We're all at such a busy stage of our lives- internationally, with the US and UK both adjusting to creating a new joint political working environment.
At the same time they're mopping up a major disaster that one clearly holds the other responsible for, with its obvious impact on the environment and less obvious, but equally resultant effects on the economies of both countries through loss of oil and hike in prices. Oh, and the Iraq war too!
No wonder then, that people of a working age are so fearful: economic climates both home and abroad have an impact on our everyday finances and thereby work/income choices and opportunities, largely in a way that limits us to sticking with what is safe and financially secure, rather than inspiring us to 'risk it all'! Why then, is it currently popular to be an entrepreneur?
It's just not possible to open a newspaper, listen to the news or catch a headline on-line where there is not a snippet that relates to some self-made millionaire or successful business enterprise which is saving the nation thousands and making an individual millions. TV shows such as The Apprentice have achieved huge popularity in both the USA and Britain as more and more of us become interested in what it takes to succeed in the world of business. The popularity of these shows has invaded other aspects of media including the newspapers and social networking sites: everyone who watches it has an opinion on who is the likely winner and no-one who watches it can ever deny that they have had the thought: "I could do that …." either in response to challenges or individual tasks set to candidates! For many viewers, the "I could …." reflection is just all the inspiration needed for the "I should ….." action.
In the current global economic crisis, job insecurity is affecting more and more industries. Even 'job for life' areas that have seemed relatively secure, such as education and public service, have become prone to cut-backs and redundancies. A natural response to the experience or anticipation of redundancy is to reduce the possibility of having to go through it ever again. This, coupled with (hopefully) enough of a redundancy package to present options of investing a little in oneself, makes the prospect of being ones' own boss both an appealing one in terms of relative security and in terms of eliminating a potential gap in employment - not a good look on anyone's resume. Bravely trying to go it alone is not the same negative element on a resume as a gap that demonstrates only a prolonged job-search, which can (unfairly) suggest a lack of employability!
Longer working life:
It's official….we are living longer and, particularly given the international economic position, therefore need to work harder for longer just to stay afloat! In recent years the retirement ages in both the USA and the UK have risen: currently age 67 for people born after 1959 in the USA; 65 in the UK but with plans to raise this from ages 65 – 68 between 2024 and 2046. It's clear then that there is plenty of time to have reached the ceiling of one chosen career path well before retirement age, so a mid-life career change can be seen as a natural option at this point.
Furthermore, if we are going to be spending longer working, surely it makes sense for this to be in doing something that we enjoy and want to spend time doing, another motivational factor in exploring the options open to us as self-made professionals in an area that we are good at or are genuinely interested in?