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May 8, 2018 > It?s never too late to make a career change

It?s never too late to make a career change

By Anne Chan, PhD, MFT

Meet Ruth Flowers?or her DJ alter-ego?Mamy Rock. For her job, she dons star-power sunglasses, sequined headphones, rap star bling, and sparkly outfits that allow her to dance on stage. Her typical workplace might be in front of thousands of young people pumping their fists and screaming her name. Her DJ gigs have taken her to Belgium, Austria, Italy, Singapore, Ibiza, and France. She gets to experience luxury hotels on her world adventures. Sounds like an unbelievable dream job, doesn?t it?

Here is what is even more unbelievable: Ruth did not have any DJ experience when she decided to become a DJ. Her previous jobs included teaching and selling fabric; moreover, Ruth was 68 years old when she decided to become a DJ.

I love to tell Ruth?s story because she is an example of someone quite ordinary who does something extraordinary late in life. Hers is a story of a silver-haired grandma who did not limit herself to being what society believes a silver-haired grandma can (or should) do. Ruth is a shining example that it?s never too late to make a career change.

If you?re in the second act of your life but feel you have not reached your potential, you might consider a second career that not only brings you extra income, but enjoyment, satisfaction, purpose and meaning as well. A recent survey provides some useful insights for those seeking a satisfying career later in life.

According to a survey of older workers conducted by the Urban Institute, 67 percent of clergy members who are 62 and older reported that they really enjoy going to work. With this finding, the Urban Institute pronounced clergy worker as the top favorite job for older workers. (Interestingly, clergy workers typically rank high in job satisfaction in surveys with workers of other ages as well).

Other favorite occupations include: teachers, supervisors, farmers, ranchers, teacher assistants, child care workers, and counselors. The last job comes with a caveat though: some older counselors reported that they really enjoyed going to work while a small percentage (10 percent) reported the exact opposite. Interestingly, the least favorite job among older workers is customer service representative. More than a quarter of the older workers surveyed reported they did not really enjoy going to their jobs as customer service reps. Other jobs that did not bring enjoyment were security guards, laborers, and construction equipment operators.

As you contemplate your second act, think of the following big picture questions:
? What do you want to do in your second (or third) act?
? What would you love to do but were too afraid to try?
? What would you regret not doing?
? What talents remain to be expressed in your life?

Ruth Flowers had no regrets when she embarked on her DJ adventure. She has said it was one of the best things she had ever done. She passed away in 2014 leaving behind fans who had enjoyed her music and been inspired by her. On the subject of career change, her words provide inspiration and motivation: ?I expect I?ve got friends who think I?m quite insane, but they can do what they wish, and I?ll do what I wish. If you can?t do what you want to at my age, when can you??

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