Career Change After 45 - Wake the Fun Up

Career Change After 45

Are you ready for the change that is right around the corner?

Some people anticipate change while others pretend change will never happen. Career change is possible after the age of 45.  As Executive Recruiters we know age discrimination is alive and well.  Gone are the days where you work at one company for a lifetime and receive a gold watch for loyal service. Thirty years ago, just about half of American workers changed careers after the age of 45. Now, it's closer to 60 percent.

Career change is necessary today.  Change happens when we least expect it.  If we aren’t prepared, change can have devastating results, on our health, our families and our relationships. 

Age Discrimination Today

Age discrimination isn't talked about opening. It exists.

  • Workers over the age of 45 are unemployed longer than younger workers.
  • By 2024, the number of employees over 55 years of age will reach 41 million, compared to 27 million in 2008.
  • More older workers are considering postponing retirement and continuing to work.

Research has found no relationship between age and job performance. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re better or worse than younger workers.

Five Reasons for Career Change

According to a Forbes article, here are five reasons you might want to consider a career change.

Take Control

Reason 1 - Making your own decision about changing career is a very different than someone else making it for you. We know ourselves better than others do. Taking control of your own destiny can contribute to your confidence.  Unexpected career change can erode it.

Are you Getting the Rewards That Are Right For You?

Reason 2 -  Many people stay in a career comfort zone simply because it feels comfortable.  You know the role, the team and the company.  Are you choosing comfort over meaning and purpose?

Listen to the Signals

Reason 3 - Has your career slowed down? Are your performance reviews less than positive? Have salary increases stopped?  If you're honest with yourself, do you believe your role is growing or becoming obsolete?  Taking control and making the choice to leave is easier in the long-run than waiting until a move is forced upon you.

Know Your Value in the Marketplace

Reason 4 -  Working in one place for an extended period of time may hurt your marketability.  As recruiters, we believed people became "stale" if they didn't expand beyond their current company or at least progress within it. Change can be frightening at first, but it can also help boost self-confidence in the long-run.

Change May Just Surprise You

Reason 5 - When you take on something new, everything is new;  new surroundings, new challenges, new people. And while change is stressful initially you’ll find yourself surprised and delighted by just how much you learn and grow.

Success After 45

Here is a list of inspirational people who achieved success after the age of 45.

1. Samuel Jackson

The famous movie star was 46 when he played his role as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. Before then, Jackson had struggled with drug addiction for two years until he got his first major role in Jungle Fever in 1991.

2. Martha Stewart

Stewart worked in catering for years, but her role as “America’s housewife” did not materialize until she started writing cookbooks and other pieces on domestic living in her 40s.

3. Ronald Reagan

Reagan obviously had a successful acting career, but he first came onto the political stage when he delivered his famous “A Time For Choosing” speech during the 1964 election at the age of 53. He leveraged his past acting talents to become one of the most respected presidents of the 20th century.

4. Henry Ford

In his youth, Ford worked as an engineer under Thomas Edison, where he worked on ways to improve the then new automobile. It was not until he was 40 that he founded the Ford Motor company, where he introduced the Model T five years later.

5. Abraham Lincoln

At the age of 40, Lincoln left the House of Representatives and went back to practicing law, his young political career seemingly over. He jumped onto the just-founded Republican Party seven years later, and then was elected President of the United States four years after that.

6. Reid Hoffman

Not every social media website was founded by some young tech genius. Reid Hoffman founded in 1997, a precursor of sorts to Facebook. But he founded LinkedIn in 2002 at age 35, and then worked for years to make it the professional social networking site. When Hoffman took LinkedIn public 8 years later, he became a billionaire.

7. Lee Ermey

Ermey’s infamous performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket was his first major acting role at the age of 43. Ermey was originally supposed to be an advisor, but was cast as Hartman by impressing Stanley Kubrick with his knowledge of life as a Marine.

8. Ray Kroc

Kroc worked various jobs including a pianist and a travelling salesman for a milkshake maker. Then at the age of 52, he met the McDonalds brothers and proposed that their restaurant could expand across the United States.  By the time he died in 1984, McDonald’s had become well, McDonald’s.

