So, you’re in your 30s and you start to feel that the job you’ve had for the past few years isn’t really what you want to be doing in the upcoming months or years. That’s normal. But being in your 30s, whilst offering experience also brings a feeling of unsettlement and competition against younger, career hungry peers.
In summer 2014, I moved jobs as a social media manager at an ad agency into a new role in the beauty industry. I was brave and took the jump after a comfortable and secure 5 years at the agency. Unfortunately, the fit didn’t feel right for me. So I jumped ship quickly to a PR agency, only to be even more unhappy 6 months in! Part of me wished I’d have just stayed in the original role, but looking back now I know these moves were the best I made for me and for my career.
Now, in my third and final move I am 100% happy. Not only has my salary considerably increased but my job role, confidence and abilities have also. However, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster moving so much in the last year! So I felt I needed a break – 10 days or so of not working. A break can seem like giving up or simply a way to procrastinate and prolong stress. Many of us, especially in our 30s, think and act like we are superhuman in the sense that we need to get things done now and efficiently. We all deal with high levels of stress every day in the jobs we have within the advertising industry and let’s face it – we all need a break, not a holiday (although my last one admittedly was way back in 2007!), but a pause between jobs.
In today’s busy world, even a holiday can be filled with emails, voicemails and “just checking in.” Part of this is due to us thinking we will be perceived as not hard working but part of it is just the inevitable blending of career and personal time.
So, my 10 day break was fast approaching and as I am so used to running at 100 miles per hour, I felt I had to plan activities to do and be busy every day. But after one day of complete rest and reflection I decided I needed to refresh, recharge and refocus.
Here’s what I did:
I use Trello, I quick and visual way to manage projects. I created a series of ‘to do’ lists which mainly consisted of jobs to do around the house and planning travel, food etc for my new job in Leeds centre.
As difficult as this was initially for me, given I am a blogger and live and breathe social media, I managed to disconnect from everything. No Facebook statuses, no checking or writing emails, no Instagram posts – nothing. I missed it a bit, yeah, but it sincerely helped me to completely switch off from everything.
Not only is it important to spend time with family and friends, I also think it’s vital to spend half a day saving contact details for everyone you’ve worked with in the last year and connecting with them. Maintaining key relationships will help you in your new role and nurturing those close to you will help your inner self.
Of course I spent the majority of my days indulging myself! One afternoon in the spa, an evening self tanning and doing my nails and spending mornings relaxing, drawing, reading and smiling in coffee shops.
Here are a few pics of me on my break, taken one particular morning at The Sunshine Bakery, Leeds. This was three days ahead of my new start. I think you will agree I look refreshed!
If you like the dresses I am wearing, they are all from Joe Browns who kindly supplied me with a few during my break. My fave is the Very Vintage dress which fitted me perfectly, hid my wobbly bits yet enhanced my best bits! http://www.joebrowns.co.uk/sp+very-vintage-dress+ld676.
Change is always good, especially when you know it will enable you to grow into a better person in a different place. Plus, doing so in your mid-30s means you are emotionally and mentally mature to handle the shift, so GO FOR IT! You’ll want to be your best and freshest when you start down your new path.