Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

The fanastic thing about turning 40

Yes it’s snuck up on me. Next week I turn 40 and I just don’t feel ready….

Some of my 40+ friends told me that they found turning 30 worse. That hasn’t really helped as I loved turning 30.

In my 20’s I’d got married to my one of my closest friends (yes we were a real life Ross and Rachel), moved cities twice (Wgtn to Chch to Auckland), travelled, found a great career in HR and written & submitted a Mills & Boon (done on a dare with friends – it was called Developing Passions. The heroine was a photographer. Need I say more?). Anyway I was very happy to turn 30. I even got given a pair of Manolo Blahniks which was the only thing left on my list to do!

40 on the other hand just seems old. I know I’ve done many things in my 30’s that I’m proud of. Having 3 books published, submitting one of my novels (got rejected, but I will trying again with another shortly), building Elephant into a successful company, training thousands of HR people and managers and making steps to change the HR profession. I’ve also moved to the country (I always thought I’d stay a city girl!), become an auntie 3 times, have been sued twice and am giving up both Elephant and working in HR. So it’s been a fairly tumultuous decade.

So I’m facing the big 40 – and despite the heading of my blog, I really felt like there is nothing great about it. Sharing my knowledge might have made me wise in my 30’s, but being in my 40’s – of course I should know what I know. My health has been suffering from the legal action and getting older isn’t going to help with that. Soon I will start not being able to remember things. I won’t be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews. Not to mention it will be downhill from here looks wise.

But then it struck me.

There is one fantastic thing about turning 40.

The fantastic thing about turning 40 is that it makes me Gen X.

And being Gen X I had a slightly different upbringing to Baby Boomers and Gen Y. As Gen X we were told by our parents if we didn’t study, we’d never get far in life. If we didn’t get good marks, we’d never have a good career. We were told off if we got stuff wrong. When we complained about being grounded, or other punishment, we were told ‘while you live in our house you’ll live by our rules’. When we said we had no choice, we were told that wasn’t the point. This is why many of us moved out when we were 18. Even though it made no financial sense, we wanted independence.

And this is what’s great.

This year has ground me down. Facing a wall of the worse kind of baby boomer thinking – I let it get to me. But I’m Gen X. We’re the generation that decided that we wouldn’t be ground down. That even if we didn’t do well in school, we’d still go on to be successful (some of the most amazing Gen Xers in the world dropped out of uni). We’re the generation that learned how to listen to hyprocracy with a grain of salt until we could get away from it and do our own thing.

All of this has prepared me to be able to bounce back.

I’ve decided to see moving out of HR and finishing with Elephant as a chance to go and do something spectacular. Something that shows the baby boomers who tried to subdue us, who tried to get us to conform that there is a different way. And that Gen X will be the ones to do it!

So I’m going to embrace being 40.

And I will let you know what I’m up to next soon.

For the baby boomers out there who are scared of change – watch out! For anyone from any generation who is excited by it – this is the time for change. Bring it on!

And if you don’t hear much from me next week, it’s because I’m taking a week off to celebrate my birthday.


3 comments on “The fanastic thing about turning 40

  1. amusingsoprano
    June 19, 2015

    Happy 40th! I look forward to reading about your new adventures 🙂

  2. Ron
    June 19, 2015

    Well done to you Angela and congratulations on your 40th and your journey. Just one thing; please don’t be obsessed with baby boomers all being against you…..Many of us celebrate the next generation and one thing that I that I do know is that you can tap into it any time……that is the wisdom that also comes with experience…and most times it’s available for free! Take care and enjoy some time out. Toni

    • angelaatkins
      June 20, 2015

      Thanks Toni – yes there are some fabulous supportive, collaborative and inspiring baby boomers out there who I know do coach and mentor younger generations. The negatives ones unfortunately are the ones making my life, and others, very difficult! I will enjoy some time out. Thank you for your wise words….

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged .
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