What Can We Learn From Inspector Morse About Mid-Life Career Change?

Inspector MorseGuest blogger, Mike Rawlins, writer, musician, business coach wrote this interesting piece on what we can learn about career change from Inspector Morse

As always with any coaching scenario the most important step is to work out what the goal is – and to feel able to take the time to do so. What is it then about the ‘over forty’ bit that is relevant and that will help us to work out what we are aspiring towards?

This may seem like an odd diversion but trust me. As an afficionado of the type of programme that now seems to make up most of the scheduling for ITV3 – Morse, Lewis, Midsummer Murders, etc. – I know that in any detection process the two key factors are opportunity and motive.

Now, I am no Morse, but I understand that being (well) over forty was a big factor in both those aspects of my own crime against my previous career. And in both cases there is an obvious and a more subtle aspect.

Motive – the obvious one for me was that I had been with the same company for 30 years and, while moderately successful, I knew I had gone as far as I was going to go both in terms of my capabilities and also, legislation not withstanding, age profile. So I could sit out the next 10-15 years and sulk or go and do something different. But it turned out there was a further angle, and one that I could not have become aware of without taking the plunge.

Through all the self reflection that developing as a coach requires I have become aware that there were other things working within me that would drive – which continue to drive – my life and career and it is the maturity and capacity to reflect that seems to come with being of a certain age that helped kick start that process – the urgency created by a sense of time passing that was able to unlock doors long closed.

Opportunity – there is a practical side to this. My age and years of service meant that I was able to take advantage of yet another reorganisation to leave with a bit of capital behind me and I would be the first to admit that I would be a good deal less gung ho about my career change without that security. But again, age, experience, whatever, these factors conspired to create a foundation on which I could start to build something new. 30 year old Mike would have done something very different – and much less exciting – with a pot of money and some spare time.

So – my advice is to recognise the extraordinary capacity for change that comes with the energy and experience we all retain after 40 – to work out what drives you (and to recognise that takes time and you may have to start the process before it really kicks in) and go for that career over forty – whatever it is.”

Thank you for sharing Mike!

Angela x