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Thread: Job/Career Crossroads - Desperation

  1. #1

    Job/Career Crossroads - Desperation

    I am a 40-something IT professional. I began in techie roles, then decided to move into project management a few years ago. I held two PM positions at two different companies for a combined 8 years. I was so miserable and stressed out that I wound up quitting both jobs without having another job lined up (not wise I understand, but I am single without kids and financially was able to do so). I need to start working again and I so, so want to do something other than project management. The thought of working in a PM role again literally brings about a major anxiety response. However, that is my work experience for the past decade and obviously the easiest route back to work. At the last company I thought I would get my foot in the door as a PM then try to move into a different position. Well that is much easier said than done and it didn't happen.

    I know that it's possible to change your career, but without any experience what company is going to hire a middle aged man? I don't even know how to begin going about it; I spoke with a career counselor didn't get anything out of it. Is it possible for me to parlay the skills I picked up as a PM into a different role? Or should I just bite the bullet and try to find another PM role and be miserable most of the time? I want to believe that a real career change is possible but I just don't know. Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Silver Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Florida Panhandle
    First you have to figure out what kind of career would make you happy. Then perhaps take some night classes or some online classes to acquire the skills you need for it. Many people change careers at your age and even older.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    British Columbia, Canada
    You shouldn't be that stressed out with the PM role considering your experience. I'm not saying this to discredit your frustrations. It can be a very stressful job. I do think part of it is being an expert at stress management. I dated someone who was a fairly successful PM and not all companies are the same. If you fell into the role without any education or training, you may be finding it without purpose and lacking any real direction. It might be worthwhile for you to upgrade your skills and go back to a technical or career training school specific to project management. There is a very good one here at BCIT, British Columbia Institute of Technology - part time but demanding. Most of the individuals who enroll are mature and have existing work experience. You might like to google the program at this school and see how other schools around your area compare or what other schools local to you offer.

    The reason why I suggest this is because it seems your frustration was overpowering and you left the position because of difficult emotions and overwhelming stress. Now that you are out of that company, now might be a good time to review a bit more objectively about your reasons for disliking this field, what your strengths have been in the past and where you would like to go from here. I switched from commercial banking to accounting so I don't blame you for wanting to switch fields. I did have to go back to school for it. In my case, I liked numbers and working with them. I just didn't want to keep doing it in banking. I hope you find what works for you.

  4. #4
    Silver Member Betterwithout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Sounds like you have two choices
    1) You can either try again for PM. Who knows maybe the company/people you work for will make it a better job.
    2) Second careers are increasingly becoming more common these days at middle age. You can do something similar to what you are doing and a completely new field in demand.
    What other interests would make you look forward to working?
    Maybe you could be an I.T. consultant for several companies?


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