Just Being At Work Isn’t Enough

When an employer is paying you for work you’ve agreed to do in exchange for that income, they’ve got every right to expect you’ll not only actually show up, you’ll also be productive when you’re there. And believe me, there are many people who have a good attendance record but fail to really do much work.

I’m sure you’ve see these people; they might be the kind of people who are lying low, keeping to themselves. They could just as well be the ones who are always walking around, popping in for a chat all around the office; never very long with any one person, but add up all their visits and they waste more time socializing with their colleagues than doing the work they’re paid to do.

Some organizations have productivity targets; ways to measure an employee’s success. They might even go so far as increasing those same quotas and targets if and when an employee reaches those goals. So when you’re new and relatively inexperienced or learning on the job, your targets might be lower than those who have seniority and a wealth of experience. The longer you’re with a company, the more their expectations rise, until you get to the point where you’ve reached what the organization deems your working capacity.

If you’ve ever worked in a commission environment, you’ll understand this model. The sales targets each person has is largely determined based on experience level, with newer employees expected to sell fewer units than well-seasoned workers. If those targets never went up, sales staff would potentially become complacent; never reaching their full potential, and of consequence, the company wouldn’t sell as many products or sell the number of products they’d like. Now while commission sales isn’t for everyone, you get the model. Some people love commission sales; they can determine their own income based on the energy they put out and the more they hustle the more they make.

In many work environments, work isn’t commissioned based. The expectation employer’s have however remains consistent. Come in, do what you’re getting paid to do and at the end of the day, ensure you’ve given your best and repeat this the next day and every day. If and when you’re not working at work; not being as productive as your employer deems is required, you will find your services are no longer required. They may tell you things just aren’t working out; pretty much as saying, “You’re not working out.”

While this can be difficult to hear, sometimes being released from a job where you’re not working out can be a good thing. Without that push out the door, you might not have left voluntarily, and you’d have been trapped for a long time perhaps in a job that was a poor fit for your interests and your skills. Many a person has been fired or let go only to find a much more satisfying job doing something else for another employer. Looking back, many will claim losing their job was the best thing that happened to them; although at the time it wasn’t so great!

So, when you’re at work, be productive. You should know what it is you’re expected to do and you should spend your time doing that work to the best of your ability. If you get to the point where you’re not really being mentally stimulated and this is important to you, you can talk to others in the organization about additional work or relocating to another area. This might be identified as cross-training; learning another job in addition to the first one you’ve mastered. This cross-training makes you more of an asset to the organization because you can be pulled from one job to work in another if and when someone is absent or demand for productivity increases in an area outside of your typical job. It can also help make you an asset worth keeping around if and when layoffs occur.

The one person in the organization – any organization by the way, who knows if you’re not working up to your full capabilities is yourself. Now, we all have a day here and there where our minds are elsewhere; we just can’t focus or work near as hard for some reason and as a result our productivity drops. A day here and there is one thing, but if you find those days are becoming more and more frequent – perhaps to the point of becoming the norm, this is a huge sign to change things up. If you read the signs and do something about the situation before others notice, good for you. But if you ignore the warning signs, you might find yourself brought in for a chat about your performance, put on some kind of probation or at worse, released.

As you’re reading this piece on being more than just present at work, is it speaking to you directly? I mean, do you see yourself being described; not really invested in the work anymore, and spending more energy at work trying to look busy than actually being busy? If so, heed the reason behind the symptoms. In other words, it might be time to move on, ask for additional responsibilities or even a change in work completely but remain with the same employer.

Continuing to miss or waste time at work is a warning sign you can’t afford to ignore.


Thinking Career Change?

Are you considering a major change in the kind of work you do? That’s a good thing, whether you end up continuing to do what you’ve done for some time or yes, you do indeed choose to venture off in a new direction. The process of evaluating where you are and where you’d like to be, what you’d like to do is healthy.

Resist the urge to put down your feelings and musings about a new line of work or career change as a sign something is wrong. Acknowledging these feelings and doing some exploring of what you’re feeling and where these feelings are coming from can be quite illuminating.

Typically, thoughts about a career move go through stages where we become aware of our feelings, then we might share these with a significant person or partner and then move to share with the rest of our immediate and extended family, friends, co-workers and employer that we’re moving on. That is of course if we make that decision to move on at all. If after some time of reflection we choose to continue in what we’re doing, then it’s possible that we share our musings with no one whatsoever. The key here is to realize that mulling over a big career move can be a very private experience; we have full control over who knows what’s going on in our thoughts.

