The Stages of Work: The Settling Years

By Jo Pilon

The Settling Years

This is the 3rd in the “The Stages of Work” series where we are talking about how people’s lives seem to have distinct stages. Stages that give them opportunities to reflect and pivot to suit their situation at that time.

This time in your career is often a time to settle into your career, gain the skills, build your reputation and set yourself up for promotion or leadership.

It is also a stage when people may find a permanent partner. Life is starting to settle into a pattern. This is great if it is a pattern that you are loving.

But if you are feeling disconnected and bored with that career you spent so many hours studying for then this time is more about frustration than consolidation for you.”

I have clients with 3 issues at this stage in their life:

Looking for Promotion:

Some of you will be thinking about how you are going to set yourself up for a promotion.

While it is, of course, important to work hard, there are other strategies that you can implement to help you reach your goal for promotion. You may need to:

  • Do more study
  • Work on certain skills such as communication and leadership
  • Gain experience in that level of work.

Making sure you do the right things to become noticed by the right people may take some planning.

This article from Business Insider gives some good tips to follow if you keep missing out on that promotion you want

Wrong Career Choice:

Many of my clients who come to me at this stage of their career have found that the career they thought they wanted isn’t what they want now.

The honeymoon period is over, they are past the newness of getting paid and settling into their workplace;  they know the job well, they know the people, they know what is expected of them and they have started looking to the future.

That is when they have realised they don’t want to do this for the next 20 – 30 years, in fact, they don’t think they can do this for the next 3 years.

They don’t know what to do,  OMG – all that study, work and money!

Often these clients have got used to a good salary but they are not happy, indeed they are very unhappy. If this is you, then maybe you need to start thinking about seeing a Career Coach.

Location Limitations:

It is also at this ‘settling stage’ as I mentioned earlier many people meet their life partner which while wonderful does bring in limitations because you have another person to take into consideration when you are making decisions.

This gets much more complicated if their job is tied to a location.

Speaking from experience and from talking to others who live and work in rural and regional areas being tied to a specific location certainly affects your career choices.

  • Can you can find a job in your field?
  • Are there opportunities for progression in your field?
  • What other choices are available for you?

I remember one of my mother’s friends said to me once:

“You can’t always choose where you live, but you can choose how you live”.

That really resonated with me and it still does. It made me choose not to let my location limit how I lived my life and gave me permission to start thinking courageously, to look for solutions to my career that I would not necessarily have thought of.

I have spoken to a lot of people about this over the years and have been inspired by the ability people have to make a life that they find rewarding and meaningful through exploring alternatives.

  • Some of them have decided to pursue their current career and have chosen to travel to their work
  • Others have completely changed their career by utilising the opportunities available in their region such as starting or purchasing a business.
  • Others have applied for jobs that weren’t exactly in their field but their skills transferred across.
  • While still others have gone down the study road and trained for a completely different career.

One of the great things about building a career in rural and regional Australia is the diversity involved in your role once you get a job. In larger centres, roles and tasks are more specific as there are many people in the workplace but in rural areas one job can include multiple responsibilities, giving the worker diverse experience.

Now more than ever there are opportunities no matter your location. Technology has opened up doors for rural and regional people, now we can study remotely and work remotely.  Since COVID not only are more and more people moving to the regions providing even more opportunities for work but many employers are looking at remote workers as a viable option.

So while I call it the settling time, for many people, it is also a time when they recognise that for them to settle into a fulfilling career that meets their needs they need to explore and change what they are doing.

While you may be disappointed that it hasn’t worked out the way you chose, there are so many options available that can help you pivot to a more rewarding career.

The next article in this series will focus on the start of your career what I have called the Children & Work stage.

If you are feeling stuck about what you want to do, if you are at a turning point in your working life and need some guidance on how to find your way to more satisfying work or to an interesting retirement then book a free 30 minute “Right for You” call so Jo & Kate can help you.

































































































Sign up to Stay Work Smart

Expand Careers


Expand Careers Consulting

Related Posts

Read More

Stages of Work: Creating The  Retirement You Want

Stages of Work: Creating The Retirement You Want

We are so much younger and healthier than generations gone by, that many people don't feel ready to retire when they reach retirement age. People to whom work has given life its purpose can find they are nervous and worried about what their life will be like when they...

The Stages of Work: Working until Pension Age

The Stages of Work: Working until Pension Age

This is the 8th article in the "The Stages of Work" series where we are talking about how people's lives seem to have distinct stages which give them opportunities to reflect and pivot to suit their lives. Some of my clients are people 55 and over who are on their own...

The Stages of Work: The Sandwich Generation

The Stages of Work: The Sandwich Generation

This is the 7th in the "The Stages of Work" series where we are talking about how some people's lives seem to have distinct stages which give them opportunities to reflect and pivot to suit their lives.  I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel I am being pulled in...

Join the Discussion


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *