BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR - YOU MIGHT JUST GET IT!

Sometimes we feel that we need a change or a challenge. If life chooses to offer you one, be brave enough to take a risk and see where it takes you.

NEVER GET TOO SETTLED

Just over three years ago, I finally walked away from my toxic job. I didn't have a lot of time to think about it. I'd been pushed to the end of my tether, and when that last straw broke this camel's back, I gave two weeks' notice, packed my bag and left. I was mentally exhausted and it took me a long time to recover my resilience. The ending was sudden and abrupt, and it left me feeling quite lost and unsure of what to do next.

By the time I felt like I had something to offer a new employer, covid arrived in all its "glory" and the world locked down. We all retreated and it became easier to stay at home than to worry about putting myself out there again. But life can sometimes surprise you....

LIFE MOVES ON AND WE MOVE WITH IT

After lockdown lifted and life as we all knew it had morphed into something different, I thought I'd kissed job hunting goodbye forever and was destined to leave the workforce behind me and completely retire. It was a strange decision based on how life had panned out, rather than on a conscious decision that I no longer wanted to work at all. Over that quiet year I found that I was content to be at home and to know that we could afford for me to no longer be working.

I've loved the last three years. I've loved the flexibility and freedom of being in charge of my days - not fitting things in around a 9-5 job. I've loved discovering new interests - I've become a scooter rider, I've discovered collaging and neurographic art, I volunteered at my local playgroup, joined a ladies discussion group, took up Gentle Gym and Tai Chi, and enjoyed lots of coffee dates with my friends. Life has been very good to me, but change happens and life moves on. I've dropped a few of my interests over the last 6 months and my days began to all look a little bit the same. I felt like I needed to add something new into the mix.

WHAT'S NEXT?

I wrote a post after I left my old job that asked 'What's Next?' and I felt like I was coming full circle and asking what was missing now, and what I needed to add into my life to keep me interested, engaged and challenged. I thought it might be a new hobby or a return to my volunteering, but life threw me a surprise curve ball in the shape of a little ad that appeared in my local free newspaper recently.

job advertisement

I'd seen many part-time jobs advertised over the years, but they were all for more days than I wanted, or included having to relieve for other employees when they were sick or on leave. I didn't want another job that took over my life. But this one caught my eye - and there was very little effort required to apply. Could this be the next new thing I was looking for?

LEAPING IN AND BEING BRAVE

I decided to embrace the concept of 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' and shot an email off into the ether with absolutely no expectations. Four hours later (wow!) I had a reply and two days later I was being interviewed! So much for my doubts about whether employers would be interested in a 60 year old woman who hadn't worked for a few years! I still didn't get too invested because I wasn't the only one being interviewed, but lo and behold, a few days later I had a phone call offering me the job. 

I'd say it was the Perfect Job for me - but I've learned that the perfect job can implode and become a nightmare, so I've decided that it seems like a good fit for where I'm at in life. It will give me an interest, an excuse to put on a bra and a nice outfit, and an opportunity to engage my brain learning new skills. I'll get to meet people, get paid some pin money, and I'm hoping it will give me that last bit of working life I'd hoped my old job would have provided.

INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN

I start my new job this week - straight into the nitty gritty of learning a new role (without a handover because the previous receptionist has already moved on to a position with more hours). It'll be a little bit scary, a little bit messy, I'll make mistakes, and I'll be out of my comfort zone (big time!) But that's what keeps life interesting isn't it? Trying new things, being prepared to be a beginner again - keeping my brain active and putting myself out there.

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.  Barbara Sher

I still want to have a quiet, simple life, I love being retired and free to make my own choices with how I spend my time. But, maybe there's room for a little more if I'm prepared to stretch myself again. So....wish me luck and cheer me on as I start a new little adventure. It's a small thing for most people, but a big leap for me. I love that life brings small surprises to keep us on our toes and to stop us getting too complacent. I'm also hoping this will be a little palate cleanser to leave me with happier final job memories. Stay tuned!

RELATED POSTS


Sometimes we feel that we need a change or a challenge. If life chooses to offer you one, be brave enough to take a risk and see where it takes you.

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive
Sometimes we feel that we need a change or a challenge. If life chooses to offer you one, be brave enough to take a risk and see where it takes you.

55 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Janet - it's a a small step back into the rat race, but I'm looking forward to a new challenge to add to my week. x

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  2. Cheering you on but also knowing that you will approach this job with a different mindset from before. It will have to suit you! Not the other way round. Love that you are giving it a go, trying to see how it works and that it is another step along the 'new way to be retired' life you are living!! Congratulations Leanne. Go well.

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    1. Oh Denyse - you soooo get it! I already said 'no' something in the mix and have no regrets, I want to be an asset, but definitely on my terms this time. To know that my motivation is really different from all my previous jobs just takes the pressure right off. It may last for a month, a year, or 5 years..... but this time I know my boundaries and have the chance to finish my working life on a lighter note. x

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  3. Good luck in your new adventure. I hope you will find new experiences and friendships there.

