30 something no career; 30 something and feel like a failure in career

30-Something View: Life’s (UN)Expectations

30s. Adulthood. Career Deadlines.

30 and unemployed; career path; society's expectations; career deadlines
30-Something View: Life’s (Un)Expectations

According to society, by the age of 30, you should have it all together. By 30, you should have a career and have reached certain milestones in that career.

Sociologists even created a list, “5 great milestones of adults”, which includes society’s established career deadline.

Specifically, by 30, you should be well into a career and successful. Right?

Well, my career journey has been different.

My Expectation

I am over 30 and unemployed. Though I prepared myself – acquiring education, skills, and experience – and planned to have an established career by now, things didn’t turn out that way. I experienced detours along the way – detours I consider no accident from my viewpoint now.

The Unexpected

Here’s what happened: I completed my undergraduate programs and took on the role of a Senior (Elderly) Caregiver a few months following my graduation. I ended up serving in this role for 6 years – furthering my education during this time.

Upon the Senior’s death, I found myself amongst the ranks of the unemployed – and currently amongst the ranks of the long-term unemployed (here’s another detour). The process of re-entering the workforce after Caregiving has been harder than I expected.

Embracing the Unexpected

30 something and unemployed; no career; career deadlines for 30 year olds
30-Something View: Life’s (Un)Expectations
Career Deadlines

Yet, this post is not to rant on and on about my unemployment or detours in my career journey.

Why? Because, I learned to accept my life situation for what it is – my unique journey in this life.

Despite detours and delays, I learned to embrace my life’s journey and make the best of it. What has been the best result? Growth and Development.

You see we grow up with our social expectations of how life should be but realize how life truly is with the passage of time. We have this sense of urgency in regards to our expectations without realizing that things may not happen when we expect them to (our timing vs. God’s timing) – or how we expect them to (our plans vs. God’s plans).

Consider this for a minute.

I chose a public service career path because I wanted to help people. I wanted to “make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.”

Here’s the thing, however: I expected to do this on a larger scale in my field but accomplished it on a smaller scale through my role as an Elderly Caregiver.

As a Caregiver, I made a difference in the life of an elderly senior. I managed the care and well-being of another person – unable to do this alone. Goal accomplished!

Side Tracking Moment : I didn’t realize this during my time as a Caregiver. In all of those 6 years, I DID NOT realize this. When I was slowed down by unemployment, I became aware of this.

I was so busy chasing this goal on a larger scale I didn’t see my accomplishment on a smaller scale. I focused on what I had not yet done instead of what I was doing.

Back on Track: Initially, career wise, I wondered, “Where did I go wrong?” I went wrong trying to live up to this social expectation – a career deadline – when society is not in control of my life.

Through my unemployment period, I learned it’s okay to be 30+ and not have reached the traditional career milestones established by others. Everyone has a different journey, so why should we follow the timelines of others?

If you haven’t reached a career milestone by 30, don’t stress yourself! You still have time.

One thing is for sure: throughout this career detour, I realized what really matters in life – and let me tell you – it has nothing to do with a career, a career milestone, or a job.

So, I say this: instead of bogging yourself down by the career time schedules (and comparing your career milestones to those of others), be grateful for everything you’ve been blessed to accomplish in life so far.

Choose to look forward with faith believing you’ll reach every career milestone planned for you – at the right time!

From Me to You: Be grateful for life and celebrate your accomplishments to date! You still have time for other accomplishments in your career. Keep going.

Did you accomplish your career expectations by 30? Please share below.


11 thoughts on “30-Something View: Life’s (UN)Expectations

  1. Hi Yulunda! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading the post! I truly appreciate it.

    We have to fight with the Word of Truth and defend ourselves constantly so yes please continue to fight.

    While slowed down by unemployment, I reevaluated life and definitely realized how much I was chasing after a social expectation – career wise – and have since made some changes to that; I broke that mold.

    Thank you very much for your prayer as I truly believe that things will work out. You’re right – God knows best, so I am trusting and resting in God!

    Thanks again for stopping by, reading, and commenting. I really appreciate your support.


  2. I will continue to fight against the voices of discouragement and self-doubt and continue to move forward towards my life dreams! Thanks for this.

    Yes, in life, we have the tendency to follow along with the mold that has been established and need to realize that now is the time to break the mold.

    I have prayed that God lead you to the dream position you are seeking, whether it be your own small business or working for another. God knows best.

    Remained Encouraged Beautiful, Remain Encouraged!


Comments are closed.