Statistically speaking, over 60% of us would have chosen a different career if we had it to do all over again.
Me, I have been a master at denying my destiny! For decades I worked as an academic librarian. Why? Because I kept getting jobs, I knew lots of people in librarianship, and I was quite good at what I did. The combination of reference people skills and being naturally investigative worked for me, until one day it didn’t.
Have you ever compared your first choice of professions to an arranged marriage? That seems like the perfect metaphor for most of our inexperienced and inadequate attempts at choosing a career at age 19 or 20. We were so very unqualified for such major life decisions, and then most of us got stuck for life!
I got my Masters in Librarianship and my first job way back in 1979. At first I was simply overjoyed to finally have a “professional position.” The work was sometimes fun and challenging, and I felt good about helping others learn and grow, but I always said I would change careers when I finally figured out what I really wanted to be.
See how that turned out? I had to get laid off at age 49 with no hope of finding more work in librarianship, before I finally got serious about career change. I had been collecting M.A. degrees over the decades so I had the professional training I needed, just not the courage to take a chance and truly change my fate. Now, I am so glad I did.
First I had to be open to receiving some career counseling. Why? Because it can be quite challenging to persuade yourself at age 50 that you could and should start doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. In other words, TIME’S A WASTING!
It seems crazy now how hard my counselor had to work to convince me to become a writer, something I had always dreamed of. That’s how irrational we human beings can be at times.
For the past six years I have followed my inner wisdom, my dreams and my destiny, working as a writer and psychotherapist. I would be lying if I said this has been a stress-free transition for me, but the reward is the daily certainty that I’m finally doing exactly what I came here to do.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
So expand your mind, and do one thing every day that scares you!