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Early mid-life crisis

21 May 2010 by superlative

frustratedFirst of all, hello and welcome to my new blog. It’s the same blog as before, but it has moved home now to this cosy little bit of webspace of my own, rather than the ugly fugliness of Blogger.

I intend to do a proper design of my own for it sometime soon, but for the moment I’ve just picked a nice-looking theme and bunged it up. I’m also going to try to develop some different sections on this site, where I can post other things that I find interesting or stimulating.

But anyway, that’s enough administrative stuff. To business.

OH MY GOD I seem to be having a total mid-life crisis regarding work and my life in general, and I don’t know what to do about it. Essentially my problem is as follows:

I have a job, and it is fine. Fine but boring. Really really boring. I don’t have enough work to do, and the work I do have is generally quite dull. Furthermore, I don’t know if my job (as a web editor/developer) is what I really want to be doing. I didn’t choose this as such, I didn’t study with this career in mind, I just kind of drifted into this after uni, and now I’ve found myself at a dead end with no possibilities for advancement, and without sufficient qualifications to do much else. Which is sad, because I’m clever and I have a first class degree, but a degree in French and Italian doesn’t lead to many obvious careers.

Most of my friends have proper professions or career paths: they’re teachers, or nurses, or conservation officers, or lawyers. And I don’t. I have no idea what I want to do long term, and I feel like my life is slipping past without me actually achieving very much.

But without knowing what I want to do long term, I don’t know what I can change in my life, what career I could change to, or what further study I could do, and so I feel totally stuck.

I don’t like feeling unfulfilled, and I don’t like being bored. I think that I have the potential to do a lot, to do anything if I really want to, but without any focus I end up doing nothing.

I’ve talked it over with Chris, and I’ve spent quite a long time this morning discussing it with a friend at work (thanks Dom!). But ultimately no one can tell me what to do: I need to decide for myself. I just don’t know if there is a job I’d rather be doing, and so I continue to bumble along.

I think that a key decision I need to make first of all is if I want to change job or career at all. I could do, and with that comes the need for further study or taking a pay cut in order to start again in a different field. That’s one option. My other option though is to seek fulfilment elsewhere: through study or something else in my life, and let work take a secondary position. My job is fine after all, I get paid quite a lot, and it doesn’t stress me out. So I could do something else for passion or love, something I enjoy, or something that stretches me, but have it not be a work thing.

I’ve thought about doing a masters before, and about doing a creative writing course and trying to write a novel. I’ve always wanted to learn a martial art. These things could easily fill the gaps in my life if I pursued them. But I’d have to accept I’m not going to be a massively high-powered, high-earning person and stop worrying about having a ‘career’.

So what do I do?? Which way do I jump? I need to do something I think, I can’t just continue as I am, I’ll get depressed and the years will slip past without anything changing.

All I *can* do is give it more thought and try to come to a decision. I just don’t see at the moment though how I’m going to find anything to push me one way or the other. Hum.


  1. Helen says:

    Shiny new blog, I likes it.

    I really empathise with all these frustrations. I have never, ever known what I wanted to do for a career, never had so much as an inkling really, no gut feeling to go on. I fell into admin, I like it, I’m good at it and I suppose there is a viable career path of sorts in HE admin or just management generally but I’m not necessarily passionate about it. I put the effort in because I prefer to do things properly, it doesn’t really come from passion for the work. If I knew what I wanted to do I would have come up with a plan to achieve it long ago. Sigh.

    Hmm, I appear to have made this all about me.

    Good luck with the thinking, keep blogging about it

    Helen xx

  2. Katie Piatt says:

    Very smart new blog. Was given some advice once career-wise. There are three important factors, the nature of the work, the pay, the people you work with. If you can score 2 out of 3 that you’re happy with, then count yourself lucky!

  3. Urban Cynic says:

    Nice Blog. I might not comment as often as before unless you Tweet that you have a new post because my Blogger ones all came up in one place. I’ve added you to Feedly & you should be fine though!

    My opinion on the job dilemma is to work out what things you like to do. So which bits do you really like & why? is it the fixing things part, the social element? do you prefer working with data or people? indoors or outdoors? etc. Often, the things yo like to do or have done in the past, have similar elements running through them even though they don’t look like they do at first. (for example, I’ve had tonnes of various jobs, but they all have elements of ‘sorting things out’)

    There’s a really good book called ‘what colour is your parachute’ someone lent it to me once & it’s a good way of identifying what kinds of things you like to do & how to get the right job for you. It’d also be a shame to waste the Italian… x

  4. superlative says:

    You can still follow this through Blogger! Just paste the URL in and I think it just copes with it being WordPress. I can’t lose you as a reader, that’d be like a 30% drop or something! (I have a huge following)

    Thank you for your collective careers advice, I shall continue to give it some thought 🙂

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