Has anyone successfully changed their career?
I posted this post last month about me looking to move back into permanent work but a number of recent things have made me realise that it may be the overall career I can no longer stand rather than just bits of it. I went for a 2nd interview yesterday, it went very well and there's an excellent chance I'll get an offer early next week but the job itself doesn't give me that feeling of excitement at getting it despite it being one of the top jobs available in my industry and profession. The thought of working in my day job for another 5-6 years just makes me cold.
So... I'm very tempted to just sack it all for a month or two and put a lot of effort into investigating a career change into doing something I actually enjoy.
I fell into my current career by accident in 2000, right place at the right time and given a chance that I really shouldn't have been given to run a major international technology project despite having never run a project more complex than my weekly Tesco shopping trip. Looking back on it with 13 years of experience behind me, it's a project that should only really have been given to someone at the top of their trade due to its complicating factors of difficult end client, 8 figure budget, 50+ full-time staff, an unproven experimental technology and a set of requirements that struggled to fill one page. I did fairly well, mainly through luck and being dragged along by a very experienced technical lead. Since then, that's been my career, doing higher end technology and business projects with complex outcomes. For the first 10 years it was good fun and very enjoyable but it has become a bit of a chore over the last 3.
I know I have a lot of transferable skills and wide-ranging professional qualifications but I've never really put the effort into thinking about what other jobs I'd like to do with my skills. I may even put the effort into the career change and discover that all I really needed was a sabbatical from my career to refresh my enthusiasm, I doubt it but I'm not closing off the door to my past career without doing the proper due diligence.
At the age of 42, I'm getting to the point where I want to be doing a career that interests me, even if it's lower paid, than one that I grudge. I also would prefer one where my daily commute is far shorter than my typical trip into London where all of my likely top-end employers are based. My wife's serious illness over the last few years has also made me look at quality of life issues and realise that I really want to be spending less of my time thinking about work and get to the point that my private life takes more time than my working life. Quite often on some of my projects I never do things outside of work from Monday to Friday due to the pressures of the job and long commutes, I'm out doing sport on Saturday and that leaves the solitary Sunday that we have to pack things into to get quality time together. I now realise that that's not acceptable.
I'd be very interested to hear any examples of others who have changed careers and lessons learned from that change.