Tell Your Career Story

What meaning does my career have? Many of us in mid-life find ourselves asking that question. Daniel Pink in his book A Whole New Mind suggests that it’s through story that we find meaning. How about giving it a try right here? Post your Career Story

      • Tell us a story about your career.
      • Tell us a story about the place you work.

We can all learn and find inspiration from each other’s stories.

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4 thoughts on “Tell Your Career Story”

  1. It was 4 years ago, my 39th birthday, and I woke up crying. Although I had a fun, reasonably well-paying career, I knew in my heart of hearts I didn’t want to turn 40 without reaching out to do something that had more meaning. Which a bravado I look back on with amazement, I walked into my boss’s office that very day, and let her know I would be leaving within 3 months.
    and I was. I left to start my own business. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t know then, what I know now! But while it’s been tougher and a harder slog and been way more anxious-making, it’s also been way more interesting, enlivening and encouraging than I could have dreamed. When I’m on my deathbed, I will not wonder ‘what if …’. And on my tombstone will not be written, “she lived a pleasant, middle class lifestyle”. Every day holds abundant life for me in a way it never did before.

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  2. Nancy – Having meaning. That has been popping up a lot for me. Daniel Pink says “meaning is the new money”. It can sure buy happiness and fulfillment, but nothing material. Guess the trick is to find something that provides meaning as well as money.

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  3. Referring to Nancy Zimmermans experience, I can relate to much of her experiences. I had a career in mechanical contracting, working for a large company in Ontario for many years, managing projects and also in corporate management for the company. I later moved to Victoria and opened my own small business, in a totally unrelated field….beer! It went very well and it was quite successful and gratifying. I had extensive business and management education and experience, and that background was excellent for getting into my own business. Many people who get into their own business do so because they have a particular skill, such as a chef who opens his own restaurant. He can cook, but has no business skills or experience! It can be tough. Many businesses fail because of that situation. I had business and management experience, and I hired a beer expert to deal with that part of the business. Despite the sucess of my business, as Nancy mentioned, I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now! Despite my business background, I still had lots to learn about the risks involved in owning my own business. There are lots of great things about having a job! The risks are not as onerous. Having your own business is, also as Nancy said, very stimulating, but the risks are large. I had my business for 10 years and sold it. Now I am looking for a job, because I know the risks involved in owning my own business and I don’t wish to put myself in that situation again. Risking everything you have when you are younger isn’t as onerous as when you are older and are thinking about how you will finance retirement. The unfortunate thing is I have found it very difficult to get employed after being in my own business. Many employers do not appreciate the transferrable skills in management that I have. They have issues with my age, the fact that I was self employed before(“How can you work for someone else when you have worked for yourself?”) and the fact that I took some time off after selling my business to travel and get realigned. In retrospect, I was unprepared for the difficulties in getting a new career direction going after selling my business. If I was to do it all over again, I would make sure I was clear on my next new direction before getting out of what I was in before…. It has been a struggle. I have been surprised at how many jobs I have applied for that I know I am well qualified for and could fit into and adapt to easily that I have not gotten. Despite my extensive business education, the fact that I do not have a university degree has been an issue for many potential employers. Many companies now will not even consider persons without a university degree for many of their positions, regardless of their experience and expertise. Frustrating! So I am now working hard to clarify my career direction and goals so I can do whatever I need to do to get redirected and off in a new direction. Clarity is very important. And as Lowell Ann said, something that provides meaning as well as money would be a good thing. Although there comes a time where money has to come in! It may come to taking whatever I can get just to get an income. I must say there have been a number of such opportunities come my way, but I have been loooking for something stimulating and gratifying and with potential for moving ahead and giving me the opportunity to use some of the knowledge and skills I have gained in my career. That would be gratifying. The tough part is finding someone to hire me that appreciates the background and skills I have gained and how the skills are transferrable and beneficial. Tough one! Again, in retrospect, having a plan ahead of time….clarity as to a direction, is very beneficial.

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    • It would be interesting research to discover why employers are reluctant to hire those who have been self-employed in the past. Is there another self-employed avenue that you could consider that does not involve risky upfront costs? How about an online business Harvey?

      Reply

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