Just over a year ago I quit my finance job in search of a more rewarding career in Jersey. As an English Literature graduate with a creative and journalistic background, I became completely disillusioned with the world of finance and decided to start this blog to indulge my love of writing and at the tender age of 35 to chart the journey of a dramatic career change. It was my therapy, my passion and the start of a process that could easily be labelled as a mid-life crisis but which I now look back on as an awakening.
I wasn't exactly successful in my endeavour, returning to a position as a Funds Manager some six months later due to a lack of viable alternatives, but continuing to blog and freelance in my spare time, convincing myself this was the best I could do at achieving a “balanced life.” Now some 45 blog posts later and with a portfolio of articles amassed the hard work has finally paid off and I can walk away from finance to a writing job, without so much as a glance back over my shoulder! From April I will be breezing each morning into my job as a PR account manager, selling myself and my clients on the strength of a few carefully chosen words.
It’s taken me over a year of hard work and exploration; both of career options and of myself and what I wanted from life to arrive at this dream job. I’ve met new and inspiring individuals in Jersey through my blog whose advice has helped me find my place on my home of Jersey. Everyone should be afforded the chance to do a job they love and for those thinking of making a change here’s some valuable lessons I’ve learnt along the way:
Don’t be scared to fail
It would have been too easy to have given up after my first career break and resign myself to a life committed to finance. But having come to a realisation that this wasn’t for me, there really was no backing out of the search for something better. Failing highlighted the adjustments and sacrifices that I needed to make in my life to make my dreams a reality and that doing a job I loved was far more important than bringing home a high salary. No good comes without taking those scary chances and I’ve learnt to embrace failure, it’s the start of picking yourself back up to new dizzy heights.
Talk to everyone
No one can accuse me of not having fully investigated what a career break would entail. I spoke to the wonderfully helpful people at Careers Jersey and interviewed everyone I stumbled across making a career change late in their life and achieving what I yearned for, a job that they loved. I sucked up their stories and advice like a sponge. It made for fantastic research and insightful blog posts because I was so interested in what they had to say and so it cemented my love for a good success story. Little did I realise that what I was doing was already a form of PR for those I felt were worthy and deserving of publicity and success.
Do what you love
I truly believe that when you do what it is you love, you cannot help but succeed. Passion has a way of shinning though and opening seemingly closed doors. With more writing came more self belief and more opportunities! I quickly learnt that the route to a new job would come not from a cleverly crafted CV, but from talking face to face with an employer and verbalising my passion for writing.
There are no limits
Settling for a job in finance was founded on a belief that I couldn't do what I wanted in Jersey. The Island was too small, the opportunities limited, myself too old… the list went on. It was only through chatting to successful businesswomen for my blog and seeing them achieve their dreams against the odds that I understood the only one placing limits on myself, was me! Don’t place limits of what you can achieve, set your sights high.
So what now? Excited, petrified, I’ll step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown and hopefully prove my worth and forge a new career for myself with many new challenges ahead. Who knows what the next chapter will bring, but I'll be sure to write it down so keep on following me!
Have you made a career change late in life? If so I'd love to hear your story.