a different position in a year or so?
…Or do I go now?
The important thing to remember is that it is much easier to get a job if you already have a job. Many new jobs will want a reference from your old job. If there is bad blood at work, start working on those relationships.
That being said, start looking for jobs right away. Find out what the requirements for various jobs. Spruce up your resume. Go to the library and look at some books on interviews. This about taking a class or two that may help you with your current career or your career hunt. Put together your list of references; be sure to know whether or not they will give you a good review if an employer calls!
You may even find that what is out there right now is not nearly as good as what you have. You never know until you start!
It is never too late!
I have an uncle who was an engineer and switched careers at 45 to be a camera man. Now that is a leap of faith! My aunt got her Bachelor’s Degree at age 45 and her Master’s Degree at age 47. Another uncle switched careers to be a real estate investor at age 50. Even I switched career directions from journalism as an undergraduate to get my Master’s in Business in my mid 30s….and I am happy I did.
The important thing is not just to make money, but have fun making money. Also, it is important to never stop learning — at any job.