There are a many reasons we might consider a drastic career move. Boredom, needing a new challenge, health concerns, being burned out, declining performance, aging, taking early retirement, a company buyout, relocating to another area, a lifestyle change are just some reasons that could prompt these thoughts.

“What could I do that would make use of my skills and that I’d enjoy doing?” Some version of this question is what you may be thinking yourself. Given where you live and where you are in your life, you might also entertain the notion of a return to school to stimulate your brain, acquire some new knowledge or hands-on skills which could take you in a completely different line of work. You may not even mind starting in an entry-level job in a new line of work and be quite content to do so, having no interest in moving up to greater responsibilities; something you might have felt you needed to do 20 or 25 years ago.

So the clock is ticking, days and month’s are rolling past and you’re looking ahead at Life with a capital ‘L’. What do I want to do with the remaining time I’ve got with respect to my work life? We’re not talking your time beyond complete retirement. We live with the assumption and belief we’ll have some time of an undetermined length beyond the day we retire. So we’re looking at the time between where you are now and say, 65 or 68 perhaps as a ballpark figure. How many years is this in your case?

Depending on the number you have after answering that question, you might have a few or many years. You might only have time for one career move or have several years meaning you could have a few career moves left to ponder.

Sometimes what’s needed isn’t a change in career at all, but rather, a change in employer. A fresh start bringing your accumulated skills, experience and education to a new employer. The attraction might be a start-up, where you’re highly valued and your leadership and expertise is drawn on for guidance in some early period where the company is set on just establishing a reputation. Or conversely, a big organization is undergoing a thorough clear-cut; moving in a whole new direction, and the attraction to get on board is exciting. Another scenario is a big organization provides some stability and job security which appeals to you over the stress you feel in the fledgling organization you’re with now. There are so many possible scenarios!

Your financial security – or lack of it – also plays a big part in what you can afford to do or not do. We should also acknowledge some people are risk-takers and gamblers and others less so, hence it’s vital you have a clear and accurate picture of your financial status and know the risks you may be entertaining in making a move. Then again, what might you risk with your mental health by sticking with the status quo?

Some questions to ponder then…

Am I doing work that I find meaning in and is this important to me or not?

Am I secure in exploring other options, including reinventing myself?

Who other than myself, might my final decision to change careers impact?

What is the status of my financial health?

How comfortable am I dealing with uncertainty? For a move seldom if ever comes with guarantees of success.

Do I need to take time off my current job to explore these thoughts or am I able to give them their due while continuing in my present line of work?

What are my commitments ie. mortgage, children, spouse, credit repayments, loans etc. and what weight do I give these things in arriving at some decision?

Of course there are other questions to pose and you’re welcome to throw in some of your own to the comment section below. If you’ve been through or are going through this process now, I urge you to share some of your thoughts.

It’s Time For A New Job When…

These days the likelihood that you’re going to get a job at 19 and retire in that same job at 67 are almost nil. So it stands to reason that in your lifetime you’ll be transitioning from one job to another, or from one career to another. When’s the best time to go? How do you know when it’s time to go? Here’s a list of some indicators that your expiry date is almost up.

The first thing you do at work when you fire up the computer is to search internal job postings. If you’ve got into the routine of looking at what else you could be doing, it’s fair to assume you like the organization you’re in but have an interest in seeing what other opportunities there are. Sure you could just be checking out what’s opening up out of casual interest, but EVERY DAY? Don’t kid yourself; recognize the lustre has worn off what you’re currently doing.

Your boss suggests moves rather than promotions. Oh oh… If you had the skills your organization needs for those at the next level you’d be sitting down with the boss and they’d be encouraging you to put your name forward for upcoming openings at their level. However, if the boss is suggesting you look elsewhere so you can grow in other ways, that could be a sign you’ve reached a plateau. Are you a bad worker? No, not necessarily. In fact, they might just have your own best interests at heart when they suggest you look elsewhere for opportunities. Maybe they see potential in you in fact but know there aren’t going to be those kind of openings where you work now for years. The boss isn’t always bad y’know.

