At school, you’re led to believe that you have to choose a career while in your teens and stick with it until you retire. That’s 40 years doing the same thing. Which is fine if you love doing your job, but if not, then it’s OK to make a change.
A good friend of mine began his career as a gynaecologist, after years of training as a doctor. After a few years, though, he decided he didn’t like being a part of the massive NHS, so he remortgaged his house and bought a care home, which he enjoyed running. He jokes that his autobiography will be called “Hatching to Despatching”. He also hopes to have a third career one day.
My own sister was a fully qualified sub-titler and translator. She’s now a yoga teacher. Another friend worked as a trainer for a local council, which he found stressful, so he’s forged a new career in publishing.
A rather more high profile of someone who has reinvented himself is former comedian Adrian Edmondson, who made a name for himself in the 1980s TV shows such as The Young Ones and Bottom. However, when he hit 50 he decided he was too old to be making jokes about bottoms, so he learned to play the mandolin and started a folk band – as one does… The Bad Shepherds’ covers of punk songs are superb but, after a few years of enjoying doing that, Edmondson decided that was enough. He’s now a television presenter, novelist serious film and stage actor, and occasional chef.
So if you’re not happy in your career, it’s time to make a change.