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Embrace The Changing World of Work!
It is a great time for mid-lifers to make the leap to a new career, but for some people, this means reframing their expectations of employment.
Embracing the new world of work, where it seems likely that many people will continue to work in paid employment into their late 60s, 70s and beyond means a mindset change for not just employers but also, more importantly, for individuals themselves.
Many countries and organizations are facing a critical skills shortage as fewer and fewer younger people enter the workforce and mature workers continue to opt-out of mainstream employment.
Among these messages of impending disaster at a conference I attended in Italy it was refreshing to hear delegates from France, Italy and Australia reframe the issues from a problem to an opportunity and to speak about positive aging and the “gift of longevity.”
But so many of the more ‘mature’ clients I coach still feel their age is a problem. They worry that they are too old to change careers, and despair they have left it too late to change.
“My life has been a life of regret,” one of my clients said. At the ripe young age of 45, he couldn’t see much hope of improving his situation.
Similarly, Mike, a professional man in his late 50s told me he was too old to change career. He also worried that employers would feel the same way. After reading this book and some follow up coaching he changed his mindset and opportunities flooded his way.
He’s now working in a role that his friends say looks like it was tailor-made just for him.
You’re never too old to learn new skills and you may even discover a new talent.
If you feel your age is against you it’s time to get a mindset shift. There are numerous ways to maintain a positive approach to increasing age. Here are just a few examples:
1.) Start collecting evidence of positive aging. Compile an inspirational mid-life file and add clippings, photos, quotes, and ‘case studies’ of people who have made it big, or are happy at work, in their twilight years. Look for your role models.
Gather at least 10 examples of successful people in your age group and above. You’ll see a few of my favorite examples further below.
2.) Create an image board or journal. Paste inspirational quotes, pictures, and clippings which celebrate maturity in the workforce and life. Motivate yourself by adding to it and looking at it regularly.
3.) Turn age into an asset. Don’t be disheartened by people who think your age is against you. Write down a list of the benefits of hiring a mature worker. Widen your awareness of the positives by asking others to add their views. Armed with your own self-belief and a few powerful strategies to market yourself, you’ll be unstoppable.
4.) Network with other like-minded people. Talk to other mature job seekers, check helpful websites, and network with organizations that provide tips and examples to help you succeed and stay positive.
5.) Get career fit. Learn a new skill or get up to date with new technology that will help you gain the job you want. You’re never too old to learn, and you may even discover a new talent.
I’ve reinvented my career numerous times, and a big factor in my success has been my willingness to learn new skills and invest in my development.
Recently, I’ve entered the brave new world of audiobook narration and creation. The wonderful thing about being an author is that there is absolutely no age discrimination and it’s a role you can enjoy well into your twilight years.
I’m currently editing my audiobook file (narrated by me) of Midlife Career Rescue: The Call For Change, and I’m super excited to have found out today that The Boy Who Cried is now available in audio. Check it out here, and listen to an excerpt for FREE!
“A wonderful tool…
This book is a wonderful tool for anyone seeking to begin the journey to self-reflection and healing from difficult childhoods. Therapists will find this book useful for their patients young or old. To return as a child to discover where the source of the pain begins has always been valuable, but actually relating it to present day is key to understanding. Highly recommended.”
~ Alma Hammond, Author
6.) Rekindle a sense of adventure. Re-awaken dormant creative skills and adopt a playful approach to life. Take on some FTEs – first-time experiences. Can you think of anything you’d love to try? Like Carla Coulson, who in her 40’s gave photography a go, found a new passion and has now made it a rewarding career.
7.) Challenge your assumptions. Divide a page into half. List any negative assumptions you might have about your age and on the other side write some counter statements. Here’s an example to get you started
Employers prefer younger workers
Affirming Counter Statements
Demographic research shows that companies are going to need to recruit from a more mature labor pool
“There is no substitute for bravery, creative thinking, and imagination if you want a rewarding career.”
~ Peter Biggs, Former CEO of Creative New Zealand
Plenty Of Time To Make It Big
The encouraging news, according to some experts, is that life begins in the late 40s. Evidence suggests that many people don’t reach their potential until well into their 50s and 60s.
American grandfather of motivational books, Napoleon Hill, whose best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, was published for the first time in 1937, discovered from an analysis of more than 25,000 people that those who succeed seldom do before the age of 40, and usually do not strike their real pace until well beyond their 50’s.
This data should be encouraging for those who ‘fail to arrive’ before 50 and offers compelling evidence that people should approach the mid-years with hope and anticipation!
