Switching Gears (Careers) After 40


One morning you wake up and realize one of two things.

  1. What you have been doing all these years is not what you want to be doing anymore. Your passion lies elsewhere and you need to follow it.

  2. You no longer have a job. You either up and left it or it up and left you. Either way, you are out of a job and may not know what's next. One thing is for sure, you know it's not what you were doing all along, or it was, but now you want to do it on your own terms.


Switching gears, as I like to call it, or switching careers, can happen at any time and for anyone. It is a daunting affair and if you couple that with fear and uncertainty, you have a recipe for 'stuckness.' So what do you do now that you are in limbo? How do you move forward? How do you, 40 years and counting, up and switch your career? What's your plan? Do you even have a plan? Whether on your own terms or having been pushed, your mind is now swimming in an ocean full of hows, whats, whys and holy crap.


So. What's the next step? Well, you can either sit and choose to become a sloth wallowing in self-pity or you can decide to pivot, take a risk, and jump, that's what. Is it easy? HECK NO. Is it suicidal? MAYBE. Are you gonna survive? HELL YES!!


Today I explore this topic with 2 of my friends who switched careers in their early 40's and became entrepreneurs. Both ladies are excellent mentors and coaches in their respective rights and are plain down to earth when it comes to telling you about their struggles, and highlights, on this journey called entrepreneurship. Their points of view below, to what I thought was 6 simple questions, demonstrates that simple and entrepreneurship don't necessarily go together.


Thank you Ladies! ❤

 

𝐃𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐲𝐬 𝐆𝐚𝐲𝐥𝐞 𝐁𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝, Owner of ARB's Gaming

"This is not a road for the faint of heart."

Me: Can you share with my readers how you happened into entrepreneurship?

DGB: To be honest there was always a desire to forge ahead and start something, find my niche. My opportunity happened after my redundancy; and for the first time this scared, health challenged, over 40 female stepped out in faith.


Me: How difficult was it for you to switch careers at this age when most women are looking for greater financial, mental and emotional stability?

DGB: Switching gears meant survival, sanity and peace of mind. My path to this new lease on life has been unconventional. Being a single mama of three and not in possession of major assets to acquire financial backing was a major concern. For me, it was super difficult plus it was emotionally not a good time. I had health issues, my friend of 30 years was diagnosed with terminal cancer, two kids were still in school, my overheads were high and I felt so overwhelmed. My saving grace was I entered an arena I knew about and new I could do it well. All I craved was survival. There was never the question of, "if I can do this," just the statement that I have to.


Me: What has been your proudest and most profound moment of being an entrepreneur?

DGB: I would say it was October 2015 when I received the call to say ARB's Gaming was officially up and running. I was in Kingston and my son called to say "Mom I sent you some pictures." I was elated, over the moon, realizing that it was actually happening.


Me: What has been your greatest fear realized on this journey?

DGB: Time. This is not a road for the faint of heart. You not only become head-cook and bottle washer, but you also become your own P.R., and you can get so absorbed that you forget about yourself. In my case, to my own detriment, my health issues reared their head and I was forced to reevaluate operations and had to allow myself to understand that I could not do it alone; 16 hour days, 7 days a week would no longer work. There should always, always be downtime or you will burn out. My greatest fear was I was losing control. To overcome this, and boy was it hard, delegation came into permanent play. I felt like I was losing my baby. I was beyond scared.


Me: If you had the chance to start over what would you do differently, in other words, what advise would you give your former self?

DGB: To be honest everyone's experience is going to be different and after starting and getting that out of the way, just remember no matter how much you know or think you know, there is still a lot to learn. Go with your flow, growth is just that. I'm still learning.


Me: What is that one word that comes to mind that you would use to describe your journey so far?

DGB: Amazing. I'm still here, still fighting, in this whirlwind of a life.


"Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth." ~ Celestine Chua



𝐄𝐭𝐡𝐧𝐢𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫, Founder of Zinery International

"Adaptation and flexibility are my travel buddies."

Me: Can you share with my readers how you happened into entrepreneurship?

