Maria Connolly, LPC

Career Change at 30, 40, 50? It’s Never Too Late to Live Your Dream

Career Change at 30, 40, 50? It’s Never Too Late to Live Your Dream “We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents, and interests.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg

I love my job! I actually do! Recently I took a vacation in Italy, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to see my sweetie and start working with my clients again. I love making a difference in their lives. I confess, though, that when I made my career change, I was apprehensive. But looking back, I don’t regret it. It’s well worth making a career change at 30, 40 or later, if what you’re doing right now is not filling your soul with joy and happiness.

In today’s entrepreneurial world, you can turn your passion into your source of income too. A job doesn’t have to be about being a cog in a wheel or putting in the time so you make enough money to support yourself. If you can dream it, you can make it happen, if you’re not afraid to take the leap.  But how do you get from here to there?

I know it can be scary to make a career change at 30, 40, 50 or older. By this time, you’ve settled into a certain lifestyle. You may still have college debts to repay, and if not that, then credit card debt may have you firmly in its grips. Besides that, family responsibilities, such as children, need to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, the invincibility you felt as a youth has faded. Your dreams may not have been realized. Life may have delivered some serious knocks that make you doubt yourself and your abilities. I get it.

That’s why it’s so important to ask some tough questions and be totally honest with yourself. It takes courage to investigate and uncover your deepest thoughts, desires and values. Too often we make choices based on what we think others expect of us. But that’s a poor way to live.

If you’re ready to break out of your box and see what the world really has to offer you, then take a fresh look inward. Start digging deep by making a running, pro and con list about your life and career. Record what’s working for you and what is not. Always keep this list with you (I suggest you use a Note app on your phone that can sync across all of your devices) and add new points to it, as they come to you.

Here are some questions to consider before making a career change at 30 or any age:

  • What do you like and dislike about your living situation? What do you want to change?
  • What do you like and dislike about all of your relationships, working and personal? What would you change in each of them? This one will take some time to fully explore.
  • What do you like and dislike about your current career – your role, responsibilities, salary, etc? What do you want to change?
  • What will make you feel challenged so that you reach your full potential? Go big!
  • What dreams are being realized and what can you make happen tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now?

Don’t hold back from recording absolutely everything that comes to mind. Don’t let resistance take over and keep you from being totally honest. Suspend all judgment for this exercise. There are no “rights” or “wrongs” when identifying your true feelings. Your emotions don’t make you a “good” or “bad” person. They’re just a starting place for building the life you’re meant to live. Once you identify how you feel, you can further explore why you feel as you do. Then you can address any inner conflict that is holding you back from changing careers at 30 or really any other stage of life.

Many people find that it’s helpful to enlist the help of a life coach, when doing this deep self-exploration. A good life coach can hold you accountable, plus help you tease out answers that may be difficult for you to see on your own. If you’d like my assistance, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work out a plan that gets you where you want to be.

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