You wake up, realize it’s a, ‘go to work day’ and start thinking of reasons you could call in and skip out on showing up. Oh sure I suppose everybody does this once in a blue moon; especially on a sunny warm day when you’d rather be out in the sunshine. But if you’re finding these kind of thoughts are among the first to enter your consciousness on a regular basis,  you’d be smart to pay heed and address why you’re automatically looking to get out of going in to work instead of looking forward to the day.

You look around at work and see conspirators, not co-workers. While it’s true your co-workers need not be your friends, you do spend a lot of time with the folks you work with and so it’s reasonable to expect you’d at least communicate and support one another in your common organizational targets and goals. That being said, if you feel your co-workers are plotting against you, setting you up as the fall guy for projects that fail and you’re left holding the bag for things you feel you aren’t solely responsible for, ask yourself why no one has your back. Is it worth it to stay in what is being a toxic environment?

You’re counting down the days to retirement. First off let me acknowledge that if you’ve got less than a year to go, I can see the reasoning and the behaviour, so I’m not talking about you. However, I once worked with a person who had 7 years to go and kept checking off the days on their calendar on a daily basis. There focus was pinned on getting out as if they were serving a life sentence and had weekend visitations with their family. Is that any way to live? It certainly isn’t living in the present but rather pinning all ones thoughts and hopes on what will be in 7 years. Think of what you’re missing.

Anxiety, Stress and Uncertainty are your new best friends. If you find yourself anxious on a regular basis, you’re not sure why and can’t put your finger on it but you seem to have lost your focus that could be more than concerning it could be downright lethal. Exaggeration? Not if you work around heavy equipment, power tools or at heights etc. When you’re not thinking straight you put yourself and those around you in danger.

Anonymous hands put job postings on your desk; external job postings. When someone or worse yet, some people put external job postings on your desk it might signal you’re no longer tight with the in-crowd. While it might not matter to you at all, being excluded from simple things like joining others for a walk at break time or drinks at the pub after work could work against you and grow feelings of social isolation. If this is something you value, being excluded and essentially having it suggested to you that you should resign and move on could really sting.

The thrill is gone. What a great line from that oldies classic. But there is a reason that line endures over time; everybody who has ever lost the fire and passion gets it. If your job has become a chore and nothing more; if you find yourself watching the minutes drag by until quitting time….

Stay or go of course, it’s your choice. If you opt to stay at least make some kind of an adjustment in your thinking, looking at what you could do to make it better. If you opt to go, you could be giving yourself a tremendous gift. And who deserves it more than you?

So You’ve Reached A Plateau

It can happen at any level in an organization right from an entry-level job through middle management and right up at the top position in the entire organization; the plateau. You know, that sudden realization that you’re not making progress. It can be good or bad depending on your personal situation and it can be short-lived or go on for a long time.

For some the plateau is a dreaded thing; the creative juices have dried up, the muse no longer whispers in your ear, the ideas you’re cranking out are coming slower and the ones you produce are borrowed more than original. You’ve hit the wall, the ceiling – call it what you will but you’re no longer the employee on the way up; your stagnating… Well that’s one way to look at things.

Then again, you may have been overworked, strained to the limit and close to burning out and what others might see as negative upward movement you’ve come to perceive and appreciate as a period of traction. You can hold your own where you are now and while you’re not progressing at the moment, you’re refilling your tank, re-energizing your batteries etc. and when you’re ready can once again find the stamina for another climb on the corporate ladder. This plateau period is a welcomed period of calm… A second way to look at things.

Here’s another perspective; we’re human and as such have things which go on well beyond the walls of any organization we work within. Sometimes the life events we’ve got going on take precedence over our work priorities. For many of us we can handle the things which occur in our personal lives while functioning at a high level in the workplace. However, there are events which occur and impact us to varying degrees which demand our focus and attention; impacting therefore on our ability to contribute in the workplace the way we would like; the way we have.

At such times, the plateau or leveling off of our production is self-driven by choice. We do just enough to get by, pass on taking on additional projects and assignments that we just haven’t got the energy or time to commit to. This can be a healthy choice by design and the key is to perform at the level you’re at and not decline to a level that is detrimental to the team, department or organization as a whole.

The plateau is also something that can creep up on you unexpectedly. It’s when you pause in some moment of reflection and realize you’ve been coasting. Perhaps the job is one you know so well you can do it without much mental investment. You realize you’re going through the motions, the roaring fire that once burned inside is now a controlled burn with less intensity. In short, you’re consistent, comfortable, and you’ve leveled off.

