Sandra is fed up. Like many women in midlife she has prioritised her children and given them a really great start in life, she lives in a great location for families but now the youngest has left for university it’s time to think about her.
She contacted me as she had so many questions including
- What do I want to do?
- Where do I want to live?
- How do I want my future to be?
Can you relate to this? Do you know that it’s now time for you but maybe it’s also a bit scary. You want to make the right choice, feeling that you don’t have time for trial and error.
Many people would think that Sandra has a great job, but she’s bored, it’s not what she wants to do and it doesn’t nurture her soul, and the income level is only so-so. She also wants to create a life, to be able to develop friendships and have some nice activities to look forward to.
I’ve set Sandra some topics to consider and thought that you might find this of value. So why not go through these steps too, and I’d love to hear how you get on.
- What do you love about your current job?
- What do you want to change?
- What would you love to do?
I set these topics as it can be helpful to look for the connection. There must be something you like, skills you have gained and want to use in another setting. You also have the things you want to escape from, and it’s useful to list these and think what it is you want to change and get away from. Is it the people, the task, the location …
Sandra is up for a change of location. She wants to move on from being in the country to a large town or city with a vibrant social life. A university city could be good. Perhaps Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester etc.
But a change of location is a big step, so useful to think about who do you know. It can be nice to know you have a friend or relative close by or within easy travel distance.
It’s also useful to think about what the place has to offer. How important is it that there is a theatre, music venues, clubs, interest groups, close to sea, theatre, easy access to London, airports, family, friends.
Why not draw up a shortlist.
If you don’t know much about an area, you will want to find out more. You can start with a virtual tour, finding out as much as you can via the Internet. Then narrow your options down and go and visit for a weekend. You can treat it as a mission to find out what you like about the place, the type of accommodation you can afford etc. You can later choose to go and stay for longer, perhaps a week?
Having got greater clarity on what you want to do and where you want to live, it’s time to find the opportunities. You can set up job alerts for the place you want to live, but you can also identify companies that might have the type of work you seek and get focused on how to apply.
Is this scary?
I think it would be unusual to think that everything is going to go ahead perfectly. Of course you may question if you are doing the right thing and worry how things may not go well. Perhaps it helps if you think of it as a research phase. You don’t have to go ahead and change, but if you don’t explore then you will never know.
It can help to get the support of your family, to know that they are behind you. It can also help to not expect to much, to be happy with baby steps and if you don’t like what you find out to step back and look at something different.