Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: Why you are Never Too Old to Refocus
Once you are more than a couple of years into a career it is difficult to try and change track. We feel that as we’ve started to establish habits and skills that we’d be wasting our time making a fresh start. But this mindset is a gateway to stagnation. Not only that, but it can be very frustrating seeing our years go by and wondering what else we could be doing. We give up on passions, waft away dreams and aspirations as idle fancies. But a life without regrets is a life well lived, and if we are to retain our potential, we should embrace change regularly.
Ultimately, the reasons for which we consider a relaunch of career are emotional. A third of our life is spent at work, and the biggest societal ill in existence is work-related stress. We become complacent in our roles, and complacency is a breeding ground for negative thought patterns. These negative habits can take their toll on us, so it’s important to take any opportunity we have to break them. A reboot in our career can give us that opportunity.
Letting go of ego
One of the hardest things to do when refocussing our career is realigning our expectations of ourselves. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in one industry you may have built up a status that you might not want to give up. We are often concerned with what our family and friends may expect of us rather than that which will actually make us happy.
But once we accept the idea that in order to relaunch we must abandon status anxiety, a larger range of options is at our disposal. “Though starting at the bottom can seem degrading, your experience can have you progressing very quickly,” shares John Litwin, a freelance writer for Draftbeyond and Writinity.
Using your experience
The great thing about having worked up the ladder in one profession is that we find a lot of the skills we’ve picked up are transferable. In starting a new career, we’ve given ourselves the opportunity to redefine our approach to work, with the benefit of experience. When we first start out in a career, we inevitably make mistakes. It’s intrinsic to how we learn.
With experience, we have built the confidence we lacked in our early career. Taking a lower status role with this foundation is an excellent way to compound our confidence. A role that challenges us without stress gives us a regular sense of achievement.
The saying ‘you can teach an old dog new tricks’ really ought to have passed out of the English lexicon by now. Unfortunately, many people suffer under the delusion that they’ve lost the capacity for learning. Actually, studies have shown that the capacity to learn requires regular maintenance, much like exercise.
“In fact, having had a break away from education, you might find that you come to learning with an entirely new attitude. What’s more, you’ll find that learning under your own agency is immensely rewarding,” says Diane Huckaby, regular contributor to Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk.
Once you’ve broken away from the status and stress of a career, you’ve given yourself the opportunity to take stock. It’s important to take a longer view of ourselves occasionally, and a change of career is an excellent time to do it.
Starting in a new job or starting a new endeavor gives us the chance to audit the skills and knowledge we’ve built up over our working lives. When we’re in the middle of a career, we don’t give ourselves time to take a look at our achievements. A shift in career can help us redress the work-life balance, which in turn gives us the time to really get into what it is that makes us tick.
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