Hi friends! Today we are going to have a little chat about Finding Success in your 30’s – and since I cannot go for coffee with all of you, I decided to make this topic into a blog chat; a friendly debate where we talk about our struggles, successes, and everything in between. I encourage you to voice your opinion – don’t be afraid! The Artful Desperado readers are quite an awesome gang, so go ahead, comment and make new friends! (Note: you don’t have to be in your 30’s to participate).
Read all about it after the jump!
Finding Success in Your 30’s
On January of 2013 I turned 30 – the age that officially marks your adulthood. Right as I was blowing the candles on my cake, the wind whispered “are you gonna eat that cake? You’re 30, you’re an adult now – shit’s gonna go straight to yo hips girl” – then I felt this slap on the face and another whisper came by: “remember that list of goals you did when you were 20 (and fit)? Where is it? How many things have you crossed out?”. Thing is, it wasn’t the wind. It was ME. Activating panic mode! How could this be?! I am 30 already? I haven’t been to Japan yet. Or Bora Bora. I still haven’t paid off my credit card debt. Wait, is that a wrinkle? – complete OVERLOAD.
As the weeks went by I became a voracious internet beast, reading everything about success in your 30’s, the 30’s life crisis, people that found glory in their 30’s, and 30 minute fat-burning workouts, ’cause you know – after you’re 30 you can’t have twinkies for breakfast and cookies for dinner without feeling the consequences.
After all the reading I thought to myself “hey, wait a second, there must be other people out there feeling the same way, struggling to find success, poking every corner of the internet looking for an answer – afraid of changing careers because it may be too late. I know I’m not alone!” And yes, after tweeting about this subject, I found out I am definitely not alone.
What About You?
Are you happy with what you’ve accomplished so far? Do you hear the “wind” whispering in your ear? Do you LOVE your career? (by LOVE I mean that you see yourself 40 years from now doing the same thing – yah. Scary, right?!). Is it possible to swap careers at this point in life? So many questions! Today we’ll tackle one (the scariest of all):
Is it worth it to make big careers changes when you are 30 or over? Or, should you stick to what you have and do lots of”side projects”?
Let’s see what some of my interweby friends have to say about it:
Sandra Harris from Raincoast Cottage:
I’ve made two career changes over the years and they were both worth it. The thing is, none of us are the same people we were back in the day picking our first career. We grow and learn and change. What “fit” at 18 or 25 might not necessarily fit when we are 30.
There isn’t a “right” answer (wah – don’t we want someone just to tell us what to do???). There IS merit and honour in doing a regular day job that pays the bills and supports the side projects. What you may love to do for fun may end up being a grind when you are doing it for money.
And there is something wonderful about finding a way to make a living following your passions.
But life is short – and you need to live your own dreams and values. When you are 80 and looking back on your life, what will you regret more – trying something new or not?
Melanie Biehle from genuineMix
Turned 30 in 1999. Since then I’ve been a psychiatric research manager, a dotcom tech marketer, a neuroscience and nephrology (look it up) research manager, a movie industry marketer, a pediatric behavioral research manager, a lifestyle blogger, a graphic designer, and a content marketing + social media consultant. And the mom of a 2 1/2 year-old boy. So…yes.
Christie Jones from bedsidesign
To change or not to change, that is the question. You’re 30, so what! You aren’t dead (maybe you feel like you are when you wake up in the morning). Change it up. I’m not quite 30 yet but will be in a few years and I am JUST figuring out what I want to do in life. Happiness is key, so if you discover a passion later than expected jump in with both feet!
Kristin Guy from The Cuisinerd
I’m a firm believer in career change at any age! Last year, at 32, I left a 9-5 corporate job as a creative director when my “side projects” of food writing started to take shape into a potential part time job. The key to a successful transition is to have a solid portfolio (blogs count!) in your new area of interest, update your resume to reflect how your skills cross over into a new industry/position , establish a set time frame to attempt the new career and assess the reality of it sticking.
I gave myself one year to build new relationships, expand my portfolio and throw myself into every possible situation that could lead me to becoming a professional food content creator. Thankfully, due to persistence and setting goal-oriented benchmarks this leap paid off for me and I now contribute to several national food columns. If you have passion, dedication and confidence in switching to a new career, I say go for it with gusto and a solid plan… you’ll never look back.
As crude as it sounds – we are all going to die one day, so – how do you want to live the rest of your life? Guessing? Or taking action?
It may sound super easy to say “Fuck it, I’m quitting my job and I’ll move to Nepal to train albino tigers” – when in reality, you can’t really do that – you gotta work, you have to pay your bills, feed your cat, AND on top of that you have to find the career you love. Yikes! It’s actually really hard. BUT, there is time, and you can always take small steps towards your new path. Like I said – do you want to continue a life of guessing or a life of taking action?
As a side note – success comes in all shapes and sizes. In this post we talk about success in your 30’s as a “career you love”, but perhaps success for you means to travel the world, or having kids and a lovely wife – whatever it is – same question applies: do you want to keep guessing, or do you want to take action?
Tell me, what are you doing RIGHT NOW to change your career? (or something else that’s professionally bothering you). Are you being proactive about it? Are you procrastinating? If so, why? Come on friend, open up. I know I’m not alone. Share you story on the comments below and let’s get this blog chat started!
ALL ART: Sara Eshak (love how it totally fits with this post!)