In some organizations where the competitive edge is critical, they’d view this leveling off as dead weight. They need hungry workers who come to work yearning to make the big sales everyday, produce the next best thing or push to exceed their targets which only last week were achievements to be proud of.

So what’s up? Are you stuck and miserable as a result or are you content and happy to be where you are by choice; not wanting or needing to reach for more?

Not everyone has what it takes to move up to the next level in the organization and many organizations make the fatal mistake of simply promoting people based on the number of years they’ve been with an organization.

If you’re hopeful of making it to the next level where you work you would be well-advised to look at the skill requirements – not for you job but for the job you wish to aspire to. Look objectively at your skill set and find where you’re lacking. What do you need to develop and master in order to position yourself for the future? Who do you need to cultivate a good working relationship with and get better known by? How are you going to move from the circles you’re in now to those new ones? Are you going to be able to hang on to what you’ve got now and add more to your plate or not and if not, what are you prepared to let go of to get more?

The plateau you’ve landed on might have been a welcomed accomplishment in the past of course. However, if you find you want more and are ready for what’s next, it almost always involves the inclusion of one basic necessity; effort. Yep, you’re going to have to put in the effort to get beyond what you’re currently doing. This effort might mean heading back to school outside of your workplace, or taking a year off to get that certification you need. Could be that your work pays all or part of the cost of training or you have to make the investment yourself.

It might mean overtime too, coming in early, doing some of the mental or physical work beyond what you’re accustomed to. Maybe it’s more travel, assuming some leadership on projects etc. So how bad to you want to leave the plateau?

Could be too you’re out of work entirely and have hit a plateau where looking for work is too much effort. Plateaus are not reserved for the working.


Bored? Working On Autopilot?

“I’m so bored I could do this job with my eyes closed.”

Are you at the point where you’re no longer challenged in the work you perform on a daily basis? You could be blissfully unaware that you are doing a great deal of damage to yourself; damage that is or soon will affect not just your professional life but your personal life as well.

Now make no mistake, many people who are in the right job do from time-to-time experience moments where they have mastered their work. There’s a rhythm that exists where an employee needs training in the workplace, learns a job function, works to master it, excels, then is cross-trained adding to their expertise or seeks out new challenges in new roles with the same employer and repeats.

The above pattern doesn’t fit for everyone however. No for a multitude of people they enter a company, learn a job, master the requirements of the position and then for a time they exist as a happy and productive worker. The problem comes when that same person stagnates; ceases to feel fulfilled in the work they do and as a result poses a danger to themselves, the company, their co-workers and the customers or clients they provide products and services for.

This is a danger whether the person is operating machinery on a production line, driving for a living, making life or death decisions in a medical setting, sitting in a toll booth – virtually any position and in any situation.

Because we are all unique from one another, some of us don’t necessarily want or need constant stimulation in the work that we do. There are many folks who thrive in a job that others would find tedious and bore quickly performing. They can quite happily go in day after day, month after month and year after year without needing a change in responsibilities or scenery. For these folks, they’re happy in the work they do and they maintain the focus required to perform at a high level of excellence. They are dependable, work with diligence and pride producing high-quality goods and services.

However, people are interchangeable are we? There are some jobs we’d love and others we’d grow quickly tired of or could not perform well in because we aren’t invested in wanting to learn.

In the situation I’m talking about today however, this is where a person seeks out work they can perform well and initially enjoys. Over time, the person masters the tasks of the job and then hits a plateau. The learning stops, the skills are mastered, the challenge is gone and no new ones await. The employee stagnates, becomes increasingly aware that there is nothing being stimulated as they go about their job and starts to feel unfulfilled. A feeling of dissatisfaction takes seed and starts to grow which if unchecked can lead to resentment, disappointment, self-doubt and reduced self-worth.

In the extreme, an employer may come to view the former excellent employee as the cancer; misdiagnosis them in their performance assessments as the problem instead of recognizing the excellent employee is in there still, it’s just the work being performed that needs attention. In all fairness though, not every employer has the option of rotating employees around or adding new challenges to the job function. By the very nature of the job, it could be impossible as in the case of a Parking Lot Attendant taking money and issuing receipts or the person who cleans the movie theatre between shows. The job function stays essentially unchanged; there are no advances in technology or additional training that the people in the job require to perform the work.

