I’m usually just a lurker around here, but I would love some advice, so I’ve finally registered.
How, exactly, does one go about making a career change without completely throwing their already-established life out the window? I’m a 31-year-old male with a bachelor’s degree, having worked in my current career field for almost nine years (at two different places of employment). It’s not a terrible job, it’s not particularly difficult, I’m very good at it, but I have never derived any PLEASURE from it. I go to work, do my job, collect a paycheck, and come home. I joined the military after high school and I just sort of landed this job by accident because it matched my military training. I then got my degree in this same field because it got me a series of promotions. About the only thing I like about my job is the money. It pays decent money. Not great, but enough to be comfortable. But lately this general feeling of dissatisfaction that I’ve always had with this job has morphed into an overwhelming urge to GET OUT! Find something I actually LIKE to do. A job that I actually ENJOY going to every day. I’m at my breaking point!
It just feels like there are so many obstacles! I’m single, divorced with half custody of my son. I’m three years into a 30-year mortgage. I have student loan payments, but they’re not overwhelming. Other than my mortgage and student loans, I have no debt, but no real savings either. Certainly nothing that would enable me to be unemployed for any reasonable length of time while I seek training and apply for jobs.
Here’s the problem, as I see it. None of the careers I think I would like have anything in common with what I’m doing right now. So it’s not as if I can make an easy leap to some closely related field where my current education and experience would be useful. And going to school part time in the evening puts me at almost 40 before I can even begin applying for other jobs, at which point I would start at entry level which wouldn’t pay nearly enough to support my financial obligations.
If I was in a dual-income household, or if I didn’t have a son to care for, I would likely just throw caution to the wind and take the leap and hope I land on my feet, but at the very least, I have my son to think about, and it feels irresponsible to give up a stable job and a steady income on the off chance I find another career I don’t hate.
So how do other people manage to do it? Does everyone feel dissatisfied with their job like this? Is this some sort of early mid-life crisis? Should I be happy just to have a job?!