Start a New Career at 50?

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

"Start again at 50? Kevin, this is all I've known and starting a new career seems way beyond my reach." I've heard it many times. I understand, but I also am here to nudge you to start your engines, dam it. In this post, I will encourage you to new things. Yes, it is difficult, but I rather see you try than reach 70 or 80 only to wish you would have taken the risk when you had the chance.

Somewhere long ago I read that a person changes career 2 or 3 times. I can't remember where I read it, but today when I mention it some they say it is more. You do the research, but I think we can say that the days of someone staying in one job to receive a pension are just about over. But nevertheless, I've talked with friends who are tired of what they're doing now and wish they could start anew. Good news for us all. It has been done; it can be done; and I want you to believe you can do it, too.

I felt my days in hospice were over. After fifteen years, I had exhausted myself with less than healthy tools to endure the news of death, a sometimes brutal schedule, and, for sure, a set of politics in the business that zapped the morale of many devotees. Upon my return from military deployment, I thought of returning to school to prepare for a career in counseling. Long story short, I did.

The beginning was scary. I had little clientele and lots of time to think in my office. I had a savings to help me fill the gap, which wasn't fun to watch drop month after month. But I was determined to live happy in my second half of life and to not work myself to death. This was some eleven or twelve years ago. And since then, I've become creative enough to not just rely on one way of making money. But that's for another post.

Because I took a risk, endured some sleepless nights, prayed and sometimes begged, failed only to get up on my feet again, and more, I feel I can speak with you compassionately about your fears and perceived impossibilities. Here, I will share a few tips but don't take it from me. Ask, pursue answers, and hang around those who worked it hard and MADE IT.

I've listened to many entrepreneurs, business owners, and others who exercised a creative edge and succeeded. There is plenty of room for innovation, they say, and you must believe it is there for you. People can make money by selling pencils, as one business woman shared. Back in my early years when there was only Atari, I never thought I would live in the days where people would begin to take trips to the edge of space without Nassau. But it is happening, and happening because people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk envisioned it.

But those are their dreams. Here, it's about yours. And since you have innovation, perhaps a little rusty for now, you can serve as a midwife helping give birth to a vision. What exactly is that vision? You might feel a little embarrassed to tell. Good. You're in good company. Some of the most successful were laughed at for their ideas. Remember, just about every new idea will encounter resistance and ridicule. But once again, what is your vision?

Those who have been successful talk about persistence. You must be resilient in your vision to maintain the course. Of course, it's not easy. But we all know that. We have to have an ability to stick it out when things aren't going right, when we fail, and when there's no sign of divine blessing in sight. But once you have a vision, so push your way through.

I also hear successful businessmen and businesswomen talk about patience. We live in a world where everything must come fast. The drive-thru mentality. The virtue of patience has been lost. But I'm here to tell you that patience is needed, and big time. Some say the average time to get a business up and running takes about 3-5 years. Many longer.

Some, not all, successful people have mentioned this next idea, but it is especially true for me. You need faith, faith in yourself and in your divine, however you define it. My spirituality has been my saving grace. With so much at stake and in my imperfection, let alone a competitive world, I need the help of God as I understand God. While it is my business what and in whom I believe, I do say that starting a business with the help of spiritual principles and ancient secrets such as meditation and mindfulness are essential.

And last, once you have started a business at fifty or later--that's right--you want to share your success. Never forget where you came from! Pick two or three charities to give to either monthly or with a one-time gift. And for those of us who are older, make it a point to share your wisdom with the next generation. They are the next to dream!

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