I don’t know about you guys or how things go nowadays, but back in my days (I was born in the 80s), we used to have a psychologist’s visit when we reached 8th grade in secondary school. His “mission” was to provide professional guidance for us so that we could choose our future career according to our own personal skills. This meeting took place close to final exams before each of us decided which high-school he or she would apply for.
Frankly, I am not really sure I can remember word to word what he told me and what was his advice regarding my future career, the only thing I do recall is that he may have said something about me becoming a good private investigator or maybe a lawyer. Anyhow, my decision about the high-school I was going to apply for had been made long before this meating and hadn’t been changed afterwards.
But the thing which actually did influence me was a discussion with one of my class-mates at the beginning of 9th grade, when we barely knew each other. The thing is I was convinced I would become a lawyer, like my uncle, but he looked quite surprised when he heard this and he said: “A lawyer? Why not a journalist? You seem much more like a journalist-to-be to me than a lawyer”. I considered this for some time and it didn’t take me very much to reach his conclusion as well. Actually, it was more like an epiphany to me and it seemed the most logic thing to do: become a journalist.
The years passed by, I became a journalist, enjoyed what I did and things were great. At least, for some time. After a few years, I too experienced the disappointment a lot of us feel in this branch. That, and I also realised I wasn’t going to stay “forever young”, as says the song, but I am going to grow old and I couldn’t see myself doing when I’m 50 what I used to do in my 20s (you know, all the journalistic stuff you do to get the information to the people – as goes the old saying, “if you get thrown out on the door, find a window to get back in”). Adding to that, it’s quite hard to get a monthly retirement revenue when you work in the press in Romania since it’s easier for the employer not to use proper labour contracts (which include labour rights) when dealing with journalists but a so-called “author’s rights contract” or something like that, which actually means full-time labour “disguised” as a part-time job. The same amount of work and the same duties with less money and no labour rights, and, of course, no right to retirement revenue.
So, considering all these and being that I am now a mommy and, thus, I have a family of my own to look after now, I have to find something else to do. In other words, I have to change my career in my early 30s. Old school taught us that the older you grow, the more difficult it is to have a professional re-orientation. Well, where I want to get with this whole article is to contradict this belief and make people see it as it is nowadays: nothing more than a myth. Why do I say this? Because both my mother and my father succeeded in completely changing their careers when they were a lot older than I am now.
Both my parents were born in the 50s and when it was a lot more easier to qualify for a career or another when they were young, since the communist regim Romania had in their adolescence made it easier to do it. So, my mother was a hotel receptionist and my father started his career on the sea as a cadet and worked all his way up to a ship’s master. All was nice and well for a great deal of years, but, as they grew older, due to some specific circumstances, they both had to find something else to do. Who would have thought that a woman in her 50s would be able to completely change her career, considering that she was never a good friend of technology (I mean, she was never a computer-friend, a thing most employers demand nwoadays for their employees). Well, despite that, I am proud to say that, after an entire life working as a hotel receptionist, my mother succeeded in becoming a good secretary in a lawyer’s office! And my father, too, managed to change his career from a ship’s master to a private English, Romanian, Maths and Physics teacher, he also wrote a book and managed a personal blog about contemporary Romanian politics. Well, so much for that “born a tailor, die a tailor” myth.
Keeping those two examples in my mind, won’t I be able to finally change my own career? I think I will. And I also think that I am strongly going on my new way, writing on this blog. I’ll get back to you soon and let you know how things are going.
Should you want more “myth-busters” exemples about people who managed to completely change their careers and their lives, even when they were not young anymore, just take a good look around you.
You’ll be surprised of how many exemples you’ll come up with! So, should you discover at some point that you are stuck with the wrong job or career, don’t hesitate to change it and start a whole new job or career, completely different from the previous on. Most of all, don’t ever let others tell you it’s too late for that!