It’s funny how a number mean so much.
Ever since I turned 50 last October, I’ve been wondering if I am where I should be. What I mean is, am I doing serious work for serious pay? Am I even acting like a serious adult?
I’ve been dealing with those questions a lot over the last few months, but they went into overdrive after my most recent loss of a job. When you are let go of a job, you deal with a lot of guilt. If I had tried harder, then things would be different. I know that Aspergers and ADHD have something to do with my tumultuous career, but I still think I should have tried harder. As I said in a previous post, trying harder wasn’t going to change things. I probably would have failed even more spectacularly.
But when you have a neurological disability AND you’re fifty, you start to wonder if it’s time to try something new.
Now, I should add, I love the other part of my career, that of being a pastor. It’s not always easy, but I love what I do in that arena. But the pay right now isn’t enough to pay my way. I also want to do more than the pastor gig.
Usually, when I’ve lost a job, I’m looking at the job boards. I’ve focused mostly on nonprofits to find a position. But when you’re on the spectrum, working at a nonprofit is not always the best environment to be in. They don’t have the time or patience to work with you, and sometimes they don’t have the space to allow you to be creative. None of this is to say nonprofits are bad or the ones where I worked were bad. They just weren’t places where I could grow, or grow in my own way.
I’ve started to toy with looking for work sideways. Instead of looking for a job and sending in a resume, I’m looking at more freelance positions and I’m interested in positions and opportunities that are off the beaten path. I have enough communication skills to be able to hire myself out. I can write, I’m good with graphics and these last few months of online worship, sharpened my video editing skills.
I could see myself doing some freelancing, writing about politics or religion, or maybe cars. I could also work on websites and social media strategy. I’ve been interested in working on a team that produces a podcast or even create a podcast or YouTube Channel.
The challenge is trying to start. Most people say I have to do a lot of networking, which to be honest I really, hate. I know it is needed, but it feels fake to me. I also have to learn how to be a salesperson, which is also something I don’t like. I will have to learn how to do both in a way that I can tolerate.
So turning 50 might mean doing something new. Heck, I might find a “regular” job but find it in a different way.
If you know of any avenues I should give a look-see, please let me know. Of to find a new adventure.
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash
Good luck! I wish I could say something more helpful, like “I know this job that would be perfect,” but … all that comes to mind are platitudes. You don’t need them.