Work is a way to express your interests, skills, and personality, if you’re fortunate enough to have found the right fit. Mid and late-career change can be both a crisis and opportunity. As we reach an Expressive Age (50 to 75) re-considering that fit takes much thought, effort, and even planned happenstance. But it’s possible.
In my professional experience, people begin thinking about a mid- or late-career change because they want to pursue something new and more fulfilling. They want to use their experience and skills in different ways. In working with mid-career women, I discovered that they feared the ageism surrounding their current jobs and worried about how it would impact future job searches. I don’t think it’s much different for men and maybe it’s more difficult. Perhaps there’s Expressive Age wisdom in starting a full time career after age 40.
If you can’t find it, create it. Sometime a mid-career transition may mean entrepreneurship. The good news is that recent research suggests that the most successful entrepreneurs are older. According to the report Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, “U.S. Census data reveal that the fastest growing new firms, including those in technology sectors or in entrepreneurial hubs, are founded by middle-aged and older entrepreneurs…” Okay, yay to that! “This finding appears substantially different from what some prior studies using selected samples suggested, and remarkably at odds with public perception.” And this is where our stereotypes and ageism biases get challenged.
Spoiler Alert: That’s why I founded and became CEO of Expressive Age.