Is it time for a career change?

Miserable at work? It’s not too late to make a switch.

I have a successful career in finance, but I find it unfulfilling. I work absurdly long hours and I’ve noticed that I’m not performing as I should. I’m in my 30s, and would like to do something where I can make a difference in people’s lives. I’m thinking of teaching, but I’m not sure about the day-to-day. I’m also concerned about going from making $100,000 a year to much less and going back to school. My wife works, but I feel I should be the breadwinner.

Go for it! Make the move, because if you stay where you are you’ll be forced out due to your continuing decline in performance. This is not too different from a bad relationship: The longer you stay in it, the greater the dissatisfaction and likelihood of poor behavior driving you out. You’re a young guy with many years of accomplishment ahead of you, and you have the benefit of knowing now that you desire something more fulfilling. Many clients come to me in your situation; they are in often their 50s and make changes. You can too.

You’re anxious about whether a new career is right; that’s normal. Do your homework. Meet with a school’s admissions committee to learn about the application process and course requirements, and talk to professionals in the field. Get a clear sense of a teacher’s daily workload. Explore programs for professionals wishing to start a second career as a teacher. You’ll be looked at very favorably, as you’ll bring a body of knowledge and real-life experience into the classroom.

Your concerns about money are legitimate, as you’ll be taking a cut. Think about what’s most important: Is it making several hundred thousand despite working “absurdly long hours,” or is it doing something rewarding and having time to enjoy your family, even if it means less money? Sure, you might have to modify your lifestyle — but in the end, I suspect that enjoying time with loved ones will win out over a huge bank account.

As for your need to be the breadwinner: That’s something you’ll have to reconcile with your ego and the fact that it’s 2011, not 1950. Consider yourself lucky.

– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

National

A look into the minds of Tsarnaev's fan…

While thousands of supporters insist their loyalty is due to a steadfast belief that Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev's is innocent, others, mainly young women, come dangerously close to an unhealthy infatuation…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

Television

Bethenny Frankel will be returning to 'Real Housewives…

Bethenny Frankel will officially be returning to the show that made her a star. She'll be on the seventh season of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City."

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…