Don't Wait Until Retirement

Julie Shenkman
Posted by

A number of years ago, I was interviewing a woman who worked at one of the big three American car companies. She made the point, that she was not very happy working at her job as a secretary. She told me she thought she would like it more, to be working in the hotel industry. I asked her why she did not change careers. Her reply floored me. She told me she only had nine and a half more years to go until she could retire. I asked myself why anyone would throw away nine and a half years of their life doing something they didn't want to do? As we talked a bit further, she explained she was afraid to leave the car company and give up the security of a pension. She felt her pension would give her a modest income, that would allow her to find the work she really wanted to do. What this woman did not realize was that she was wasting nine and a half precious years of her life getting paid for doing something she hated. Not to mention that, there was no guarantee that she would still even have her health when she retired. In plain and simple terms she was stuck in a career she did not want to do. This scenario is repeated far too often in the world of work, people working in jobs that do not allow them to sing the song they were given. This is not for you. The real obstacles, for those in this predicament, that must be addressed, are the two F's: 'fear' and 'focus'. The first F, fear of the unknown, can be devastating for anyone. It can paralyze you from doing the things that can free you from your unhappy state. The key to breaking the fear barrier is not to lose your fear, but rather to keep going, despite it. By moving forward one step at a time, you can slowly break the vise-like grip fear has on you. By keeping your momentum, you will eventually reach a place where you are free from its grasp and are able to experience success. The second F, the lack of a clear focus, can be just as formidable. Until you can get a clear picture of where you are headed, it will be difficult to reach your goal of a career that will make you happy. If you need help in getting focused, spend some time thinking about what makes you happy. Be on the lookout for a career that you could get and that keeps you excited. If necessary, contact a career coach for additional help. It will be well worth the investment. Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, speaker, coach and author. He helps companies and organization become more profitable by increasing their value and lowering their costs through the professional development of their managers and employees.

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Delonte
    Thank God! Someone with brains speaks!
  • Flossy
    Thanks for sharing.
  • Xandy
    What a joy to find such clear thinking. Thanks for posting!
  • Hank
    What a joy to find such clear thinking. Thanks for posting!
  • Kelly
    I agree with your premise, but what about people over fifty that are having a hard time in their existing field and want a change but are having trouble getting hired? Won't the same issue of age project manager to accountant.  Not to mention having less experience? Thanks

Jobs to Watch