Over the last two weeks I have been writing about my thoughts on how to address your career. You know what? It’s exhausting. You can’t Polyvore career advice, or Flickr it, or quip it. It’s a huge topic, and in order to do any justice whatsoever, there’s a bare minimum that has to be said. Plus I have to muster my declining testosterone and get all square-jawed. Phew.
But I’m almost done. At least for this go-round. There’s one more really important idea.
Your risk profile changes over time. Getting off the sofa, literally or metaphorically, has a different impact at each decade of your life. Being 20 is not the same as being 30 which is not the same as being 40 which is not the same as being 50.
Risk is cheap when you are in your 20’s. It may not feel that way, my saying so may not lessen the usual panic, but I can promise you from the vantage point of 52 it’s true. Risk is still manageable in your 30’s, although less so. It gets much more expensive in your 40’s, especially if along the way you have decided to have children. At 50, it appears that in fact risk gets cheaper again. Probably because said children are usually on their way to their 20’s.
So. Here’s a little cheat sheet on why we might do work stuff in each decade. Leaves out the blood and sweat and tears and joy but we are all struggling with information overload these days. So.
- In your 20’s you are doing stuff to learn. It doesn’t matter too much what, as long as you do it with your eyes open.
- In your 30’s you are doing stuff because this might be it (whatever it is). If it isn’t it, notice that fact.
- In your 40’s you are doing stuff because you are really good at it (whatever it is). If you aren’t good at it, you could probably do better.
- In your 50’s you are doing stuff because you have something to offer. Yes. In your 50’s if it’s been all about you up until now, that will change.
And as yet I don’t know why I will be doing stuff in my 60’s. With any luck because I like the way it feels. But probably in order to have enough money to retire on without worry when I hit 70.
And of course, if you didn’t get around to the tasks of your 20’s when you were actually 20, have at it later in life. After all, as they say, 30 is the new 20. I think if you push it 40 can be the new 20. But 50, mmmm, not so much. Still, that gives us a lot of time. Happy Monday everyone.