Many people at this age appear to be successful, with good jobs, big cars and the other so-called trappings of success. Others have a sense that their lack of ambition is catching up with them and they are stuck in a rut and want a way out, either by going back to study at online universities or by directly changing career.
What's missing for most people at this stage is personal fulfillment and a sense of direction in their lives. The most obvious solution would seem to be a 30 something career change as a way to establish some kind of work-life balance.
And initially this may indeed be a life changing experience. When you change jobs, lots of things are new and different. It takes a while to adjust. During this period your attention is on what is new and different.
When you settle into the job, however, you realize that the same patterns are running and the same things are niggling at you. And all of a sudden, you realize your situation is actually really no different, you're doing the same thing, but in a different place.
Let's go back for a moment, to when you left school. The typical advice is to pick the subjects that you are good at and move in this direction to get a job that pays well. And this seems to work. For a time. But by the time many people get to consider career changes for 30 somethings, they may have already changed careers in their 20s as well.
People will typically do what is comfortable and familiar. Which means that they end up in a job that's fairly similar to the previous one. Which is not really surprising when you consider that the process they use to choose a new one is the same process they used to choose the old one.
And you are probably realizing that that process hasn't got you a satisfactory job or career. How do I know? You're reading this!
If you follow conventional advice for career changes for 30 somethings and continue to do the same things, you can expect to get the same results. Or worse!
Career changes for 30 somethings will be effective in generating personal fulfillment and a sense of direction only if you establish a different starting point for yourself. You can only know what's right for you if you know who you are.
When people ask 'What are you good at?' many people think in terms of academic subjects or business skills. They rarely answer with the couple of things they really excel at. Sometimes it actually takes somebody close to you to point out what you are actually really fantastic at.
And what about your own natural patterns and rhythms?
Did you take these kinds of things into consideration when you chose your last job? Do you plan to include them in your career changes for 30 somethings?
When you consider that your life is the longest thing that you will ever personally be involved in, it makes sense that your decision-making process would involve you as an important factor in it.
In fact, if you use your awareness of yourself as the starting point, each and every one of your decisions will strengthen your sense of self and amplify your personal fulfillment and keep you moving in the right direction.