Did I get your attention? Good; that was the point. No one should have just a job after 40. Before 40, it is necessary to build your ego in the world. It is critical for self-development, self-esteem, and to get a sense of your place in the world. Naturally, it would be perfect to do the work you love before 40, but this is not always possible. Before 40, it makes sense to align your interests and abilities with the work you love. After 40, it is an absolute requirement for an authentic life.
First – Quit your Job
Of course you will need a plan. Answer these questions to determine if you have a job you should to quit.
Does your present job leave you breathless at the end of the day wanting more? Do you think about your work all the time? Do you have trouble telling the difference between work and play while you are at work? Do you feel like your work uses all of your natural abilities and creativity?
Well, I am sure you know the answer by now. If you loved your work, you probably would not have picked up this article to read in the first place.
Where to Start?
If you quit your job today, how long could you go without making any money? Over 40, we need more time than money. What other resources could you use now to lengthen the time you could live without a paycheck so that you could focus on finding your life’s work — that work that is just right for you? Once you start working at what you love, how much do you need to make? Remember, there is a difference between “need” and “want”.
Start with decision, and then take action
First, decide today that you will no longer settle for “just a job.” You must have vocational passion!
What is the next step you must take, and then the next and the next? Answer the following question:
If I had to decide right now, the perfect work for me — the work I am most passionate about — would be _______ .
Time for new learning
Find out who else is doing what you most want to do. Make a plan to contact them, or research how they make a living and what is required. Also, decide for yourself what route you now want to take. Do you want to do this passionate work alone, in partnership with others, or with lots of people?
Find 6 people to support you
Find 3 people right now who share these same interests. Connect with them weekly.
Find 2 people who share your interests, and can also be a great referral source for new opportunities.
Find 1 person who can be your mentor. This should be a person who shares your interests, is a great referral source, and most importantly, can coach you and get you to new opportunities.
Sadly, we only had coaches when we were children, and even then only if we did sports. After 40 is when we really them the most!! You might be so lucky as to have your spouse be that coach — that would be so great (but so rare)! Chances are, loved ones will be neutral, or even threatened, when you come home one day and suddenly announce your plan to quit your job and get a life!
This is crazy
No, crazy is working for years and years like a robot to earn an income while you silently die inside. There are so many ways to earn an income. The challenge is making sure – especially after 40 – that you are doing the work you love.
No one else does this
Yes, and peer pressure and societal pressure is exactly the reason why most adults over 40 do not change their work. They just wait for retirement with the hope that perhaps then they will finally be able to do more interesting work. Sadly, this is like playing the lotto — without a plan, you are giving your life up to chance.
Ask better questions
What will my life be like in five years if I do change? Worse, but also a good question; what will my life be like in five years if I don’t change?
Stop looking for outside approval
Look instead for inner support. Have a board meeting with the inner you. Discuss what steps you need to take now for change. Give yourself approval to take some action today.
The rest is history
Once you start to move towards more pleasure and passion in your work life, your past will turn into wisdom and reconciliation. You are special and unique, and you deserve an authentic life.
I can sense your heart beating faster, your thoughts racing: Good! That was the point of this article!
As always, I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines as you go.
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