I’ve been stuck in a financially stunted and unrewarding job for the last 17 years (yeah I know).
My vocation is graphic design – but the joy of it has been sliding downhill for quite some time.
To the point now, where I’m trying to work out how to feed my family and pay the core bills let alone all the other accrued bills.
Anyway, I have a few questions about this unrewarding job and about applying for jobs. Being 42, I wonder if I’m considered too old?
Is my name putting people off calling me for an interview?
Is the reputation of my boss putting people off?
Does the fact I’ve been at the same place in this stunted and unrewarding job for 17 years starting to put people off.
There’s only ever been the two of us in my employment.
I do almost all the real work, while my boss attends to the admin side of things.
Work has been very very lean lately and I’ve spent days and weeks with mostly nothing to do.
I’m not allowed to do any tutorials or training, and I’m not allowed to work on any of my own projects apart from at lunchtime.
I have so much stress and worry about surviving from day to day, sometimes I feel my head’s going to explode.
But I keep wondering how futile looking for another job is, and that I would be much better served to do my own thing and escape from this frustrating job.
I’ve got plenty of creative ideas, that I’d like to harness.. but without the extra time and money needed. I just can’t seem to find a way forward…
I have so much I could offer, yet no-one seems to be interested in me.
Look forward to your thoughts.
Thanks for the submission.
Your situation of being stuck in an unrewarding job is not too uncommon. This mixture of frustration and lack of appreciation in your current working environment and the need for greater income is felt by many.
These two problems are linked and that if you can solve the first one you usually automatically solve the second one.
Find a working environment where you are appreciated and valued more and you will generally find your income goes up.
A couple of questions that will help me help you.
1. Your vocation is graphic design; if you could separate this work from the place where you work, could you say from your heart that you are generally happy doing graphic design.
(If you have been thinking about how you can create other income from your profession, I’m guessing that you do enjoy graphic design, but I need to confirm this.)
2. If you could get another graphic design job working for someone where you received more money and were more respected, would you prefer this to ultimately having your own income stream and not having to work for someone else.
(If this is the case, it normally involves a transition period of doing a bit of each anyway until your own graphic design business gets some momentum)
Your entrepreneurial thinking in this area is to be commended.
This is a frequent way out of financial lack and invariably leads to greater fulfillment in work and life generally.
However, it does not normally happen overnight but with a few planned steps towards opening up other revenue streams in graphic design, there is absolutely no reason why in a year or two from now you could find yourself in a quite different situation and with a greater sense of autonomy and control over your future.
Implement An Easy Plan
The first step is to identify one to three small things that you could begin to work on right away.
During a time of stress and low motivation, this is not always easy to do.
Your financial situation may prohibit you from getting some outside help, but if you can afford a couple of sessions with me via phone, or in person, or enrolling in the program mentioned in the video link above, I think it would be money well invested.
Having someone help you through the transition process can make quite a difference.
In the meantime, a nice little goal-setting application that you can access free and that can help you set and monitor some action steps towards your goal is Lifetick.
I have also included (sent via email) a free e-book that I think you may benefit from in the area of getting ahead financially.
The author is an international bestseller in this area and has helped lots of people like you.
Employers Are Not All the Same
Regarding your age, to some employers you will be too old, to some you might not be old enough, to some you being in the same job for 17 years might work against you, to some, it will be a blessing.
To some, your employer’s reputation may put them off, to others it won’t.
Everyone will view your situation quite differently but this will be influenced mostly by the way you portray yourself to them.
Don’t get too caught up in what people think.
The vast majority of employers see someone as having worked for the same employer for 17 years as a positive thing. You can sell yourself on that loyalty.
As a past employer, I would always be interested in someone in your position, all things being equal.
I hope this is of some help.