Switching Careers at 30

switching careers at 30

Switching Careers at 30, after the Hook Ups Are Over


While at a party on a steamy July night, a group of young, hot 20-somethings talked about switching careers at 30, and their sex lives . . . and dream jobs . . .

I promised myself to just have fun and not think about career stuff. It didn’t work.

switching careers at 30Out on the patio, drinking a cold one, a fascinating conversation unfolded. Communicated in straight-ahead, unedited party dialogue, I got a bird’s eye view of their career situations.

In my usual way, I stayed quiet and just listened. One woman in her mid-twenties had just moved to Manhattan, her fiancé got a great job there . . .

“He’s the only person I know who really loves his work . . . but my job sucks,” she blurted loudly without hesitation, “but that’s ok, I’m in my nesting phase.” [The group burst into laughter]

A talkative, yet inquisitive woman then challenged the group,

“If you could magically switch careers overnight to any job you wanted, what would it be?”

Wow, that’s my question, I thought. Mouth shut, I just kept listening. Everyone came to attention like in the E. F. Hutton commercial. Some people’s faces immediately changed expression, ready to share their fantasy life. An outgoing, stylish young woman said,

“I’m intrigued by the fashion industry, I’d like to work for a major designer as a buyer, maybe Calvin Klein.” Others quickly asked what she does now. “Software . . . it’s not me, but the money’s too good to change direction at my age.” [She's 25] One of her girlfriends then asked if she was any happier with her work lately, she said, “No, but I’ve been in a better mood since I met this great guy at the beach.”

Interestingly, none of the young men at the party chimed in. Most were too busy inhaling grilled hotdogs, like me. The inquisitive woman who got this all started said,

“I’d love to be a talk show host, but it’s a really big stretch from my e-commerce sales job . . . I wouldn’t know how to get it started.”

After a moment of quiet tension, the subject instantly switched to the tribulations of the mating game. 

Go on to part 2, Should I Switch Careers?

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