My temporary contract was due to end soon, and I was actively on the hunt for my next career move, when my manager called me in for a meeting. It turns out that I must’ve made a pretty good impression since I arrived six months ago as instead of finalising my paperwork and bidding farewell to co-workers I was offered a new role within the same department. Well, that was unexpected to say the least.
Brand new responsibilities means having to start at the beginning again, albeit in a familiar environment surrounded by people I’ve already been working with, but I did it before and I know full well I can do it again. There’s a lot of loose ends to tie up before the big day and plenty of questions still to be answered, but as of April I’ll be closing one door and literally opening a brand new one – the door to my very own office!
I just can’t believe how quickly my life is changing these days, and it’s all good. A few months ago, although things were going quite well, I was beginning to feel like I was in a bit of a rut. Same part-time, self-employed job I’d had for years, no firm plans for travelling, and nothing particularly thrilling on the horizon. However, within a few short months I’ve begun a brand new career, booked a fantastic overseas holiday and the icing on the cake is that I’ve just found out that I shall be spending Christmas with the people I love more than anything else in the whole, wide, world; my gorgeous daughters.
I’m not usually a festive person, and I normally treat Christmas Day itself with complete indifference, but this year it’s going to be amazing. I’m already excited about my ‘babies’ coming home and I just know I’ll go completely over the top and spoil them rotten. Although the new salaried position is terrific, and the vacation will be stunning, there’s nothing quite like the simple act of spending quality time with your children to make you feel special, and it’s something I will always cherish. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town…!”
When an email suddenly appeared in my inbox from my new boss asking me to pop along to her office, without giving away any clues as to why, I did the very British thing of assuming that I’d done something wrong. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth because she immediately asked me if they could extend my temporary contract as she was so impressed with my work! She said she’d give me time to think about it, and half a second later I replied YES! Never in a million years did I think I could begin a brand new career aged 54, and yet here I am, doing just that!
Oh my word, I didn’t see that coming. I knew that departmental contracts were currently being discussed but there was no way I was even thinking I’d be invited to stay. Of course, this happy development means that I’ve had to make some very big decisions, and I’ll now be leaving the familiarity of the self-employed position I’ve held for the past eight years so that I can fully focus on my new and exciting future. Burning bridges can be extremely scary, however, you simply can’t move forwards if you anchor yourself to the past. At times like this you just have to take a giant leap of faith, and trust that the universe will catch you…
When your new boss is possibly younger than your children, it can make being the newbie at work seem even more of a challenge, but when you begin a brand new career in your fifties you simply have to get over it and get on with it. I’ve now completed the first week in my new job and although there’s been times when I’ve felt totally out of my depth, and have even questioned whether I was the right person for the role, with the help of my extremely supportive co-workers I’ve finally gained some much-needed confidence.
I was thrilled to find out that my office is full of house-plants, my desk has dual screen monitors and I can help myself to as many hot drinks as I can physically consume throughout the day. This is certainly worlds apart from anything I’ve ever experienced before and it’s amazing. I’ve also enjoyed a leisurely lunchtime stroll through the nearby meadows with my colleagues, watching massive, red dragonflies and pretty little butterflies, before sitting beside a lake in the sunshine for some girlie banter.
I know that there’s going to be plenty of challenges ahead, but I’m sure that if I can take the plunge and start a brand new job at the age of fifty four then anyone can!
Apparently another two open! Although I’d initially felt I’d dodged a bullet by not being offered a position after my recent job interview, it’s never nice to be rejected for anything. However, my philosophy is that everything happens for a reason and the Human Resources Department, who I’d previously been interviewed by, had obviously chosen to pass my CV around to other departments because within 48 hours I’d received not one but two potential offers of temporary work. Clearly I must’ve made a positive impression on the day, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.
Unfortunately, one of the jobs would’ve been unworkable around my current commitments so I politely declined, however the second one intrigued me and so I met with the manager for an ‘informal chat‘ the following afternoon. In reality this turned out to be another interview, which caught me slightly off-guard as I wasn’t prepared for it. Therefore, when an email arrived four days later offering me the position I couldn’t have been more surprised! Wow! This is a massive step up the career ladder for me, and even though the role is scheduled to end at Christmas, it’s put me firmly on a path which can only realistically lead to bigger and better things in the future. Pass the champers…!
Today I completed the on-site training for my brand new job and I’m now feeling confident that I’m well and truly up for the challenge. Finding out that I’ll have my very own company email address makes me feel very grown up, and being part of a massive organisation is very exciting indeed. Getting paid for training, during which you’re treated to unlimited supplies of freshly ground coffee and expensive biscuits, is just a yummy cherry on top of the delicious corporate cake.
There’s plenty of new things to get my head around, such as submitting weekly timesheets online and so on, but the huge handbook, which will now become my bedtime reading for the next few weeks, will help me to get to grips with everything.
I’m really looking forward to working with a large and diverse group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, and knowing there’s real potential for promotion within my new career choice will motivate me to do the very best I can and therefore I’ll have a better chance of achieving what I’m actually capable of. The ladder is there in front of me and I now have my foot firmly placed on the bottom rung. Onwards and upwards!
There’s no feeling in the world quite like achievements made solely on your own merits, with no help at all from anyone else. Knowing that you didn’t have to rely on another person, or people, to accomplish something is vastly more meaningful than when others did part of the work for you.
I fixed my own tech equipment by watching youtube videos, not by playing the helpless blonde, hoping some nice chap would mend it for me. I got my new career without any help from others, but by making sure I secured an interview and then did the best I could on the day. Whether it’s something relatively small, like DIY, or something huge such as a new career, the satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself is extremely gratifying.
Of course, I don’t do EVERYTHING myself; quiz nights would be no fun whatsoever flying solo for example; but these days I make sure that I’m surrounded by people I CHOOSE to be with rather than people I NEED to have in my life in order to function, and that’s a very strong basis for healthy and positive friendships.