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Question
Posted by: CS | 2011/09/15

So confused

Lately I''ve been feeling so dissapointed in myself and the choices I''ve made up till now. I''m 35, hapilly married and we have a son (5) - I just feel so frustrated career wise!!
I studied Food Service Managerment when I was younger but never finished the course - just basically gave up in my last year.
I''m a PA now and would love to start studying but have no idea what though? I''m scared that I''m too old. I feel like kicking myself because everytime there are retrenchments looming I start realising that I have no proper qualifications to speak of.
I hate feeling so indicisive. Any advise would be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageExecutive coach

Dear So Confused,

Thank you for your post.
Firstly let's celebrate your successes: You are happily married and you have a five-year old son!
You have recognised that you need to take action for something to happen in your life!

Career frustration can come from a number of areas:
You could be so comfortable (in your comfort zone) that you are frustrated.
It could be that you want a change/want to move on?
Perhaps you don't want to be in the firing line anymore? A PA is typically the first level of defence for an MD, so takes a lot of flack.
Can you identify the reason for your frustration? - Are you comparing yourself to other peple? Your circumstances are different from others, so comparing to them is not a real measure.

If you don't change, what are you voting for?
I'm not sure why you made the choices you did, but that's all in the past, so feedback won't matter. Instead, let's look at feed forward.

You're never too old to study, although with family commitments your time is not always your own, so you have to schedule study time well, and recognise that it could take more than one year to complete a long course.
(Or you could do a series of short courses).
If you do want to study, the good thing about being older is that you may get exemption from certain boundaries that are placed on recent school leavers.

Should your interest still be in Food Services Management, you could follow that path. Recognise that you have changed in the meantime. Perhaps so have your preferences for further education.

Where to start?
Answer the questions asked here.
Decide whether you want to do short or long courses, and what you can afford.

If it something that your employer might find value in, make an appointment with the HR department and discuss the options with them. Assume that anything you discuss, will find it's way back to your boss. You may well be surprised at the feedback you get by discussing your issue with him/her.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: Executive Coach | 2011/09/18

Dear So Confused,

Thank you for your post.
Firstly let's celebrate your successes: You are happily married and you have a five-year old son!
You have recognised that you need to take action for something to happen in your life!

Career frustration can come from a number of areas:
You could be so comfortable (in your comfort zone) that you are frustrated.
It could be that you want a change/want to move on?
Perhaps you don't want to be in the firing line anymore? A PA is typically the first level of defence for an MD, so takes a lot of flack.
Can you identify the reason for your frustration? - Are you comparing yourself to other peple? Your circumstances are different from others, so comparing to them is not a real measure.

If you don't change, what are you voting for?
I'm not sure why you made the choices you did, but that's all in the past, so feedback won't matter. Instead, let's look at feed forward.

You're never too old to study, although with family commitments your time is not always your own, so you have to schedule study time well, and recognise that it could take more than one year to complete a long course.
(Or you could do a series of short courses).
If you do want to study, the good thing about being older is that you may get exemption from certain boundaries that are placed on recent school leavers.

Should your interest still be in Food Services Management, you could follow that path. Recognise that you have changed in the meantime. Perhaps so have your preferences for further education.

Where to start?
Answer the questions asked here.
Decide whether you want to do short or long courses, and what you can afford.

If it something that your employer might find value in, make an appointment with the HR department and discuss the options with them. Assume that anything you discuss, will find it's way back to your boss. You may well be surprised at the feedback you get by discussing your issue with him/her.

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