You’re 40-something and suddenly realize that you possibly have more years behind you than years ahead. You’ve tolerated a “humdrum” career because the pay was good with matching benefits, but the thought of remaining in it until retirement somewhat sickens you. You’ve reached the glass ceiling. The job is unfulfilling and you’ve begun to eye the grass on the other side of the fence.
You’ve already determined that you’re in the wrong field and that your days in your present position are numbered. You’ve discovered your true calling, your dream career — now it’s time to plan your transition. It’s not easy changing jobs mid-life, but it can be done. Sure, mid-life career changers face obstacles unknown to younger generations, but that grass you see might just be greener after all.
Create a financial cushion if possible. Expect a dip in earnings when changing careers and plan ahead to supplement it with your savings. Choose your industry carefully, stick your feet in and test the waters. We chose fashion because that’s what we’re passionate about. Some professions are more difficult to break into later in life, such as science and finance, but the fashion arena is broad and rewarding with few barriers.
Become knowledgeable through extensive reading and be willing to obtain new degrees or certifications. Nappy Model used fashion magazines as a guide and starting attending fashion shows in Birmingham and Atlanta to interact with executives in fashion merchandising as well as the industry’s top designers. Don’t be afraid to send letters requesting information or make calls to contacts in your field of interest. Expect responses, but don’t be discouraged if they aren’t received. Stay positive and determined.
Make gradual steps toward the door until it finally opens, that door which you enter to find personal fulfillment.
And should you should cross the fence only to discover that the grass is not any greener, then plant some.
BeBe Benjamin and daughter, Loris Hutchinson, are the frugal fashionistas behind Nappy Model Inc. Wardrobe consultants, jewelry designers and paparazzi for hot shoes, hairstyles and fashion on the street, this mother-daughter team transforms meager looks into money looks with ease. Visit www.nappymodelinc.com to find out more.