This week on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons our host and president, Megan Bozzuto, chatted with a member, Jen Messer, about navigating “mid-career” identity crises and taking the right step in a new direction. She is a career strategist and coach in the staffing industry, speaker, podcast host, and director of National Accounts who advocates for the parent workforce.
From her own “mid-career” identity crisis, Jen had these pieces of advice to share with our audience:
Put on your blinders
Jen’s work as a recruiter and account manager wasn’t fueling her passion. She loved health and fitness and decided to buy a gym. After a few years, the gym became too financially stressful for her and her husband as they were paying a mortgage and wanted to start a family. She sold the gym to return to her old company making a larger impact and finding joy in her career more than she ever before.
“Give something a try and don’t be afraid to pivot when it works out. I refer to that stage of my career as my mid-career identity crisis” explained Jen. “There was a lot of internal conflict to leave initially and to come back later on. I don’t consider any of its failures. I consider it life lessons. I really had to listen to myself and what was in my gut. It felt good in my body to make those decisions. Listening to myself and tuning out other people made sure I had my blinders on to do what I knew was right.”
Jumping ship isn’t an instant decision
Leaving the corporate world to start your own business or changing industries is a large life-altering decision. They shouldn’t happen overnight. Jen took time for herself to sit on her decision and consider all the possibilities with her support group before she made a change. “Make sure you have time to evaluate and ask yourself the right questions: why do I want to leave, is it a culture, money, lifestyle thing, are you burnt out from overworking and need a break, who do you need to support, are you financially secure enough to make a change? I also always say explore opportunities internally before jumping ship because you never know what is available” says Jen.
Want to listen to Jen‘s full story and get more advice? Listen to Unlimited HERizons updated weekly with different amazing professional women telling their stories. All IAW members can connect with Jen Messer in the IAW Community!