Better late than never – Career success at any age
Patience, as we are told, is a virtue – but some people wait longer than others for success to come. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if we haven’t achieved the job we set out to or fulfilled our ambitions by a set date, we believe that we’ll never do it.
But for every Macaulay Culkin who launched his career in “Home Alone” just aged 10 years, there are also success stories, such as Colonel Sanders, the KFC founder who became a global fast food brand in 1952 when he was 62 years old, or JK Rowling, the Harry Potter creator who at the age of 33 was unemployed and on benefits and is now worth over $1 billion.
With the range of resources now available, there has never been a better time to get started on a career that you love. Whether you are 25, 45 or 65, it is never too late - here are six ideas that could help:
Stretch beyond your comfort zone
Sticking to work and things that feel familiar allows us to stay in our comfort zone where we feel safe and secure. But it can also make us feel stifled and unfulfilled, trading off what we love doing for what we have settled to do. To stretch beyond your comfort zone, start off by experimenting with your daily activities - join a new class, explore new places or volunteer for a local group. Experiencing a change in your environment or activities and pushing yourself to try something new can open you up to new emotions and ideas about what’s possible.
Value your experience
Whether you’ve painted but never displayed your work or invested years into a career that you may eventually abandon, your experiences haven’t been a waste of time. Each experience has provided you with valuable skills, contacts and insights that may have helped you to identify what you really want to do. Writing a list of your strengths and skills can help boost your confidence and see the value in your life experiences.
Be aware of the thoughts that trap you
Many of us can hold ourselves back from reaching our potential because we are consumed with feelings of self-doubt and not trusting our capabilities. Building your self-awareness is one of the most powerful ways to explore your self-doubt. Noticing your thought patterns and working with a qualified coach can help you to break free from the thoughts in our minds that trap us and help you to create positive shifts in your life.
Develop your action plan
Whether you want to set up your own business or fulfil a career as a musician, there is a wealth of knowledge that can assist you. Alongside your list of skills and strengths, write down what other skills could assist you in taking a step closer to pursue your dream. You could also work with a coach to assist you in developing an action plan which can help you to get started. Everyone who is successful took action to make things happen.
Spend time with people who share your passion
We know that the people you spend time with can affect your personal success. When you are with people who have a similar passion and drive to you, their enthusiasm and motivation can rub off on you too. They can also provide a support network that you can learn from and confide in, all of which can help you to expand your horizons and evolve. There are plenty of ways you can connect with like-minded people - through attending local meetings and events or joining groups on social media, including LinkedIn.
Whether it takes you two years or 10 years to get to where you want to be, persistence pays off. Knowing that every step forward is one step closer to where you want to be, allows you to realise your goal. When you keep going, pushing through any self-doubt or obstacles, you give yourself the opportunity to transform your ideas into success. Visualising the end goal and how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved it can help you to stay connected to your ambitions. Change the screen saver on your computer, or stick a photo of your dream where you’ll see it every day to reinforce your vision. Remember also to acknowledge and celebrate how far you have already come and use your successes as fuel to motivate you to accomplish even more!
Whatever your age, it’s never too late to live your dreams! You can use your wealth of life experience, knowledge and expertise as an opportunity to do something you love! So get out there and love the life you live and live the life you love!
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Caroline Wellingham - Accredited Career and Life Coach, NLP PractitionerJuly 12th, 2017