Congratulations if you have the spark of change ignited within you. I won’t hesitate to bet that we all reached this same position along very different life paths. The more regular readers of my blog will know about my path through divorce and into the real I call freedom. The post which follows will document several of the midlife career change ideas that I personally explored or that were presented to me as options when I was rebuilding my life from the bottom up.
I struggled for years with trying to find my intended direction after a marriage breakup. What I found was that until I really identified what I was trying to change away from I was just chasing my tail.
Every fad or every business idea seemed brilliant because they each came with a spike of adrenaline just like taking a risk for the first time. Whilst it is good to let your imagination run wild at these times be careful of the perpetual cycle you can get yourself stuck in.
What do I mean by the perpetual cycle? I found myself stuck in the research or education phase of one crazy scheme after the next. I won’t tell you what they all were because some were extremely ridiculous now I look back.
Your Path Lies Within You Only (Not from a consultant, life coach or significant other)
I hope that this next part isn’t met with too much resistance. Most of us don’t spend anytime at all getting to know the inner workings of our selves and learning what makes our psyche’s tick.
The first step to changing your career is very simply a change in your self vision and understand your own personality traits. Most of you will think you have a good handle on who you think you are, here are a few questions and scenarios I want to put you through which will challenge that.
Question 1. Pretend that you exist in a parallel universe where none of your relatives, loves ones or friends exist with you. You are brand new to a brand new city. What makes you content, relaxed and happy?
Question 2. At what stage of giving to other people become too much and overpower the love you need to give yourself?
Question 3. If you won the lottery tomorrow which removed all material need for money but you still had to choose a job to go to each day what would it be.
Look Back At What Made You Your Happiest
After lots of serious soul-searching my brain kept centering itself back to the mindset I had as a 21 year old. You may have a different point in your life but the concept here is that we all have one point in our life when we were our happiest, most optimistic and actually saw the world with options.
If you need to meditate, smoke weed or do mushrooms, do whatever it takes to tap back into your younger self. When you do find your younger imaginative and creative self remember this. Don’t beat yourself up because you became old grumpy and boring. Life isn’t over yet, there is still time to make amends.
If you are still struggling here are a few prompts
- What were you most passionate about (sport, dancing, comedy, etc.) No not a person
- When you were 15 what did you want to do when you grew up
- As a Teenager or 20 something what did you always promise yourself you would not do with your life
- Did you have any big opportunities in life that slipped you by?
Half Measures Of Change Can Be Very Productive
Here is an idea that will flip your entire concept map on it head. Instead of focusing on your income (job changes) why don’t you change your outgoings (house expenses, utilities, debts etc.)
Your new life should be all about compromise, risk vs reward and minimizing the effort required to get you to your happy place. In saying that I bet a lot of you are working at a job you hate to pay for a house you never get to enjoy. I know I was and it was miserable.
Here is a list of a Twenty (20) more ideas that you can implement as half measure to start the ball rolling
- stop spending so much money on dates that you know won’t go anywhere
- stop spending so much money on things to make other people happy
- minimise the amount of money that you spend on things that don’t get you any closer to longer term happiness (for example food, you could buy lunch every day and eat well but you will still be stuck in your dead end job)
- next time you are in the hairdressers chair or barbers chair do something completely new (get your head shaved or try out a new hairdo) the change will set a tone for the rest of your life
- go out to a movie or dinner by yourself (or even better go on a holiday by yourself); you need to challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone
- volunteer or help out a stranger. Even if it is just giving a beggar a few bucks. Start building up your Karma credits.
- pick a new sport or exercise regime and stick to it for 90 days
- enrole in a new online education course and finish it
- break your normal routine in any way that you can (take a day off work, drive to work a different way, catch public transports etc.)
- eat a new type of food that you have never eaten before
- learn to cook a new dish
- pick 20 things that you have been hoarding and throw them out
- tell someone how you really feel about them (good or bad)
- Throw out 5 pieces of clothing that you don’t wear
- sell five big things that you don’t use or don’t need
- teach somebody something that you know about
- Fast yourself for 24 hours
- Join in on one of those charity events you always avoided (i.e. 40 hour famine, Dry July, Ocsober, Movember, 12 week body transformation)
- Get back to nature and ground yourself again back into the earth (I like camping to do this and hiking)
- Start deprogramming yourself from the mainstream media propaganda and fake news. Turn off the TV or YouTube as often as you can.
Example 1. Downsizing, Low Cost Housing Options & Minimalism
In a nutshell: get rid of the debt anchor weighing you down and embrace a simpler lifestyle with less stuff. Some of us don’t see this clearly until a very disastrous point in life (IE. death, divorce, serious illness or near death experience). If you have fallen for the biggest scam of all time you have become a consumer which means you have also exchanged a little bit of your personal happiness for material wealth.
I think the concept should be pretty obvious from here on in. Jump onto one of these new movements such as Tiny Houses, Van Life, Downsizing, Grey Nomads, Global Nomads, Digital Nomads, Tree Changers, Green Changers, Free Changers, The Minimalists, Decluttering, or countless others.
Picture yourself in a log cabin living debt free.
Two Closing Activities
1. Write out a skills’ matrix or write out your job description but cherry pick the few activities that you actually like doing. For example, I had one reader tell me he was a Painter but really enjoying teaching and mentoring the apprentices. He went on to become a teacher in a community college.
2. Start a journey of self-actualization.
If this article helped in anyway please consider sharing with someone else and please leave a comment below.