Performing a job on auto-pilot is as I say potentially dangerous. A person could slip in the quality of goods they produce and the expense to recall the defective products and replace them plus the drop in consumer confidence could be quite devastating. Many a person has been fired or let go because they got bored and their work suffered as a direct result.

Then there is ones personal life. Grow despondent at work and you’ll possibly start feeling stressed on your days off just thinking about having to go back to work. You may find yourself needing more and more time to unwind, or that lack of stimulation could carry over into your personal life and you disengage from activities you used to find fun, almost going through life numb.

We all learn at different speeds, master skills quickly or over long periods of time. Some need constant stimulation others don’t. Generally speaking, employers have a good idea of what the jobs they have to offer require from the people who perform them. This is why for example someone might apply for a job only to be rejected because the employer doesn’t believe you’ll last long in the job based on what they learn about you.

The bottom line? Pay attention to your personal needs in the work you do now. Watch for signs of prolonged boredom to be wary of. If you are the kind of person who needs more of a challenge, look around before you get burnt out to see if there is a way to manage that transition. Have a chat with your employer if possible with respect to how you feel. Could be there is something that can be done. Not always of course, but perhaps.



Sustaining A Full-Time Job Search

If you are out of work, it’s likely that you’ve heard at one person remind you that looking for a job is a full-time job itself. I imagine there are times you actually go at it with a high degree of determination too, but if we’re totally honest here, you probably would acknowledge that you’re not actually job searching 7 hours or more a day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks or more a month.

This isn’t a criticism of your effort, nor meant to be a jolt to get going and take things seriously. It’s extremely rare to find anyone who can reach and maintain such a high level of intensity a full-time job search requires. After all, there are going to be setbacks, rejections, employers who won’t even acknowledge your application, resumes and cover letters to write, additional costs to get around and….well….let’s not overdue the obvious and just cause you even more stress. The bottom line is that it’s challenging to go at any one thing full-time all the time without some measure of progress.

The key in my mind to staying focused and energized during a job search lies in the variety of activities you actually undertake during each day. This I believe is where so many who look for employment fail miserably; especially when they are working on a job search independently. Allow me to explain.

From my observations and discussions both with job searchers in person and via the internet, many people go about looking for work in the following way: 1) look for work on a job website, 2) make a resume for the job, 3) send off the resume, 4) repeat. After doing this for some time, the same people lament that there are no more jobs to apply to that they are qualified for, so they stop the job search out of frustration until the next day and see if there are more new jobs to apply to. Many of these people are looking for new websites, thinking that there must be some websites that have many different jobs, but try as they may; they just find the same jobs in a multitude of different places.

The problem with the above isn’t that the person is looking for different websites, it’s that sitting in front of the computer scouring the web for jobs isn’t part of their job search; it’s their entire job search activity.

You’ll find yourself more motivated and the unemployment period much shorter if you go about looking for work using a variety of activities rather than just one. So in addition to sitting down in front of a computer, I’d suggest adding the following to your job search:

  • Compile your references
  • Contact previous employers for openings
  • Research companies you want to work for
  • Use LinkedIn to connect to company employees
  • Update your LinkedIn profile
  • Sign up with a Temp agency in your field
  • Schedule a little fun time during your day
  • Get out of the house and network
  • Exercise your body and your mind
  • Hydrate with water and snack on health foods
  • Give an updated resume to your references
  • Write a thank you note to your references
  • Clean up your social media web pages
  • Take a WHMIS or First Aid course

Now, there are many, (And I do mean many) other things you can do to round out your job search. This list is actually very short. You should also use your phone and call up some employers directly and take the initiative to request a short 20 minute meeting where you go on a fact-finding mission and become the interviewer. This is an information interview and you’re not actually looking for them to interview and hire you but rather, you’re networking, getting some insights into the field and will later use those insights to improve your chances of employment.

Short-term courses like a first aid course will add to the section on your resume where you’re listing your professional development, and provide you with tangible evidence that you are in fact accomplishing something during your job search. In a future interview, if you’re asked what you’ve been doing since your last job, you can point to this and say you’ve updated some skills. Yes this training will cost you some money; it will cost you more to do nothing however so think of this as an investment in yourself.

A variety of activities keeps you fresh and your brain stimulated. Schedule your day into a routine where you check your email at the beginning, middle and end of the day. Build in some short breaks to read a chapter or two of a book you enjoy. At least once a week, get out to some networking activity; a training event, drop in to an Employment office for some people contact. The suggestion I’m making is to tackle your job search using a variety of activities so your brain stays stimulated as you move from one thing to another instead of expecting yourself to do the same one or two things for hours on end day after day and remain committed.

