The Third Best Thing I've Ever Done
Updated: Aug 31, 2019
Career change is definitely possible at any age! In fact, I'm living proof of that bold and brash statement. At 42 years old, I had been a telecom technician for 16 years already. The IBEW made sure I was paid well, had great benefits, and more job security than 90 percent of the business world. Not only that, my job had almost no stress. I never took work home with me and even could pretty much do my job with my eyes closed. There was one major problem, however. I was incredibly unsatisfied.
Frustrated, bored, and far too complacent with a seemingly infinite cycle of wake up, get coffee, drive to work, get coffee, put in my eight hours, drive home, rinse, repeat, I decided I needed a new challenge. Something big was missing from my career. I hadn't felt that confidence that comes from loving my work and knowing I'm great at it in a long time. That's when I enrolled in the Master's degree program for Technical Communication at Northeastern University.
My goal was to get a degree, and maybe write software documentation for a "side hustle" in my free time. Occasionally, life has something different in store for each of us.
During my studies, I decided to investigate what was out there for work. I googled keywords like technical writing, and came up with a few job links that steered me in a direction I hadn't initially intended on pursuing.
My search led me to a website called Blogmutt (now known as Verblio), where I passed a writing test to become a ghost blogger. The first blog I wrote there took about four hours to write and it paid very little. With practice, however, I was able to write two-to-three blogs per hour and started to earn a modest side income.
From those meager beginnings, I went on to write around 800 more blogs for many different businesses and industries. In fact, I still occasionally write a blog or two there. You can see my writer profile for them with customer feedback by clicking here.
Soon after achieving a level of elite blogger status, I leveraged that experience to land different freelance writing gigs. Today, I work as a virtual writer for Belay Solutions, where I partner with clients to write blogs and online article for them. I also enjoy my freelance writing with Scribe Media and Story Terrace, where I help people to write and publish non-fiction books and autobiographies. In my spare time, I'm dipping my toes in the fiction writing waters a bit, hoping to publish works of flash fiction, short stories, and perhaps even a novel... or more someday.
At the age of 49, my writing career has opened up a world of possibilities and these words serve as living proof that career change into something you're truly passionate about can happen. So, if you feel stuck in a dead-end job or unhappy about the direction your career is headed, take it from me. You can change what you're doing. You can be happy in your professional life. You can be everything you always wanted to be, no matter what age you're staring over at.
Whenever I'm asked about how I feel about my decision to start writing, I always say it's the third best thing I've ever done behind marrying my amazing wife, Amy, and adopting my equally amazing daughter, Madeline.