Mid Life Career Reinvention
My name is Jo Rasmin, and I am a member of the Positive Menopause group. I have been asked me to write an article for the website about changing our career mid-life. To tell you a little about me, I work independently in two schools as a Careers Adviser, supporting young people with their decisions upon entering the world of work.
So how many of you remember their Careers Adviser having an impact on their future? The one I went to see at the tender age of 18 when everything sat prettily in the right place, certainly didn’t! I think she saw me as a little bit of a lost cause but did put me forward for an office job I secured.
I always knew when at school that I had a lot more ability and my Dad would often remind me of that, but it’s not until you have entered the world of work that you realise that you’re going to be doing this thing called ‘work’ for a long time.
As an individual, I am entirely switched on and cannot believe that I didn’t take my academic studies more seriously. We all know that being HAPPY is so important and let’s face it, if we are spending eight hours a day doing something we don’t like, it’s not going to be long before this impacts our personal life.
However, how many people do you know who have gone on to be extremely successful, but, at school were not the most academic? I know several and believe that practical ‘soft skills’ are vital, e.g., communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, etc.
I have come across many poor Careers Advisers during the last 20 years – you have to be an excellent mentor to be effective in the role. A lot of the young people I work with are not encouraged and so lack confidence. A big part of success is confidence, and as a Mom, I have always embedded in my own children’s mind that there is no such word as can’t and nothing is impossible.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Steve Jobs
A lot of people change their career path because of circumstance.
I changed mine at 34 after being encouraged to do a degree in Advice and Guidance. When I worked for the Careers Service on the front desk meeting and greeting young people when they came into the office. I had two small children and had just lost my Dad at the age of 60.
My boss at that time took me to one side and suggested that I had a talent for communicating with young people and should study to become a Careers Adviser. It seemed impossible at the time but has proved to be one of the best things I have ever done. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. There was no financial implication ,but anyone who has been a mature student will tell you its hard work.
Menopause and middle age can be an emotional time, but as Juliet Smithson said on a recent post within the online community group,
‘Menopause is not a barrier;
it is a bumpy bit of road!’ However, many of us are experiencing internal shifts through changes in our motivations and sense of self and external changes due to COVID.
I am going to be 55 this year and have started to think ‘I am only going to get away with being able to relate to young people for a few more years and they won’t want to be talking with someone that could be their Nan!’
It is perfectly normal to have these thoughts but, let’s focus on the positives. The fact that we are all part of an online community means we want to ride the storm, come out the other end and that significant word I mentioned earlier be HAPPY!
Whilst I am sure we could all write some memoirs of the joy of menopause!
I do try to focus on the positive, and it’s time I believe many women become assertive and are willing to take a gamble to seek fulfilment. If the thought of being in the same career for the next ten years fills you with dread then maybe its time to give this some serious thought.
Some of the financial implications may prevent a career change, so it may be better to gradually find a way of bringing about the transition. Be conscious of ‘fear’ and cultivate a more positive state of mind before embarking on the change.
If you feel you have the confidence to make this change, I would ask you to consider the following:
Discover yourself – what is your purpose and meaning, what do you need financially and what skills are required for the desired role?
Embrace the transition – think about area’s that may be stopping you and their relevance – write down a list of positives and negatives.
We live in a very unsettling time’s, but they won’t last forever. Let’s be positive ladies, embrace our latter years and leave an impact for those around us to aspire to be.
Thank you to Joanne Rasmin for writing this post.
For training and inspiration, there are many online area’s that can give you a little inspiration, or even a way to earn that extra amount as a side hustle.
Google Garage – https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/courses
Skillset – https://www.skillset.co.uk/elearning/
Open University – http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/
Government Initiative – https://theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk/
Udemy – https://www.udemy.com/
Skillshare – https://www.skillshare.com/
Freelance – Paid per hour
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