Midlife career change

How do we know where to head when we don’t know where we currently are? I have been struggling with finding my path in life for quite a while now.  I would like to change careers but I don’t know what career suites me.  I am afraid to step off the ledge.

My biggest fear would be…well, fear.  Fear of the unknown. It probably also doesn’t help that I don’t trust my intuitive instincts. I want to say that I am consciously aware of what I want and don’t want in life, but I would be lying. I struggle to understand what my base needs and desires are.

I know that I crave to live an autonomous life. I want to work for myself.  Back when I was in my late teens, I ran a small lawn care business.  I mowed a number of people’s lawns throughout the summer. It was enjoyable.  I arrived when I wanted at the job, and I took as many breaks and as long a lunch as I wanted, too.

I just struggle in seeing the big picture.  I let each day go by with no progress in sight, firm plan of what I am trying to accomplish. It’s frustrating, and time keeps ticking by. I struggle to see where I stand in this life.

I don’t feel like I fit in, especially in the corporate culture. I feel like I aged out at 40.  That is crazy to think of, but today’s work environment seems to be tailored to baby the millennial generation.   A 9-5 job pays well in some regards, but you give up a hell of a lot in return. I never really thought of it that much until recently.  You lose a lot of your freedom in some sense, and autonomy and purpose are usually put to the side in favor of what the employer’s wants are.

So, what do I want in this life? Like I said, autonomy is paramount.  I would like to pursue multiple areas of interest, if possibly.  I have bought and sold on Ebay for over twenty years. Jesus, has it been that long, really? I think pursuing a side hustle in flipping items and sourcing items from online and locally could be pretty lucrative.  I would need to build up the business, though.  Nothing is for free, well it is…but that is another story.

I want to also pursue creative work.  I am artistically inclined, though, I am very rusty and I don’t have many skills, but I am a good learner. I love to learn.  I have read a number of articles from people in the business that say after 40, you will have a hard time finding work in the creative field. I don’t know if this is true, but I think there are areas or niches where this isn’t so prevalent.  I just like the idea of working remotely and using skills that I have to earn more money.  I don’t want to rely on one employer.  I have a drive to use my creative mind, to design and create.

Helping and connecting with others is also a big drive for me.  Over the past couple months, I have joined a number of Zoom meetups, and I have met a lot of great people.  I never really explored this side of myself. I am pretty avoidant, so I don’t usually put myself out there that often. It has been a wonderful experience to open myself up to others, and be well received.   People on the whole are good.

So, that is about it. I want to work for myself, where I can use my intuition to procure items, and sell them to the highest bidder. I would also like to polish my skills in creative work, and at the same time reach out and build meaningful connections with others.

I’m sure there are others out there in the same predicament.  It seems that I have come across others who are in their early 40’s or later that have come to the realization that what they are currently doing for work is not what they would like to continue to do until they retire. And this is ok.  You are only on this planet for a finite amount of time.  I think it is wise to steer yourself onto a better path, even if some people might be dismayed by your decision.