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    Careers: Why am I Still Lost at 40?

    Share The majority of us do not receive career guidance at any time in our lives, so it’s not surprising that many of us still feel lost by the time we turn 40.  What lies behind this absence of dedicated, quality careers guidance that so many of us are so aware of?

    In school, far from being qualified careers advisors, most career teachers are fulfilling that role ‘on the side’, as part of a portfolio that understandably focuses more on areas they’re actually qualified to teach and guide in. Once we get to university, the situation is not much better.

    One of the UK’s top universities requires students to pre-book a session providing 15 minutes of help with their CV. It’s probably useful advice but how does it help us with finding the right career following graduation, let alone prepare us for future career changes?

    What, in reality, usually happens once we graduate is that we fall into a career. We come out of university, apply to an organisation or graduate scheme for a job and then get stuck on some sort of career escalator.

    You end up merely responding to circumstance, which is how your boss wants it as it gives them the opportunity to encourage you to apply for things in a way that suits their own plans. The employer serves you up opportunities on a plate once you’re caught in that particular ecosystem.

    You get used to not taking control and this is the primary reason why people end up feeling lost. They don’t have what analyst Daniel Pink calls “autonomy”.

    This leads to a major obstacle to people effecting a career change over 40: A fear of losing what your current job gives you.

    Instead of considering change, we tell ourselves, “If I turn up and do what I’m supposed to do, I don’t have to worry about not having money going into my account". This sense of laziness continues throughout your career, leaving us wondering how to get out of this cycle once we reach forty. You’ve now had half of your adult life and probably have quite a lot of responsibilities. You feel lost, ergo your confidence shrinks and you doubt your ability to change things.

    At Position Ignition, however, we believe there is such thing as successful career change over forty. Our clients come from across the age spectrum. Just as your career doesn’t ‘stop’ or ‘start’ at a particular age, career change isn’t the preserve of a specific age range. We offer career change support, in the form of one-to-one programmes, reviews, individual sessions, and eBooks, to all ages. Have a look at these options or contact us to find out more about how we can work with you.

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