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    1. Thank you so much - that's what I'm hoping for too - and some pleasant days that close off my working life on my own terms. :)

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  4. It sounds perfect Leanne. I hope you enjoy it and it offers that extra bit of something you desire! (Without being too much of course!)

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    1. Hi Deb - you'd know what it's like to have a job arrive when you have the head space for it and the desire to grow. This little one is such a good fit for me, so I'm hoping it lives up to its promise! :)

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  5. Replies
    1. A lesson I've now taken to heart Janet! 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained' also came to mind....

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  6. Congratulations and good luck Leanne. I’m sure you will be exactly what your employer needs. I’ve been loving working just one day each week, since semi retirement. I was also over 60 when I started this job. My employer appreciates older workers so I feel valued at work.

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    1. "I feel valued at work" is my goal for how I want to feel Jennifer. So many jobs working for people who took everything for granted..... now there's a different agenda and I'm really hoping this is my lovely swan song. One day a week was the perfect balance for me too.

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  7. That's such great news Leanne and you are well suited and ready to take on this new step but on your own terms! Wishing you well and cheering you on, go girl!

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    1. Thanks so much Deb - I really feel like this is a good fit and will fill the space in my week that the dodgy hip fallout has created. I'm really looking forward to challenging myself and I think it'll be a good fit for me. x

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  8. Hi Leanne. It's your serendipity, isn't it? You just wanted a little something, not a full time job, again, and you got what you asked for. The law of attraction was certainly at work here. I'm so happy for you! Lots of love, dear friend, Christina daggett

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    1. Hi Christina - I definitely feel that it's an answer to a prayer that I hadn't even realized I was praying. I just felt a pull towards needing a little "something extra" and this appeared out of the ether. I really hope it's a good fit and something I want to keep showing up for in the months/years ahead. xx

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  9. Congratulations Leanne! That sounds exciting, I hope you'll like the job.

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    1. Hi Susanne - I'm kind of excited and uncertain all rolled into one atm. I'd love to have someone there to show me the ropes, but I know I can figure it out as I go along - I just need to give myself time to get my head around it all. It's going to be really good once I know what I'm doing!

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  10. I have been reading your posts for almost two years now and when I saw the title of the post I guessed and I guessed it right! Congratulations. It is so great to start a new job from the position of "I don't have to." Enjoy.

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    1. Hi Stella - thanks so much for taking the time to leave your best wishes. Yes, I've always felt that things ended so badly with my last job and it was an unfinished chapter. I'm hoping that this is the new ending I'm looking for - something that will be a good fit and a lovely way to mix work and play. x

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  11. Best of luck! I hope the new job goes well.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I'm hoping it goes well too....I really feel like I'd like to re-write the chapter on how my work life ends, so this might be just the thing. :)

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  12. Awesome! It sounds like a perfect fit for your new life. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Trisha - it just seemed like it ticked so many boxes when I saw it advertised, now I just hope that my new boss is as pleasant as she seemed in the interview and that I get my head around all the new stuff with nobody to train me!

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  13. Congrats on this new chapter!

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    1. Thank you so much - life continues to evolve and I'm enjoying the ride. :)

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  14. CONGRATS Sounds like a made to order to fit you. Love the Barbara Sher quote. She was my first mentor and I have her to thank for the life I have now.

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    1. Hi Judith - thanks for your encouraging words - I feel like it's a good fit too. It's come along at a really good time for me and I didn't want to play safe - just a gentle stretch and a continual forward motion..... And yes, I love what I've read from Barbara Sher - definitely a wise woman.

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  15. Leanne, My mom was always telling me that opportunities present themselves when you are ready for them. The fact you saw this ad meant you were ready to explore something. I love that you're walking into it with openness to learning! Best wishes for a smooth learning curve! You got this!!

    For me, I'm thinking of becoming more engaged in one of the garden clubs I joined, maybe even look into courses to become a Master Gardener. It's still noodling in my head, but I've volunteered to work next weekend at the annual Flower Show. A huge out of comfort zone thing - I've never even been to a flower show! At the "what you'll need to do" meeting, I was the only one not a Master Gardener! But, I'm going in with strong arms (apparently we move a lot of plants around) and a willingness to learn. And then, I also volunteered for the Garden Clubs kids summer camp. even more out of my comfort zone.... but that's only 5 days. How bad can it be!

    Looking forward to hearing how your new gig goes!

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    1. Hi Pat - good on you for stepping up and stepping out (and I didn't even know Master Gardeners were a 'thing' - so you're much more informed than I am). I think it's good to stretch ourselves a little here and there when life presents us with an opportunity. I'd seen lots of jobs appear and each of them had aspects that didn't appeal enough for me to apply. This one just felt 'right' so I'm going to give it my best shot and see how it goes.

      I love that we're both still learning and willing to try new adventures to keep life interesting. I'll be posting updates in my end of month posts. :)

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  16. Wishing you luck and cheering you on!!! Please keep us posted -- I look forward to hearing more!

