Old dog…looking to learn new tricks.

It’s 2017 and I am going to be 49 years old this year.  For easily the last decade I have been waffling back and forth about staying in my current career.  Its not that I hate my job, I just don’t particularly like it.  Unfortunately, it pays pretty well and allows me to keep a roof over my head, pay my family’s medical bills, AND go on a yearly vacation.   Every year I would end up at some point in my project where I decided that I really needed a change and I would tell myself that as soon as I was through the firefight du jour, I would focus on finding a job that fulfilled me more in one way or another; more time at home, more time on causes I believe in, more interesting day to day work, whatever.  And the I would get through and get stuck into something else and voila, 6 or 9 months later I am having the same conversation with myself.

The issue for me is that I have done pretty well in my field – not super, not top dog, but good enough that I do not have to worry about my marketability, so long as I don’t want to do anything else.  Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I am comfortable in my pay scale.  This makes it kind of hard to move off of center.  It also makes me a one hit wonder; coasting along and feeling like life is creeping past me at an alarming rate.

Call it a midlife crisis maybe but I have been looking at other “jobs” and found that the only thing I am truly qualified for is the one that I am currently in.  I can’t move without changing my financial situation downward drastically (which as the breadwinner I feel obligated to resist).

I wont go into the details to deeply of my current job but it:

  • Requires me to travel almost every week so I can’t participate in family or church life on anything but the weekend.
  • Often requires long hours in an cubicle setting tweaking and testing software that is only useful in a manufacturing and warehouse environments (so nothing cool or sexy)
  • Has little redeeming social value and promotes a sense of self helplessness in an overblown bureaucratic process with little effective teaming.

I work for a large “firm” that would have been great when I was 23 but now I am pushing 50 and their model doesn’t really work for me.  I am not the go-getter willing to pull all nighters in a crunch like I once was.  I am not hungry for top dog positions anymore; they are painful and require must nose wiping of other adults.

So this is my attempt to figure out how to shift my work and learn new tricks.  I decided I would write while I was working on it, sort of as a journaling effort, also as a way to maybe get tips from other people; real tips, not like the “Top 5 Things Successful People…blah blah blah.”   Hop along for the ride, especially if you are muddling through this question yourself.  Maybe together we can find an answer.


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