A couple of weekends back I went out to visit some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. It was great to catchup with my friends, especially considering I used to see them so frequently (almost weekly), but now only see them about every half year. Anyway, one of the topics that came up was work. It seems that everyone was starting to hit what I can only assume is a early mid life crisis.
One of my friends has worked as a dental nurse for pretty much as long as I can remember. I always knew that she didn’t really like her job, but I never thought it was really getting her down either. When we were chatting she told the group that she was getting so depressed with it all that she was crying before she went into work and that eventually she had had enough and just quit.
She was originally concerned with how long should would be able to live without income, however she decided that she couldn’t go on living this way and that she needed something more out of life. She has now decided to have a complete career change and do something that she is interested in.
This admission lead to another friend also opening up about his life at work. He has recently started seeing a career counselor because he has been in the same job for almost the last decade and hasn’t progressed even once. The work he does isn’t interesting and he wants more responsibility, but isn’t sure how to go about getting more from his work. I’m sure the counselor will help him, but I also wonder how much joy he will get from the increased responsibilities, should he attain them.
This lead me to discuss my future career prospects. As many of you will know, I managed to get a promotion last year and now have a lot more responsibility, and while some aspects of that are great, others really badly suck. I wonder if it’s a case of the grass always being greener on the other side? I got to talking about how my job is looking less and less certain with the upcoming election. Seeing as I work for the government, and both sides of the government are talking about what they plan to do with the company I work for, my job might not exist in another years time and if it does, it might be VERY different.
The big thing for me though, is should I lose my job, I would be offered quite a large severance package, which would essentially see my family and I be able to live for the next 2-3 years without me having to find work. When you combine that with our online income streams, we could live for even longer still – none of my friends have that to help them out should they want to change their career direction.
It later occurred to me that my friends and I were all hitting a point where we needed to objectively evaluate our lives and make decisions for our own futures. Work is a big part of all of our lives, and while my first friend has already decided what she wants to do, she doesn’t have to worry about also supporting her family if something goes wrong, so I suspect that makes the decision that little bit easier. My other friend will have to decide if it’s time to move on and look for other work, or put in a bit more effort to ensure he is next inline for a more important role. For me, i’m going to sit tight and do nothing. In one way I see the prospect of taking a redundancy as liberating, the other side makes me a little fearful for the future.
I think the main thing is to have a plan in place no matter what life throws at you.
How is your work going? Are you finding it a little stale, or are you just loving it at the moment?