9. Richard Adams

While he worked as a British civil servant, Adams told his two daughters a story about a rabbit, who insisted that he write it down.  After writing it down two years later, he published Watership Down, which instantly became a children’s literary classic.

10. Jack Cover

Cover worked for NASA and IBM, and eventually used his scientific knowledge to create a weapon which could stop individuals without killing them. Today, police agencies across the world use his Taser to subdue criminals nonviolently.

11. Momofuku Ando

As Japan recovered from the end of World War II, Ando sought a way to provide quick and cheap noodles to his impoverished countrymen. At the age of 48, Ando developed the instant ramen which sustains college students everywhere.

12. Alan Rickman

Rickman quit a successful graphic design business in his mid-20s to go into acting, but spent years working in theatre until he was asked to play the role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

13. Sam Walton

Walton ran several stores, and failed many times in the process. But he learned from those failures and used the lessons to open the first Wal-Mart at 44 and become one of the richest men in the world. The store’s philosophy was simple, buy in bulk and sell them cheap. Today his stores sell everything from groceries to electric skateboards, and everything in between.

14. Miguel de Cervantes

Widely credited as the first Western novelist for his work Don QuioxteCervantes did not publish his first book until 38 and his most famous work at 58. Before then, he served in the Spanish Navy and struggled for years to find work which could support him as he wrote.

15. Julia Child

The woman who brought French cuisine to American televisions did not eat French food until she was 36, working for the OSS in post-war France. But after being absolutely stunned by French food, she studied the cuisine fanatically until she had enough knowledge to host The French Chef at 51.

16. “Colonel” Harland Sanders

Sanders worked a variety of odd jobs throughout his life, and watched his first attempt at a fried chicken restaurant fail at the ripe old age of 65. But Sanders used his Social Security checks to begin franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken, which became the success it is today.

17. Tim and Nina Zagat

These two certainly enjoyed success throughout their life as a pair of corporate lawyers. But after making a list of local restaurants they liked or did not like, they expanded the list into a full-time business. Today, the Zagat list covers over 70 cities.

18. Charles Darwin

Darwin went on his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle at just 21, but his work as a naturalist was held back by health issues. It was not until he was 50 that he finally published On the Origin of Species.

19. Peter Mark Roget

Peter Mark Roget had an interest in lists and orderly language throughout his life. When he retired from his scientific and mechanical work in 1840 at the age of 61, he began preparing to work on a book which would organize words by their definitions. The first thesaurus was published in 1852.

20. “Grandma” Moses

Anna Moses loved to embroider, but when her fingers started to fail at the age of 78, she took up painting. Today, she is remembered as one of America’s great folk artists, who painted scene after scene of American rural life.

Lessen the Impact of Change By Taking Action 

Change can happen instantly. Life changes can have devastating results if we aren't prepared. With technology changing the recruitment industry it was essential that we figure out a plan B. We wanted to continue working and feared technology could control our fate.  One day we found an educational program and community called Six Figure Mentors or SFM. Through webinars, mastermind sessions, coaching and access to current educational tools, we have learned how to become affiliate marketers.  This, we have done along side our executive search business.  I guess you can say, we have earned as we learned.

Breaking Through the Barriers of Change

We didn't control change but we decided to anticipate it so change didn't control us.  This opportunity is not for everyone. It takes time, dedication and a willingness to get way outside your comfort zone.  We are energized because we have learned new skills.  Tasks we found to be almost impossible in the beginning are second nature. It is possible to tackle the steep learning curve, even at our age.

We hope you have the courage to take action too.  Change is just around every corner, there is no escaping it.

Adrienne and Bob Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

Adrienne & Bob

We are digital entrepreneurs who took a courageous leap to start our online business. We have owned an executive recruitment company for over twenty years. The industry is being rapidly disrupted by technology. As a result of the skills we have learned our recruitment business is 100% virtual. Both of our businesses allow us flexibility to work when and where we want and do the things we enjoy.