Here are just a few people who have achieved success in their later years:
1) Author Helen Hoover Santmyer was 88-years-young when her book And Ladies of the Club was published. It stayed on the New York Times Best-sellers list for eight months. It was her first novel in 50 years.
2) A failure at 65, Colonel Sanders was world-famous and wealthy at 80. His father was a miner and his mother worked in a shirt factory. Harland Sanders had to give up school in the sixth grade because he was so poor.
He eventually opened a small home-town restaurant in the Kentucky hills. All looked well until the highway was rerouted and he lost everything. He was 65 at the time and faced with a future barely surviving on social security, his motivation to try again kicked in.
“My government is going to give me a hundred and five dollars so I can eke out an existence. Surely there is something I can do for myself and other people.”
Tapping into powerfully creative questions like this unlocked the key to what would be his major success—his mother’s secret chicken recipe.
Turned down by numerous restaurants at the time he turned potential failure into another inspired idea—franchises. It was an instantaneous hit, and the rest is history!
3) Fifty-five-year-old Rhonda Byrne’s life was at an all-time low. Twice divorced, her father had just died and her career was in crisis.
That was until, acting on an inspired thought, she created the DVD The Secret and later produced a book, both of which went on to become some of the biggest-selling self-help resources of all time.
At the heart of Rhonda’s inspirational series of products and resources is the law of attraction.
“Everything in your life is attracted to you by what you are thinking,” Rhonda says. “You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts.
Action Questions: How can you think positively?
Take a leaf from Rhonda’s secret to success and change any stinkin’ thinkin’ that may be lingering. Answering the following questions may help:
What results are you currently experiencing that you would like to change?
What thoughts would you need to change?
What thoughts would remain the same?
What things have supported you in maintaining a positive state of mind in the past? How could they be helpful now?
Can you think of some other strategies to help you keep your mind on what you want and off what you don’t want?
“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”
~ Harrison Ford, Actor
Aged 48, Ngaire returned to New Zealand after running a business in outback Australia. Things had not gone well after an economic downturn in the rural economy and she walked away from her business. Ngaire tried her hand at a few other things but realized there were few prospects for her in Australia so came home.
She returned penniless and alone with no work prospects. She was unsure if her skills were suitable for more modern careers, and initially thought about learning computer skills.
However, a friend encouraged her to read this book and work through a career coaching process. This helped her recognize and value her experience and realize how her current skills could transfer into other jobs.
Ngaire had always walked easily into work because she had lived in a town where everyone knew her and there was plenty of work.
After learning how to value and communicate her transferable skills and experience she re-wrote her resume and was successful in getting a job as a shop manager for a national food franchise. Her new employer valued her prior experience, maturity and management potential.
Ngaire achieved great success in her role and turned around many problem stores. She was quickly promoted and given more responsibility. Her pay packet received a nice boost too!
It takes courage and strength of character to leave a situation and start over again. Ngaire’s secret to success was drive, determination and a solid work ethic.
Initially despondent and fearful, she is now happy, confident and not worried about her future. Ngaire realizes that there are more opportunities out there and that she has the power to create her own luck and seize opportunities that come her way.
Her employer had the foresight to take on a mature person, and together they benefit in ways they hadn’t foreseen.
Robert Kiyosaki, multi-millionaire entrepreneur and author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is right when he says, “There is no one in your way except you and your doubts about you. It is easy to stay the same. It is not easy to change. Most people choose to stay the same all their lives. If you take on your self-doubt and your laziness you will find the door to your freedom.”
You are as old as you choose to feel. I know many people in their 70’s and 80’s who are still leading active work lives and enjoying a more healthier existence as a result.
“If you retire you expire,” says 88-year-old Boyd Klap who vows never to stop contributing.
You’ll see Mandy Scott-Mackie who had just embarked on a mid-life career adventure in outback Australia and hear Boyd Klap who tried retiring many times and got bored! I apologize for the sound quality—Wellington’s infamous wind got the better of us.
Action Task! Visualize Your Future
For some, getting older can herald more opportunities. While for others, especially those without a nest egg, or a working partner to fall back on, seeking help to reinvent their lives and careers is critical.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, going with the flow and waiting for life to ‘happen’ won’t provide the emotional and financial security you seek. Actively plan for your preferred future, because that’s where you’re going to be spending the rest of your life.
The following sensory visualization exercise will not only help you clarify your preferred future, but it will also help you power up your subconscious mind:
1) Draw a timeline and put yourself on it.
Project yourself toward your preferred future – 10, 15, or 20 years from now. How old will you be? Note this down. Now create your ideal life in your mind’s eye. Engage all your senses and record your responses to the following questions (try visually displaying your responses on an image or dream board).
