Monday, June 19, 2006

Working to Succeed

January 2002, I changed careers. After 23 years doing what I was good at, it was time to move on. Realizing I had done all that the general public felt I should do; it was time for me to do what I wanted to do.

I had already raised a child who was out on his own. Actually, I had been an empty nester for two years. I no longer had any desire to crack any glass ceilings. Suddenly, I remembered why I had went back to school to learn a new way of working.

It was the two years as an empty nester that I laid out my plans to say good-bye to corporate America. I knew changing careers wasn’t going to be easy but, I wasn’t the same woman then that I had been earlier. I no longer wanted to take the safe route to success. The nine-to-five, five-day workweek, my earned pension after 30 to 40 years, coupled with social security retirement was not my vision anymore.

It is said as you grow older your life changes. I had begun going through the usual physical, mental, and spiritual rearrangements. My way of thinking and doing weren’t what they had been. Because of that, I knew, I would have to choose to move on. The choice I made was not exactly designed for late bloomers. Yet, it was what I had always wanted, to become a writer for life.

Now, four and a half years later, I’m still finding my way through the maze. I had one newspaper column for three years. I’ve freelanced for others. I published one book while I wait for the second one from the printer. I do workshops through continuing education programs at colleges and high schools. I’ve spoken to business organizations as a motivational speaker. I write continuously for a magazine publisher.

I say this to confirm that like in any career, it takes time to climb to the top. Oh, I’m no beginner anymore. I would say I’m mid way to my apex. As a baby boomer, time is of the essence for me. Unlike a twenty something, I didn’t flower until late in life. My time line to the top is shorter than most. It is why I must work harder, faster, and efficiently. Without 40 years to build upon, every minute lost is a minute gone forever.

When you start a new career in your late forties, sure, you still have time, but not the same amount as when you were in your twenties. Another thing I notice now is, how fast time flies as you get older. You never seem to have enough time to do all you want to accomplish. So I work more now than I ever did in the past. It won’t be long before I can collect social security or withdraw from my 401K.

Do I recommend making career changes midstream or at the end? Of course. Who knows, you might discover that you had something different and special in you all the time. As long as you have the desire for and love whatever it is, the hard work you’ll have to do won’t seem like work at all. As the time flies and you work to succeed, you will.

Please visit my web site to get a peek inside my new book The Write Life at Book Pages


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