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    1. Hi Donna - I can do with all the cheering on I can get. It's a little daunting, but I'm sure I'm up for the challenge. I also feel that I'm going into this with completely different motivation to any previous job, so that's a great start! I'll definitely keep you posted on my progress! x

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  17. This is an inspirational post. I love it. Good luck with the new job. I hope you will share details next coffee share.

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    1. I'll definitely be writing an update in my end of month post - the first day went much better than I anticipated, but there's still a long way to go.... But I enjoyed my day and that's what really counts.

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  18. Apologies - I'm so late in commenting this week... catching up on everything today. But there's an advantage in being late as I now get to say that I'm glad your first day went well for you.

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    1. Thanks Jo - and yes, it was as good a first day as I could have hoped for. I'm assuming each day will get smoother as I go along and things become more familiar....but that being said, the boss was happy, so I was happy :)

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  19. Good for you! I think work is really important and fulfilling. It's not a rat race unless you feel forced or enslaved. If it's your choice, then it's purposeful. Doesn't have to be a paid job, volunteer work does the same. I hope you enjoy it, make some friends (to spend the day with) and learn a bit more about the world around you (which is often what work does, if you meet people from all walks of life).

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    1. Hi Lydia, I love that this job feels like it's on my terms - I'm doing it because it fits into my world, rather than taking over my life or being something I "have" to do to help make ends meet. I feel no compulsion to stay if it's not a good fit, I'm just happy to see how it goes one week at a time - and that's such a joy for me (especially after the last nightmare of a job!) And I'm glad I answered your curse conundrum too!

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  20. Coincidently, I was telling my youngest about those 'chinese' curses....I couldn't rememver the third and it was the one you used!

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  21. Congratulations, Leanne, on your new job! I'm cheering you on and wishing you luck. You'll ace it in no time at all. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

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    1. Thanks Natalie - it's been so lovely having numerous bloggers and readers giving me such positive encouragement. It feels like a big leap into the unknown, but also a bit like riding a bike (just a different kind of bike - maybe a unicycle?!) I'll be glad when a few weeks have passed and I'm into the swing of it more :)

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    1. Thanks Linda - I plan to do a little update in my end of month post - by then I'll have had a couple of work days and will be able to report on how I'm handling all the new challenges! One thing I'm certain of, it will not be allowed to take on more importance than it deserves :)

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  23. Good luck with your new job. It is exciting to try new things what ever your age.

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    1. Thanks Anne - I've been morphing from one life phase to another over the last few years, and now I feel like I'm mingling them a little, so that will add a new challenge into my week - and hopefully some fun too.

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  24. Oh how FUN! I hope your transition is a smooth one and that, even if not perfect, your new gig is exactly what you need it to be :-) Have a wonderful week ahead!

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    1. Hi Melissa - I think if I keep my expectations reeled in a little and hope for a really nice job (instead of a "perfect" job) then I'm off to a good start. My first day went well, so I plan to build on that x

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  25. Congratulations Leanne, it sounds like the perfect opportunity to add another dimension to your happy retirement. Drop and add is just part of the refining process, isn't it?

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    1. Hi Suzanne - I like that 'drop and add' concept and I feel like it pretty much reflects how my retirement is progressing. It's a refinement of what works and what needs to be adjusted. It all comes back to freedom and flexibility for me :)

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  26. wow Leanne. Exciting. I love my job but I wouldn't mind, at some point going from 4 days a week to one or two. I love that quote you shared at the end about being willing to be a beginner. Sometimes that is hard for me, especially when it comes to something like work.

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    1. Hi Kirstin - I'm terrible at being a beginner - I don't like making mistakes or feeling uncertain, but I just have to suck it up over the next couple of months and eventually it will feel like I know what I'm doing! I really didn't want too many hours because I'm enjoying having time to myself - and life has to stop being about the money sooner or later and become more about quality of life.

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  27. It's so wonderful to hear about your new job. I love your quote about willing to be a beginner. I just started a new job. It's a lateral position with a large employer. I've been trying to keep quiet about that because I know people would have expected a promotion (naturally) from me. The opportunities for a promotion were too far from my house and would have taken over my life. I decided it was best to look for an employer closer to home which I did even if is not a promotion. I kept brewing inside if I made the right decision and as of Monday, my first day at the new job, I believe it was the right decision.

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    1. Hi Julie - I used to be so focused on the pay rate or the importance of the position, but now I'm really happy just finding a job that feels like a good fit and that pays enough for me to think it's worthwhile getting dressed and going into work! I think I've found a nice little adjunct to the rest of my week by working one full-on day and then having the other six to do my own thing. I think you're going to be really happy with your choice - especially not wasting all that time with extra travel - good luck!

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  28. I know this is an older post - but Leanne I hope this new job is a good move for you. I've learned to never say never...I hope you find joy.

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    1. Thanks Janet - life never stops changing and bringing new challenges if we're willing to accept them. At the moment I'm feeling like I'm paddling hard to keep my head above the waterline, but I'm sure it'll get easier as I learn all the background stuff. x

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