Over 40? Vocation starts now!

Well, the summer is finally over, and kids are ready to go back to school. For adults, especially those over 40, this time associates with extra anxiety. Perhaps, you have spent the summer avoiding the most important question you must answer. That’s it. It is time to answer. What work must emerge through you now? The difficult economy might influence you to settle for just any job to pay the bills. However, don’t settle for any job just for the money, this will be a big mistake. First, take the time to become more self-aware and understand what type of life you want to live for the next half of your journey.

You can recreate a new beginning

Despite any bills and money concerns you CAN recreate a second half of your life which works better for you. Once you decide what you really want to do, don’t stray from this path.

If you are living month to month then at least get a job or better yet 2 or 3 part-time jobs that are in the area of your passions. For example let’s say you love music but need to make $75,000 a year and you haven’t figured out a way to make this in the music industry. For your all life you have been a customer service manager in retail. Your expenses are$ 5,000 a month and you are quickly running out of money. You need something fast. You are tempted to apply for what you have always done customer service in a large retail chain that will probably pay you close to what you need. Only one problem, you don’t like the work and feel like you are wasting your life. You feel you need the job because if you run out of money you will lose your apartment and have no place to go! What should you do?

Don’t take the job!

At least not until you have a plan to get you working for the rest of your life around music.

First be clear as to where you want to make a contribution. Make a list of what is most important to you. Align new goals now to what is most important. Define your own version of your perfect vocational day which you could live for the rest of your life. Now at least you will have a gap between where you are and where you want to go. Now, how can you close this gap? First can you produce a product or service now which you can sell which has something to do with music? Can you get 2 or even 3 part-time jobs working around music? What if all of this added up to $5,000 a month, wouldn’t that be great?

Not sure where to start?

Where do your interests and abilities align which you are motivated right now to do? For example, you listed that you are good at selling, designing, working with people, and advertising. Your deep interests revolve around jazz, live music, piano, and teaching music (piano). Ok, a good start. Now think first what could you sell? Of course there are piano lessons but there are also things like advertising for music stores, musical productions and local theatres. Maybe you brand yourself as the Music Brand getting the musical word out as your tagline. You offer advertising and marketing for musicians as well as representing some local artists directly. You also decide to offer piano lessons two days a week and you take a job in a music retail store 10 hours a week. You decide to write and produce a guide for learning music. You sell this to your piano students.

Before long (it takes about 6 months to get this going) you are making between 2500 and 3500 a month but you see the potential for growth and you are happy!

You move!

You decide to move to a less expensive area. You are happy now and all of a sudden you feel attractive and good about yourself. You start to meet new people, and before long you meet someone special. You decide to move in together. Your partner works and all of a sudden you have a new support team and your overall expenses are less.

One day you wake up to a new life!

One morning you wake up and suddenly realize you are happy and have a new life!
You are clearly not rich but you are getting by. Most of your days are filled with activities doing what you love. As a result, you continue to have new ideas about how to grow your opportunities. You wonder what your life would have been like if you had taken that customer service job a year ago JUST for the money.

You look back and reflect

You made better choices. You decided to be clear about which work needed to emerge through you now. You decided to no longer accept a mundane life. Despite the economy you decided that this was a good time to follow your heart. Well, you also made a few financial moves. You dumped your retirement which was against all solid financial advice because saving for retirement now seemed like a silly idea. Now you never plan to stop working. After all the ONLY people who retire are people who didn’t love what they do. It was only $45,000 but it helped you get through the tough times. You moved to a less expensive area 5 hours away and saved over $1000.00 per month on expenses.You started going out more and soon met the new love of your life. You knew that this was the right person when you shared your dreams with this person. And he or she cheered you on!

This is the best time ever to have multiple streams of income

Fearful of the economy? Don’t be. Figure out now what products and or services you can create and sell even if for one dollar. If you can sell one product or service for a dollar, you can sell many more products and services to more people at 2 dollars and so on. Look at part-time jobs as an alternative – several of them! Only work for one full-time role if it closely aligns to your plan for passionate work and your vocation. If not you are making a commitment to unhappiness. I sometimes wish we could just lease ourselves to organizations for 1 year on a trial basis. Then like a car, at the end of the lease if we don’t find joy in our work, we could leave if we choose and be paid back for wear and tear on the job! Until this time comes, you must take your job search into your own hands. This new push for job creation is silly.

I’d rather see a strategy to create meaningful work. This is what makes a society work well. For now you will have to take action yourself for an authentic life.
Most of us today have money concerns. Seeking a stable full-time job in areas which you don’t enjoy is risky.

Defining what you want and which work must emerge through you now is more important. With a vision of your own perfect vocational day you can begin to move towards designing a life which works better for you and soon everyone around you. You can do this and you deserve this now!

I'll be cheering you on as you go!

Craig Nathanson

Author's Bio: 

Craig is a 25 year management veteran, Executive coach, college professor, author, and workshop leader. Also, Craig Nathanson is The Vocational Coach helping people and organizations thrive in their work and life.

Craig Nathanson is the founder of The Best Manager , workshops and products aimed at bringing out the best in those who manage and lead others.