What sights are around you? Are you surrounded by people who love you, or enjoying the solitude of nature? Are you living overseas in an elegant, romantic, calm environment or are you somewhere more high energy, bustling and commercial? What colors and things surround you? What do you see?
What can you hear—the peacefulness of the country, cries of acclaim for something you have done, laughter, live music, birdsong or something else?
What smells fill the air? The smell of your partner’s cologne, or perfume as you work from home? The sweet aromatic smell of freshly picked grapes from your vineyard? What does your preferred future smell like to you?
How does your preferred future feel? Is it like the warm, smooth earth surrounding the lifestyle home where you live and work? The silky coats of the horses you train? The fine linen of your business suit, or the smooth denim of your jeans as you turn up to deliver a seminar? Notice all the textures that surround you.
How does your ideal life taste? Are you enjoying the foods from your organic garden? Fine cuisine on your overseas travels? Amazing meals out dining with clients as you travel the world? Or something else
By visualizing your preferred future and engaging your senses you have taken the first step in making your dreams your reality.
2) What’s stopping you from living your dream now?
Note these things down, but resist the feeling of being stuck by actively willing your mind to create solutions. Ask generative questions like: How can I make my dream real? Where can I get help? How can I make a change?
Look back along your timeline and think about all the steps you would have to do to make things happen.
Who would you need to talk to? What information would you need to know? What finance would you need to acquire? How can you acquire it? What training or new skills would you need?
3) On your timeline begin to map out the stepping stones to your success and do something every day, no matter how small, to move you closer to your dream.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers. This is only the beginning of your career adventure. The rest of the exercises in this book will help you fill in any gaps.
Preparing For Success
There is only one security in this life—the ability to manage change. Below are a few strategies to help you prepare for a successful change:
1.) Increase your self-awareness. “Pause for a cup of tea, David Lange, former Prime Minister of New Zealand once said, when people were rushing prematurely into critical decision-making that affected the country’s future. Increase your self-awareness. Take time out to clarify what it is that you really want—and why.
How can we have a knowledge economy if we lack self-knowledge? Listen to my interview on Radio New Zealand about this and other issues related to changing careers—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/media.
2.) Play. Approach the career planning process with an adventurous, curious spirit. In the early stages remind yourself that you are exploring. Deciding can come later. Nurture and encourage curiosity and allow yourself to dream. Ask yourself, “what if…”
It’s also interesting to note the increasing emphasis being given to adults now to embrace their inner, fearless child. Tap into the ‘kidult’ trend to help with modern-day challenges, advocate a range of experts, and work towards an idealized world, free of restraint. You may just surprise yourself.
3.) Spend time researching your options and generating alternative possibilities. Actively challenge any assumptions that may be holding you back.
4.) Affirm the positive. Keep your mind on what you do want and off what you don’t. Your truest beliefs become your thoughts, your deepest thoughts become your words, your spoken and unspoken words become your actions, your concrete actions become your habits, your conscious and unconscious habits become your values and your values become your destiny.
5.) Get inspired! Surround yourself with all the things that give you joy. Sidestep the things that give you stress and look after your health so you have energy to make changes.
6.) Plan for success and set yourself free. Know when it’s time to stop thinking about changing and time to take concrete steps toward your preferred future.
Work through the exercises in this book and buddy up with someone who believes in the beauty of your dreams and can help you stay on track.
Bill Kwan’s wake-up call happened in his 40s when increasing stress levels made a career move not just a nice thing to do, but a necessity. As his wife said, “If you don’t leave now it will kill you.”
Some people may have taken the easier option by taking stress leave or an extended holiday, but Bill chose to take a career leap and shift from a senior account management role with an international IT company to work in an area that had always interested him —travel.
He initially worked as a travel consultant for a local travel agency. However, changing careers did come at a price.
“I didn’t just take a salary drop—it was a salary plummet,” he says. However, what he sacrificed in salary was made up for in personal fulfillment. “I gained more time to spend with my wife and daughter, play golf and work in an area that I love.”
“Follow your desire, but make sure you plan for success,” Bill says.
Bill already had his eye on his longer-term goal when he accepted the junior role as a travel agent. Two years after making his first move he purchased his own agency.
“Often people try to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.”
Margaret Young, Author
This is an edited extract for Mid-Life Career Rescue: (The Call For Change): How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late
To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/CareerChange
To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3Roqyn
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Posted in: Achieving goals, Art & Creativity, Author entrepreneur, Becoming a published writer, Blog, book reviews, Career & Happiness, Career Change, Creativity, Excerpt, Job Search, Latest News, Midlife Magic
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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