You are 55. You've just been tossed out by your employer in a downsizing. You are sitting at your kitchen table with your outplacement workbook, diligently doing the exercises to re-do your resume.
Then a song comes on the radio that you haven't heard in years, bringing back a flood of sweet memories from when you were young.
You ask yourself, What happened? What has my career added up to? What next? Do I really want to go back into corporate? Or should I take a chance and do something different?
In each of our lives, we choose a road and follow it. Whether it's engineering, nursing or policework, banking, underwriting or plumbing. We choose a career path and we pursue it.
Every road taken is a choice. And we leave other roads not taken.
Then we get to a point in our lives, maybe somewhere north of age 40 or 50, where we ask ourselves, "Have I reached the end of this road?"
If you are a boomer who has been downsized --or are still employed but are feeling like you have reached a dead-end-- it may be time to pull out the roadmap of your life and look back at the roads you chose NOT to take.
Why? Because these early career glimmers may hold the seeds of possibilities for the next act of your life.
When I was a child, grown-ups used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without hesitation, I'd answer: "A priest."
I did not take that road.
But when I think about the choices I did make in my life, I can discern a definite calling:
~ to be of service, to help others, to teach, to guide, to coach.
~ to do something that makes a difference in people's lives.
~ to help make the world a better place.
So, what were the career choices you entertained once upon a time? What happened? Why did you turn away?
Take a look at your roads not taken. Ask yourself what that choice might have meant to you. Ask yourself if it continued on in your life somehow, if it called you in some way.
If it is still a smoldering ember, deep within you.
Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 28, 2009