"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches.." Pauline Kezer
I once sold computer software
30 years ago I was selling computer software. Yup! You heard that right. It was a great job with flexible hours and I had small children at home. Did I love the work? Was I passionate about the product? Would I have loved to be doing something that resonated with me more? Of course! But then there was the reality of supporting a family and trying to keep myself in the game while raising children. I honestly couldn’t see another path at the time.
In the third grade, my teacher asked the age-old question – “What do you want to be when you grow up?” With great enthusiasm I told her and the class that I wanted to be a writer, actress and singer. She chuckled as I spoke and responded, “You know you are going to go to college, get married and have children.” Now, if that isn’t the instantaneous dream killer? I sat down in my seat filled with shame.
Throughout the years I’ve had careers in retail, human resources, computer technology, writing, marketing, mental health and art. The Department of Labor doesn’t keep track of career change but many career counselors say the average person will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 different careers and make 15-17 job changes in a lifetime. And while this was once a negative thing, it no longer has any stigma attached to it. Staying in one place for a lifetime is actually a rarity these days as turnovers in management at large companies is commonplace.
So, what does all this mean? It means we have opportunities to transition. We have more freedom to grow, change and discover new passions. And most importantly, we can do it all the way into our elder years. Transition and new business startups can occur at any time but there’s a huge leap in midlife. Why slow down when you are just getting started?