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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-20-24 PDF
February 20, 2024
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February 12, 2024

The thirty-something career changer

The+process+of+leaving+a+career+that+I+thought+would+last+at+least+until+a+little+closer+to+retirement+did+involve+some+grief+and+plenty+of+confusion%2C+but+I+trusted+I+was+being+led+to+a+more+authentic+calling.

The process of leaving a career that I thought would last at least until a little closer to retirement did involve some grief and plenty of confusion, but I trusted I was being led to a more authentic calling.

In 2011 I returned to Massachusetts after having spent years in New York City and Santa Fe, N.M. I had anticipated a period of acclimation to the East Coast pace and way of life, but I did not consider that I could be in for a whirlwind of a return.
Not too long after relocating to western Massachusetts (I mean the west of Worcester kind of west!) I began to take notice of an internal struggle. So I hopped onto the Web and here is what happened: About 497 million results in 0.22 seconds after I typed “career change at 30” into my search engine. At least I know I’m not alone.
Having spent many years and many dollars becoming a licensed mental health counselor in Santa Fe, the prospect of changing careers created a kaleidoscope of emotions. But I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, and surely the number of search results meant that others had figured this out. So I could too. Right?
Let me back up for a minute. How does one come to know that a career change is in order? For me it was a mixture of not feeling fulfilled on a daily basis and suffering from what is called compassion fatigue. According to the Internet, I was displaying two out of five signs that I might be ready for a career change.
That was enough for me! Don’t get me wrong, I realize these were first-world problems, but nonetheless they were taking their toll physically (I was getting sick all of the time), mentally (I was feeling foggy), and spiritually (I was not connecting on a heart level to the people I was attending to).
The process of leaving a career that I thought would last at least until a little closer to retirement did involve some grief and plenty of confusion, but I trusted I was being led to a more authentic calling.
Getting from point A to B to the University of Massachusetts Boston was not an overnight decision. In fact it was months before I was able to actually make the leap and leave my career in counseling. But here I am embarking on this new journey, which has already been filled with some adversity and many pleasant surprises.
So for those of you who haven’t yet embarked on your first career, don’t worry, this probably won’t happen to you. And for those who are embarking on their second, third, and fourth career, I know you can relate to this vocational roller-coaster ride.