An 88 year old employee of the supermarket chain Asda is quoted this week as saying that she returned to work after retiring "so that she had something with purpose to do". I think that this is incredible and it just goes to show that no matter what your age, it is never too late to find purpose in your life.
By the time mid-life hits us, many women seek purpose in their lives and realise that the work that they have been doing for many years, no longer is aligned with who they are. For some, they actively pursue something meaningful to them but for some, they lack the confidence to make that change.
They hold back from doing what they really want to do, or don't even know what it is that they want to do. Fear takes a grip of them and they continue doing a job that no longer excites them. They convince themselves that they are too old or too tired to make a change and start all over again.
They tell themselves these things and by doing so, their beliefs about what they think will happen causes them to feel anxious or stressed or even scared.
Why do we do this to ourselves and have these beliefs that limit us from doing what it is that we really want to do? What can we do to overcome them?
Pam was a very skilled, highly capable woman in her late fifties facing redundancy. When I started working with her she lacked the confidence to go for the kind of jobs that she really wanted to do. She was applying for jobs that fell far below her skill set and they were not particularly jobs that she was interested in.
It became apparent very quickly that Pam had limiting beliefs about herself and these beliefs were holding her back from applying for the jobs that matched her skill set, jobs that she really would have liked to go for if she was honest with herself. She had convinced herself that she was too old to compete in today's market. Other people had sown doubt in her mind, telling her that she was too old to get another job and without realising it, Pam had taken on these doubts and started to believe them herself.
Her feelings towards the redundancy were also contributing as she had not yet come to terms with this. Once Pam was able to move on from the anger and denial, she was able to accept the redundancy and come to terms with it. She started to look at it as an opportunity to do something else, something that she was passionate about.
She was able to put things in to perspective regarding getting another job. She'd had an illustrious career, was highly skilled and had never had a problem getting a job before, so why should it be the case now. She realised that there may be some organisations who would prefer someone much younger, but equally she recognised that there were organisations that would value someone of her maturity and experience.
Feeling confident, Pam started to look for jobs that she really wanted to do. She saw something that was right up her street, applied for it and you know what, she has got an interview. Without working through her fears and doubts, Pam would not be in this position.
What fears do you have about making a career change at mid-life? The Ladies Business Brainstorming Event taking place on 26 August 2014, will help you to work through these fears and help you to identify what it is that you really want to do. During the session you will also put together your very own career change action plan. For further details visit the Ladies Business Brainstorming Event and Book for a place.
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