What Do I Want To Do When I Grow Up? Ask 30- Somethings

What Do I Want To Do When I Grow Up?
Ask 30- Somethings
By Anne Gottlieb Angerman
This article is © 2003 Communiqué
Date: July 2003

Sharon is a 31-year old attorney. Ever since she was in high school in Arizona, she knew she wanted to litigate and be in court. Everything went as planned – she lived at home for college and then got into a nearby law school. Upon graduation, she got a job in a DA’s office in Colorado. Within a few months as a prosecuting attorney, she had many cases and felt seriously stressed from working too many hours. On top of this, she became engaged, wanted to spend more time with her fiancé and grew resentful of the hours on the job.

Suzanne, 33, didn’t know what she wanted to do after college. Her dad urged her to try selling insurance – “it pays well”. For the last four years, she has been selling insurance and has been miserable. Why? She feels clients call her day and night and that she puts in too many hours for people who are not appreciative. She doesn’t find it satisfying and can’t see herself with the business in the future.

What do both of these 30-something people have in common? Both went to college and, now, are in the midst of their 30’s assessment. They are asking themselves tough questions – typical of people in their 30’s:

Is my career giving me what I want?
Can I see myself doing this for the next 30 years?
What else would I want to be doing?
People typically make some kind of significant decisions at around the age of 30- often looking outside of themselves for their answers-they might like a new car, or to secure a promotion. The most significant questions at this age are:

Am I using my talents?
If my career keeps going the same way, where will I be in 10 years?
What do I want to add to my life to make if fuller?
Lots of “30-somethings” start to realize that dead-end jobs won’t help them fulfill significant life goals. For those who are pleased with their career, it is a time to get serious. This is the time think about what it takes to move to the top.

Regardless of how well or poorly people make decisions at the age of 30, they move into a period of stability. People usually don’t change course during these years. This can also be a time of nesting and starting families. However, many more women in their 30’s are choosing not to have children because they feel they truly have the choice, unlike previous generations. Even the most productive and satisfied people at this age frequently enter their forties feeling the need for change, transition, and, sometimes, starting over. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are in your 30″s:

Can you see yourself on your present career path for the next 20 years?
As you look at your life, what brings you satisfaction?
Have taken many assessments to understand your aptitudes, skills or temperament?
Do you have women role models or mentors to confide
Here are a few suggestions to help you move forward:

Pay attention to what holds interest for you
Talk to people who are doing what you would like to do in your career.
Set up reasonable goals with time lines.
Consider talking to a career coach
The thirties is a time of reflection and search. It is often a time of putting career issues aside while nesting or raising children. However, if one totally ignores dissatisfaction, it becomes harder to make changes in the 40’s. This is the time to do assessing and planning for the future.

All content herein is © Communiqué and may not be republished without permission.