Career Change: Give Yourself A Second Chance

“I feel stuck.”  David said about his sales job for a media entity based in New York. David’s territory extended from his home in Fairfield County up through Boston and down to Philadelphia. He could essentially alternate telecommuting one week with travel the next. Battling I-95 South in Connecticut to New York or battling I-95 in Connecticut toward Boston, David had grown to dread his alternate weeks.  He had also grown to dread the end of the month when he had to post his results. 17 years in sales had taken its toll.  David was burned out. 
David’s resume illustrated why he felt stuck. Most of the 17 years were sales for different media organizations.  During the last few years, he realized that he “couldn’t take it much longer” and realized that he would only be hired for different media sales jobs. 
Thoughts of reinventing himself seemed implausible.  ”I just turned 40. This is all I’ve ever done.”
I explained to David that his options were (1) to continue in sales – probably for media entities – and hope that he has better situations.  That’s career change at the margins, as in it will be marginally better.  David had spent enough time in various organizations (7 different organizations which illustrated media’s upheaval) to know that he really didn’t want to be in the industry anymore and really didn’t want to be in sales anymore or (2) give himself a second change by reinventing himself.
David’s “first chance” was similar to that of many others.  He graduated college at the turn of the century when jobs were a plenty.  He was an unfocused business major at a decent but not prestigious college with a GPA slightly below 3.0.  He landed a job in sales in New York for a “new media” company. It seemed exciting.  But in his words, he never thought he would go into sales, didn’t know a thing about the media industry, and was certain that he would stay at the job for a couple of years and then figure out what he wanted to do. 17 years later, he discovered that he didn’t want to be in his career and sought out career counseling.
“Time for a second chance, to do it right.” I said.  David nodded and we got down to work.