Finding my place

Now that I am firmly in my 40s, I have been thinking a lot (ok, maybe obsessing) about aging and what that means as a childfree woman. I imagine that raising kids means you have a lot less time to notice every new wrinkle or sag. I do think that it is a more natural shift, to move your focus from yourself to your child. Me, I’m just here, getting more and more selfish and self-involved. I try really hard to be conscious of this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

I’m at least 10 years older than most people in my field of employment. I’m lucky that I don’t look as old as I am, but I definitely don’t look 25 either. And while before I was at least on a path towards leadership, thanks to some poor advice and my own impatience, that is not true in my current role. I have really gotten obsessive about this lately. I’m starting to believe that my age is becoming a glaring hindrance to getting a new job.

I’ve had several phone interviews that went incredibly well, leading to in-person interviews. At one of those, I could literally see the interviewer’s face change when she met me. And it wasn’t a pleasant change. I spoke with a career coach over the phone, and she was like, “wow, you don’t sound like you’re 40,” so that, combined with my present job title, leads people to believe I’m much younger. Upon meeting me in person, my age is apparently a big surprise to them.

I honestly don’t know what to do about all of this. I see now that I made a mistake when I left my last job and that company. I left more for personal reasons than professional, though I didn’t recognize that at the time. And while I thought I had done my due diligence in making this decision, I really didn’t understand the whole picture at all. I have spent the last year and a half being completed humbled, and now I’m at a place where I constantly doubt myself.

So now what? I know I have to make a change. While I hate to lose the freedom my present job offers me, I know it’s just not sustainable. I have to make some smarter decisions for future me, even if present me might be more miserable. Writing that bothers me though! Like, is that really true? Do I really have to give up working from home and unlimited vacation and a great salary? I think I do. I think that the many hours I have spent lately, awake in the middle of the night, worrying, show me that I do.

All this introspection is killing me! I think that is a lot of why I’ve stayed away from this space for a year. But now the balance has shifted and I can’t ignore it anymore. And I’m certainly not getting any younger 😦

Time for an action plan. I am considering using a career coach, but I’m not sure how helpful that will be. It’s probably a better idea to reach out to old contacts and see if they know of any roles. And maybe get a face lift!

Is this my midlife crisis?

Have you been a middle aged job hunter? Have you used a career coach? Do you have any advice for me? Are you hiring? 😉