Where do you get your courage?
I’ve been thinking a lot about courage lately. There’s no doubt the job market is difficult right now. To change careers or find a new job after 50 is especially challenging. That’s why I get so inspired by those people who keep moving forward in their job search despite fears about their age and the economy.
Each of us has unique strengths to get through whatever life brings, but each of us also has fears, self-doubts, and moments of discouragement. And setbacks have a way of overshadowing the positives.
What Is Courage?
I guess when I think about courage, I think of heroism. A mix of determination, perseverance, plus a dash of audacity. Courage is about exercising your strengths and knowing that you’ll make it through, without knowing exactly where you’ll end up. It’s nothing lofty. It’s about simple, everyday acts.
But whatever courage is, it’s not about playing it safe.
I can’t help but think about when I started my career coaching practice. I’m the type who likes to research everything ahead of time. But there came a point when I had to do something! Perfectionism can be a convenient way of avoiding both failure and success.
I also had to deal with a few family members who kept “encouraging” me to return to work that was “safer” and more “secure”. Well, I’m certainly glad I didn’t listen. As you change careers, it’s all too easy to lose sight of your career vision and the big picture. The temptation to “fit in” or “play it safe” can be very strong.
To Change Careers, Find Direction and Keep Moving
Every day I continue to take steps forward. I don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. Every day I must start fresh – learning, staying focused, staying true to myself and my vision. And it is scary at times! I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, and I still make them.
While it’s good to have a sense of direction, you don’t need a detailed roadmap. Routes change, detours happen. Sometimes it’s good to get off the main road and take the scenic route instead.
One thing that doesn’t work is to try to take short cuts. I tried doing that along the way, too. I ended up having to go back to “Go” and start all over again.
6 Tips For Making a Career Change After 50
If you’re thinking about a career change after 50, here are 6 ways you can keep moving in a more positive direction:
- Look back at your past achievements, times in your life when you were exercising your strengths. Know that you have what it takes to change careers. Even though the challenges may be very different today, find motivation in your accomplishments.
- Realize that positive change happens in steps. Discouragement along the way is normal.
- Know that you have control over the way you think about things! What matters is how you face your fears and self-doubts, and how you deal with the inevitable feelings of discouragement.
- Accept and honor your age. Acknowledge the experience you have to offer, and at the same time, do what you can to take care of yourself.
- Step out of your routine. Workplaces are very different now, with multiple generations and new technologies. Today, career networking and targeted job search efforts are crucial to landing new jobs.
- Have a beginner’s mind. The new world of social media is here to stay and will be evolving. Be willing to learn and be open, in order to remain competitive.
Again, if you want to change careers, it’s all about small steps! Courage comes when you take that first step now. Then tomorrow, you take the next.
Where can you get your courage?