Varying what you do to look for work isn’t any different from varying what you’d do in a job during the day. Employers build in formal breaks so their employees return to their work with energy and focus so you should too when looking for work.



What Would It Take To Pry You Out Of Your Current Job?

Suppose for a moment you’re in your fifties, thinking more often than ever before about retirement that’s now a decade or less away for the first time in your life. Suppose as well that your comfortably employed and in no immediate threat whatsoever about losing your job. What would it take to pry you out of your current job?

It would have to be a job perhaps with stability, permanence, a competitive salary and of course match in some way the benefits you’ve been enjoying in your current job; benefits like the same number of weeks of vacation on top of health perks. That’s a tall order, but there it is.

If you fall into this mid-fifties category, you’re in a unique position from all other age categories. You’ve still got income coming in like those younger than you, but you’re in that last decade of employable earnings. When you finally hang up your work clothes for the last time, you’re expecting to live off whatever you’ve accumulated and whatever pension or benefit your country and employer may bestow upon you as a retired person.

Purchases you’ve been making up to now have always been augmented by your next pay to replenish the old bank account. Debts have been manageable because you’ve had a plan to pay them off through your earnings. Large purchases however, such as a new home require much more thought than in the past because of the nagging fear of being retired and carrying forward a mortgage you may not want to be burdened with when your employable income is gone.

It almost sounds like this blog is heading in the direction of recommending you sit down now with a Financial Planner; and while that’s not ever a bad idea, that’s not where I’m going. Look, you’ve got 10 or 15 years maximum left let’s say in your working life before moving into the next life stage. So my question remains, “What would it take to pry you out of your current job?”

Of course if the job you are in brings you great satisfaction, excellent pay and benefits and there’s no downside altogether, the likelihood that you’d change that for something else is less than it would be otherwise. If on the other hand, your current job has become mind-numbing, the pay is only average, the climate toxic, or the work itself brings you little personal satisfaction, you may be interested in a change.

The major concern people in this older demographic generally have is that they are becoming less attractive to new employers. So if they did take a chance and change jobs and for whatever reason the new job didn’t turn out as expected, the odds on a successful job search in their late 50’s aren’t as good as they’d like, and their afraid of being out of work altogether. This unexpected unemployment might use up savings, exhaust a retirement fund, crippling their ability to live whatever style of retirement they envision.

The downside of course is you may still be facing these next 10-15 years of employment in a job that is not really fulfilling your sense of satisfaction.  You’re conscious of becoming stale, stagnant, mentally disengaged; you know that if you were 15 years younger, you’d definitely be looking for greater challenges and more stimulating work. But the mirror in the bathroom each morning shows you’re exactly who you are – nothing more, nothing less.

Ah you’ve become so responsible haven’t you? Yes, you with your mortgage now that’s almost paid off. You’re down to your last 2 or 3 new vehicles, you’ve accumulated all the, ‘stuff’ you wanted at some point and have found yourself telling the family just last month, “I don’t NEED anything for Christmas; really.” A younger you wouldn’t have settled for riding into retirement safe and secure but unfulfilled. You ponder more and more often, “Is this it? Is this all there is? Have I made a difference?”

So you are left wondering if when you retire, you’ll leave your working life having been happy. What if you pondered for a while, a different retirement than the one you’ve been picturing up until now? Instead of the standard, “mortgage free, a few trips a year, time with the grandkids, golfing” picture, what if you envisioned something more unique?

If your view of retirement changed, would that make risking a new start with a new employer now in your mid-fifties more palatable? Getting out and starting anew would stimulate your creativity; challenge you in ways you haven’t been of late. You’d be invigorated anew and whatever struggle to excel and establish yourself again you’d feel would come as a welcomed relief. Instead of playing it safe and secure but losing yourself in the monotony, you’d risk that security but feel like you’re alive again, with a renewed purpose. Retirement would still be looming of course, but you can always adjust that envisioned lifestyle and do things now while you’re in the best health you’re going to be over the remainder of your life.

What would it take to pry you out of your current job? Perhaps some courage, a sense of urgency, a feeling of not wanting to write yourself off just yet and wanting to do what you’ve always wanted to do before it’s too late. In short, maybe a leap of faith that proves you’re still young at heart.