My first thoughts of making a career change
I was a 50 something hairstylist in a mall in a salon in Northern Ontario, Canada dreaming of warm winters in Central America and working for myself. I was so tired of my life and everything about it. I lived to work and I worked to survive.
That was my existence.
I had no life and the little boring life I did have was riddled with stress, anxiety, frustration, hopelessness and sadness. I honestly hated my life.
I had just left an abusive relationship, had just declared bankruptcy and didn’t have two cents to rub together. I felt like I was in constant desperation mode and something had to change. Anything. Soon.
And it did.
I realized that if I wanted a different life, a happier life, it was up to me to change something. Everything in fact. I was scared. But I was ready. I had to totally reinvent my life. I had to figure out how to make a career change.
So I dove into the online world to learn how to become a freelancer. I figured if I could do that, I could finally leave this miserable place I had called home for 52 years and start a whole new life. Anywhere but Canada (goodbye snow!).
Is it too late to change careers?
I didn’t know what I was doing. I kept thinking to myself ‘this is dumb’, ‘why are you wasting your time’, ‘why can’t you just be happy you have a job and an apartment’?
I had a million questions and just as many limiting beliefs. Is it too late to change careers at 50? Every ounce of me was telling me to stop but there was one voice that kept whispering “just do it”.
So I listened to that voice.
I read, I researched, I absorbed everything I could on how to become a freelance writer. Writing comes naturally for me so I thought for sure this was going to be easy.
It was and it wasn’t.
I wrote blogs, I submitted them to many many high authority sites (for free I might add) and they all shut me down. I had stacks of pages in my “freelance” binder of sites I submitted to and all the big “no’s” right beside their names.
I wasn’t so sure this was for me at one point. Maybe I’m not that great of a writer. Maybe my destiny is to just be doomed here in Sudbury and retire poor from hairstyling. I cried many nights. Something had to give.
And something did…finally
My dramatic career change was finally taking shape
It was November of 2014 and winter had arrived. It was in full bloom in Sudbury and oh how I hated winter. I prayed to God to please make my dreams come true. Please help me to get out of this hell hole.
I fired up the computer and checked my emails and there it was.
The “yes” email.
Someone had finally accepted one of my blogs. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. Finally, something was starting to happen. I cried, I screamed in joy, I laughed, I jumped up and down like a 5 year old on Christmas morning.
It was Steven Aitchison from the Change Your Thoughts website.
This was the beginning of my new life. I had no idea how much my world would change on that day.
Don’t forget your “why” when you are changing careers
This site loved my blog and wanted more from me. Are you kidding me? Pinch me I must be dreaming! I’ll give them more!
And I did. I tried to submit at least one a week. That didn’t always happen as work was busy and I was also still trying to break into other sites. Finally more yes’s started coming in.
I was on a roll. I was working 8-10 hours a day at the salon and 3-4 more at home every day. I was persistent, determined, focused. My life was changing. It hit me right there and then that, yes, omg, a career change at 50 was very possible!
The craziest thing about all of this was that I was doing it all for free. Yup. I was becoming an avid guest blogger 6 months after my first blog was accepted. I kept at it. I knew deep in my heart something good was going to come of all this.
And it did. Something really good. Mind-blowing kinda good. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever expected my life to turn as quickly as it did.
The pitbull in me knows no boundaries
It was time to get bold. It was time to test the waters. It was time to ask someone for a job and start paying me for my talent.
I asked and I got shut down. That’s ok.
I’ll give it some time and ask again in a little while. And I did. And got shut down again. That’s ok, I’ll ask again in a little while. And I did…..and finally
Another yes. Steven finally hired me to do some writing. Oh Yay!!! Pinch me again. I can’t believe this is my life. One thing and one blog lead to another and a year after starting working for this site I was packing two suitcases, buying a one way ticket to Guatemala and getting ready for my new life.
The unknown. Something that was always just only a cloud bubble over my head was finally coming to fruition. I was finally leaving Northern Ontario winter behind.
So why am I telling you all this now?
Because you need to know that no matter how old you are, 30, 40, 50 even 60 or 70, it’s never too late to make a career change. I was hell bent and determined to change my career and my life.
My why was so big and powerful I couldn’t ignore it. I made what I thought seemingly impossible, possible. And so can you.
So should I change careers?
How many times have you asked yourself this question in the last year or so. Should I change careers?
If the thought has crossed your mind there’s obviously a reason. We don’t have these thoughts for nothing. You’re not happy at your job. You want more. You want more control over your life.
Amirite? Were you nodding your head while reading that?
It’s entirely up to you to do it. How bad do you want it?
Some advice for career changers
If you’ve been thinking about it but not sure if you can or what you can possibly do (what new career might be right for you), think of it like this.
Ask yourself some questions.
- what am I good at?
- what makes my heart sing?
- what will bring me joy and allow me to make a decent living?
- how hard will it/can it be?
- am I prepared to go through all the ups and downs?
I was absolutely done with my life in Canada being a hairstylist working my a*s off to build someone else’s dream and put more money in their pocket. It was time for me to live life on my terms, no matter how hard it was going to be.
It wasn’t easy but it was sooooooooo worth it.
Here’s a little exercise for you. I want you to decide what it is you want to do and start planning it out. Figure out what it’s going to take for you to do and how to do it. Then I want you to mind map it all out. You can learn more about mind mapping here.
I use mind mapping for all my goals now. Business and personal. And it works. Put your vision board away.
How to make a career change even if you think you can’t
You so can. It’s going to take a lot of planning, it’s going to take patience and time. I know it’s hard to even fathom that it could be possible in whatever situation you are in but trust me, when you want something bad enough, you figure out how to do it.
- decide you are ready for a career change
- put your thinking cap on (this is an affiliate link-disclosure here)
- brainstorm with some of your friends (you can get great unbiased opinions from them)
- make a plan
- and get to work
2 years after working for Steven I gave him my notice and ventured off on my own to build my own business. It was another career change for me, albeit, not quite as scary as the first one but this time I was on my own to bring in an income.
Was it hard work? Yup, it sure was. But I did it. Again. The mind has no limits. Only the limits we put on it.
If you’ve been thinking of making a career change I hope this blogs holds inspiration for you to do that.
Don’t you dare give up on your dreams. Don’t you dare stop believing in yourself and your talents. Don’t you dare take no for an answer or let no stop you or cut you down. Be a pitbull!!
xo iva xo