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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

You are never too old!

As working women grow older, we often wonder (or maybe I am alone in this), whether or not we will last in the same job or career for the remainder of our working days. Personally, at 52-years-old, the thought crosses my mind at least weekly.

Questions such as, “Should I try a new career altogether? Should I go back to school? Do I remain doing what I’m doing?” sweep through my brain on a weekly basis if not more often.

Does it mean I am not content at what I do? Absolutely not. In my opinion, I bet a lot of women are perfectly content with their career choice, but the thought still crosses their minds.

When women ask themselves the questions above, often they are followed with the statement of, “Maybe I am too old to change careers” which quiets the thoughts for a day or two. Thinking back, college at the age of 18 did not suit me well, so I quit after a year. But then, at the age of 28 (which some people are beginning to think as “old”), I went back and acquired two degrees.

Again, from a personal experience, another change in the form of a career, came at the age of 47. After 17 years in the staffing business, my work life and focus did a complete 180. One is never too old for a start-up business either. If you are willing to put in the work and the time, then go for it. Get it done.

In 2017, a friend and I opened a coffee and wine house starting from scratch, from the ground up including a remodel, health department visits and compliance regulations, pricing, inventory, and learning all about the coffee and wines we would be making and serving. It was quite a learning experience.

Along with letting go of the idea that you are too old for a career change is the idea that you are either under or overqualified for the jobs that are available. Women in their 40s and 50s are entering the second acts of their lives with an unwavering confidence in themselves and their career knowledge or desires to start a business of their own.

Statistically speaking, 1,821 businesses are being started or opened daily in America. Breaking that down even more, according to Inc. Magazine:

  • A 50-year-old startup founder is 2.2 times more likely to launch a successful startup than a 30-year-old.

  • A 40-year-old startup founder, 2.1 times more likely to succeed than a 25-year-old.

  • And a 50-year-old startup founder, 2.8 times more likely to succeed than a 25-year-old founder.

If you were doubting your capabilities, don’t. After all, whose life are you living? Yours? Or do you crumble under what society thinks when it comes to age? The standard rules, beliefs and expectations need to be shattered.

No matter your age, there are many things you can consider when thinking of changing careers. For instance, what role or industry intrigues you? Would you rather take a step back from managerial or leadership position and move to something that is less stressful, or you don’t take home with you when your shift ends? Totally okay.

Do you have skills and experience that could help with the transition or are you committing to something entirely new, which is totally doable. Is it time to open that business or start the company you have only dreamed about?

So, when is “too old” to make a career change or even entertain the idea? The answer, Never. You are never too old to make a change in any aspect of your life.

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