Midlife Career Change? I Feel Ya.

Starting A New Career In Middle Age

I’ve talked to a handful of middle-aged women recently who have the desire to change careers but either don’t know what they want to do or they’re afraid of making the change.

I understand.  Changing your career in midlife or later can be scary, especially if you’ve been doing the same thing for decades.

However, if you talk to career or business coaches, they’ll tell you that some of their most sought-after clientele are women over 40.  Why?  They’ve got decades of life experience personally and professionally that can be worth far more than the youngsters with just their degree in hand.

This makes a lot of sense. If it were me hiring, I’d be more apt to choose a woman in mid-life who has been through some stuff, ya know? Parenting alone can teach you so many valuable lessons you can take into the workplace. 

However, if you’re ready to make a career change in midlife, be sure you do your homework and get the facts.  If you need additional schooling or training, be sure you can afford the cost and tackle learning that new skill set. Don’t just enroll in a school where you’ve got to drop $80K and figure you’ll worry about the cost later.  Figure out the pros and cons. Run the numbers.

What’s Your Mindset?

Fear is a pretty common thing that arises if you’re thinking about a career change later in life.  Even if you’re financially set, it’s still change.  Be sure you’re keeping your mindset in a positive state.  Do you feel confident you can bring to the table something of great value? Then don’t let those negative thoughts get you down. Be confident. Know your worth and sell it during the interview. 

Go After What You’re Passionate About

It’s tough to see women dread getting up to go to work.  I see it all the time. Heck, I’ve been there.  I understand we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to bring in some income, but I’m a firm believer that if we really dislike or hate our job, it’s time to get serious about change. It’s time to figure out what we’re passionate about or at least will like spending our time doing during work hours.

I know I’ve struggled with knowing what I’m most passionate about – at least something that could bring in some money.  I doubt my regular bike riding or workouts will draw a paycheck, but still, it COULD if I really wanted to go that route. I mean, look at Jillian Michaels!

What is it that you’re passionate about? What do you see yourself being excited about doing each workday?  Start a list and really start mulling this over.  It’s not too late, and there are career coaches that can certainly help you. It’s worth the investment. You’re worth the investment.

Have Courage

It takes courage to make a bold change, but there’s enough courage to go around.  This new chapter we’re entering – midlife – it’s going to be what we make it.  It can be amazing in so many ways, but we’ve got to be willing to take those first steps toward whatever it is we’re wanting.

For me, Silver Women Collective is a new direction. Phasing out of ghostwriting and spending more time heading a new direction is scary at times, but I still wake up each morning excited about it.  I’m not letting fear hold me back and neither should you.

Here are some women who will inspire your career change no matter how old you are:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder – She was 65 when she wrote her first book.
  • Grandma Moses – Started painting when she was 76.
  • Julia Child – Chef Julia Child published her first cookbook at almost 50.
  • Toni Morrison – Pulitzer Prize winner and author Toni Morrison published her first novel, The Bluest Eye, at age 40.
  • Kathryn Joosten – Kathryn decided to attend acting school in her 40’s, while working as a nurse. The two-time Emmy Award-winning actress began her acting career in Florida at Walt Disney World as a performer.

There are many wonderful stories of women changing careers and their lives in middle or late age. Are you inspired?

What is it you’re wanting to do?

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