To be ok with my 1/3 life career crisis

I'm 30. That's not a confession, it's not an admission, or a crutch, label, or anything other than a fact. I'm 30 years old. And I am going through a 1/3 life career crisis.

When I was little I told my mother that I wanted to be a professional that lived downtown and carried a briefcase. In which downtown, I didn't know, I just had this vision of 'downtown'. Once I had had a taste of school, I found a passion for teaching. Around grade 5, I decided I wanted to be a middle years teacher. In high school I told people that I would either be a teacher, or a missionary to Africa. I became a teacher, it didn't scare my mom as much as Africa did. I did a fine job of teaching. Then I went on to get my Master's and I did an ok job of that. But then I was done. And I didn't know what to do. I knew that I wanted to be done with teaching in a regular classroom, but I didn't want to start all over.

A problem that I am struggling with is that I have always known what I've wanted to do. Ever since I was five I had drive and a goal. And now, at 30, I'm a bit stuck. I've applied for jobs, I've put feelers out there, but I only know what I don't want to do, and that is to return to something familiar. It's crazy what this can do to you, one minute you're content to be doing what you're doing, and the next minute you are at a crossroads where you could go back to something that you've done for so long that you think it's comfortable, except the thought of returning to that place makes you so uncomfortable that you want to squirm out of your skin (sorry about that run-on sentence, there was no other way).

I thought I was alone. I thought I was the only person in my circle of friends who didn't know which direction to go at 30, and then I got a letter from a dear friend in the mail. She sent me a card to say hi, and in the PS she told me that she was currently unemployed. I dropped the card and called her right away. It wasn't a long talk but it was so good to hear from someone who decided at a young age, like me, what to do with life, only to realize that some decisions need changing.

I was, and am, tremendously proud of her for walking away from a high paying job in pursuit of a greater calling. Strangely, neither of us quite know what exactly we want to do, we only know what we don't want to do. Neither of us want to have to completely switch fields either because that is quite a commitment at 30, with plans of starting a family in the future.

Not too long ago, a fellow graduate's status stated 'to PhD or not to PhD', and I tossed that idea around in my head and then kiboshed it because going to school out of uncertainty is never a good least for now. I am slowly eliminating things off of my imaginary job list.

I finally feel for, and completely relate to those kids in high school who are asked, "what do you want to do?", and have no answer to give. I know what I don't want to do, and most people say to me at least that is a start. I still have a drive, and I am learning to cultivate contentment in the place that I am in.

That's all.


  1. When we were around your age, Ken and I decided to sell all we had and move to a strange city called, "Regina." We moved into a crackshack and started shared meals with addicts and gang members.

    That crackshack is now Souls Harbour RESCUE Mission.

    When you hold all that you are and all that you have in the palm of your outstretched hands, God will replace it with something you couldn't even ask for or imagine.

    Thanks for sharing your 1/3 journey with the world.

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  3. Kara,
    I identified with this one. By 27 I had accomplished my "life's goals" and then some... strange place to be as I turn 30 in just a few months! So, I've been praying as I've been on this journey of Leadership for the past 3 years with little to no idea of what comes next exactly (oddly enough... likely my masters, but after that - no idea)... praying that God will give me His dreams, as I believe He did the first time (I was 15 not 5)... and I believe He will... although I don't envy you at all for the place you are in right now. Tough to wait for that certain call...



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