It has been almost three years since we were more or less ‘forced’ into making midlife career changes. At the time is was equal parts scary and exciting. Okay, maybe somewhat scarier than exciting but that did eventually change. Both my wife, Brenda and I are fully immersed in our new careers that we moved into late in our lives and enjoying them. So, what exactly is so good about changing careers in your late 50s? Here are a few reasons that I can come up with:
1 – There’s A Lot More Freedom Than You Think
This is very true, at least in our situation. Instead of looking for employment in different fields, we chose to focus on home-based businesses that we were both operating as casual sidelines. The benefits we have seen from this approach have been many. They range from lower overhead and expenses (no rent, no additional utility costs, etc.) to having complete control over what we choose to work on each and every day. Yes, we do have commitments, but the pressure is gone.
2 – Since I Just Mentioned It, There’s Less Stress
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t any stress in the beginning. I’d also be lying if I said there wasn’t any stress a little later than that. However, the reality is that stress is virtually non-existent these days as we are both well-established in our new careers. It didn’t happen overnight, either. But now that we are there, there are few things we worry about anymore. Yes, there are things that are still unfinished, but nothing worth getting twisted out of shape about.
3 – We Are Setting Examples For Others To Follow
We both know that there are some people we encounter who learn about our third quarter transition and seem quite taken by what we did. At the time we had no real guidance. There was no rule book or schedule of events to follow in order to make the transition seamless and as painless as possible. We more or less wrote our own rule book and have been ‘teaching’ others how to make a midlife career change happen successfully. We did fluke some of it.
4 – We Like What We Are Doing In Our Lives
Probably the biggest bonus to come out of our midlife career changes is that both Brenda and I are doing things we really enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always enjoyed any job I’ve had opting to find the positives over the negatives but it really shows that we are having a good time with both of our new career paths. I think also that if you enjoy what you are doing, it eliminates the stress, worry and other situations that suck the fun out of it.
Need Some Encouragement With Your Third Quarter Transition?
One of the easiest things you can do to get the information you need on your midlife career change it by learning from someone who has been there. Brenda and I have gone through that change and it inspired one of my eBooks, “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” All you need to do is download your copy and in it you will discover valuable tips that will not only guide you, but will encourage you each and every step of the way through your career change.
I think I have to quit saying I am in semi-retirement because what I am doing these days is far from that. It all started with the midlife career changes that both my wife and I were pushed into making when we closed our newspaper business. If you know anything about us, you will know that Brenda and I transitioned into new careers when we flipped individual hobbies into full-time business opportunities. You could say that from that point forward we haven’t slowed down.
The fact that I was able to take a part-time freelance writing gig and turn it into a full-time web content ghostwriting business seems to be unusual to many. I get it. Not everyone realizes that most of what you read online was written by people like me. However, it feeds my endless flow of creativity and essentially keeps me from doing something stupid. I’m just over five years into this career and I see no end in sight with customers coming to me almost daily for my work.
I try to downplay my involvement in Brenda’s new career. She started making interesting jams and jellies at about the same time I started ghostwriting. Although I was not as connected to her homemade specialty food business in the beginning as I am now, we have both helped to grow it to where it is now. What was originally a single product has expanded to over 75 different items that I actively market online along with the business and all other promotional activities.
I’d be lying if I said I had planned this all along. While I have dabbled in local politics from the media side of the table, getting elected to our local Town Council has brought a number of different rewards to my life. It has enabled me to use some of my existing skills in ways I have never had the chance to use them before. It has also helped me to focus on tasks that are very different to what I am used to. I am really enjoying being a local politician in a team dynamic.
Far Busier Now Than I Ever Have Been In My Life
Weekends are reserved for vending with Brenda. That is when I can truly feel part of the business we have built together. Weekdays are split between my daily writing tasks and the many meetings I have scheduled as my role as Councillor. In fact, one week this month saw me attend a total of eight meetings in a five day stretch. It was never like that in the newspaper reporting part of the business. There is no doubt that my midlife career change is very involved.
Not All Midlife Career Changes Are Like This
I am aware that the three careers I currently have are more than likely the exception to the rule. Normally a midlife career change is a transition into something new, but just one path and typically a choice that is less hectic than the original. Sure, I do have days with not much scheduled in them and I do enjoy those breaks but I also enjoy the pace that I am currently keeping. My careers keep my satisfied and provide me with many different rewards.
For More Information On Midlife Career Changes
If you are finding that it is time for you to make the change, let me provide some guidance. For details on how to navigate a midlife career change, download my eBook, “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” In it I discuss many aspects of a midlife career change that will help to prepare you for yours. I also include tips on job interviews because they are nothing like you remember them. Let my experience in making the transition assist you as you go through yours.
Just the other day it occurred to me that a rather significant anniversary from my working life was drawing near. It was on April 29, 1999 when my final morning show aired on the local radio station. The company had been bought out by a larger corporation that couldn’t justify keeping locally-produced programming on air in our community. With the end of that airshift came the end of my broadcasting career, which had spanned 23 years.
I had no interest in trying to find work in another radio station in the region. My career in that industry was done. I did pretty much every task imaginable in broadcasting that saw my voice actually travel up and down the AM and FM dials at a total of six different radio stations in three different communities. While that may sound like a lot, I was not nearly as transient as many of the co-workers I had shared a microphone and studio with over the years.
Celebrating That 20 Years Have Passed
I chose to post a reminder of the milestone on social media. I added a photo my wife, Brenda, snapped of me holding a magnetic door sign that used to be on my car when I was working at the local radio station. It has spent years clinging to the side of one of the file cabinets in my home office. I mentioned in the post that it had been twenty years since the local radio station had ceased broadcasting local programming (it is a repeater now).
In the following 24-hours I discovered two interesting things. First, there are a lot of new people in the area who had no clue there was a radio station in operation here. Second, there were at least as many people who actually remembered listening to me during the local morning show I hosted from October 1981 to the closure of the local studio. It even generated a conversation in the post office this afternoon about how things have changed.
What The Anniversary Really Revealed To Me
Oddly enough, all I could think about with the comments posted online and those shared with me on the street or at a meeting was this: the end of one career of mine twenty years ago was preparing me for the midlife career change I would make 16 years later. While I really enjoyed the radio business, technology was changing it rapidly. We now have online streaming radio stations and satellite radio. Local radio is not as predominant.
The same basic pattern evolved during the years I was involved in the print media industry. However, I was able to spend enough time in both industries to pull together a great deal of transferrable skills. It was with those transferrable skills that Brenda and I were able to transition into the current careers we are following. What I am saying here is that I may have just realized that I have been evolving through all of my career changes after all.
For More Information On Midlife Career Changes
Someone mentioned to me today that I had been getting groomed for forty years for my current position in my life. That statement sums it up very nicely as you are also being groomed for your next career. For details on how to navigate a midlife career change, download my eBook, “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” In it there is a lot of interesting information that will guide you through the most important career change of your life.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.