EM: My first interest was actually in intrapreneurship, where I developed and delivered a learning programme, in 2004, for Digicel, the company I was working for at the time. This programme blended HR and Marketing and allowed for personal-branding of executives. When I saw the opportunity of starting my business, while still employed full time, I took it. Once I was on my own, I started working with company executives to not only brand their staff, but also promotional items and corporate events. Zinergy International was born 8 years ago and refined during a Fortune - US State Department Internship at Porter Novelli, where I saw Marketing and Advertising through their eyes and with the help of, then President and Chief Global Client Officer, Julie Winskie.  


Me: How difficult was it for you to switch careers at this age when most women are looking for greater financial, mental and emotional stability?

EM: Eight years ago I made the decision to become an entrepreneur because I had a burning interest to help professionals position their personal brands, in their best interest, and to help companies build brands people would want to apply to and work for. Switching careers to a framework that was defined by me, built by me, and whose success had to be driven by me was exciting. The scary part was handling the financials and accounting admin, which, in an established company, you have an entire department to handle that. I quickly adjusted and started the practice of checking my accounts every morning, every time a cheque was paid out or received among other things. I still don't enjoy it, but it is a necessary part of the CEO's job to know what the finances look like before making any decision. The thrill of entrepreneurship continues to excite me, therefore, the lack of stability has never been something I was terribly preoccupied with. I learned, from my years in the growing telecoms industry, to embrace growth and change and accept that stability - like job security - was a thing of the past. Therefore, adaptation and flexibility are my travel buddies. 


Me: What has been your proudest and most profound moment of being an entrepreneur?

EM: Proudest moment was seeing my company name on staff T-shirts at the Denbigh Agricultural Show where we delivered the decor for the Ministry of Agriculture Village. It was no longer one shirt with the name, but many shirts. That indicated to me the responsibility of employing others; knowing that other people depend on your best decisions is scary and humbling and it forces you to take what you do seriously.


Me: What has been your greatest fear realized on this journey?

EM: Building cutting-edge learning opportunities that push people out of their comfort zones and knowing that they actually work. I know I am excellent at designing awesome learning products but I am always afraid the first time I am implementing a new one - what if it does not work, what if they don't respond as I expect them to? Then it works. And my fears disappear. 


Me: If you had the chance to start over what would you do differently, in other words, what advise would you give your former self?

EM: Start earlier. I would not change my journey. The education of our people means everything to me. With better, more effective and efficient education, people are empowered and capable of changing their lives. Education equals confidence; confidence equals action. 


Me: What is that one word that comes to mind that you would use to describe your journey so far?

EM: Insightful. Everything for me begins with an insight. Hence my company tagline, "from insight to innovation"

 
One of the common threads throughout these conversations is that this process of entrepreneurship is always going to be scary but there is always ongoing learning and growth. You have to have the drive to survive, be persistent, know your worth and have a strong sense of belief and faith in what you're doing.


I would love to hear your thoughts on the below questions. Please feel to share in the comments section or you can follow me on Instagram @iamdeoncecile and leave your comments there. Let's start a conversation!

  1. Have you 'Switched Careers?' 

  2. How did you cope?

  3. What was your experience like? 

  4. What kind of help did you get?

  5. What books did you read?' 

Speaking of books, check out these 11 recommended books to read - on Amazon.


  1. Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life by Adam Markel

  2. Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up or Start Over in Your Career by Carla A. Harris

  3. The Work by Wes Moore

  4. Reinventing You by Dorie Clark

  5. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

  6. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

  7. What's Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job by Kerry Hannon

  8. Get a Life, Not a Job by Paula Caligiuri

  9. The Art of Possibility, Transforming Professional Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

  10. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

  11. When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want by Mike Lewis

Though this article was written for my "Women Over 40 Series" its content is applicable to just about anyone, male and female alike, at any age.


Blessings, Love & Light

Deon Cecile



Some of these books are also available on Scribd and you get a 60-day free trial when you click here.


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CHECK OUT THE SERIES


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Your Health and You Over 40

Switching Gears (Careers) After 40

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Hi There !

 

I'm Deon Cecile and this is my passion coming to life. I'm a multifaceted person with varied loves and a zeal for organization.  Here you'll find me sharing a lot of my life experiences, as well as showcasing ideas and techniques that have helped me to keep my life and home organized. Read more...

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