“I’m 44 now, I can’t change careers. It’s too late to start all over.”
Most leaders I train and coach are experienced. Many of them have reached a time in life where they have achieved a lot of what they once aimed for.
Some are happy where they are and want to make incremental changes and improvements.
Others, like the woman who told me she was too old to start over, want to make a larger change but don’t dare to. They think it’s too late, that they are too old.
They are not.
Age is a number, not a blocker, unless we let it be one.
As David Niven said:
Your dreams don’t have an expiration date.
The true story of Suzanne Watkins is a great illustration.
As a a single mum working 3 jobs in the US, her life settled into a pattern:
“You drive to the office, you sit at a computer all day, you go home, sleep, and do it all over again.”
When the children became older and didn’t need her as much, she made a radical change. At age 60 she graduated as a flight attendant. Nowadays she works long-haul at short notice, with an ad hoc schedule. That may not be a lifestyle for you, but it fits her perfectly.
She says she feels “most at peace with myself when I am a stranger in a strange land and I am wandering”.
This is her advice:
“Don’t think of your life linearly. Think of it as continuing to unfold.”
Of course it’s not too late.
There really is no expiration date for your dreams.