5 Tips For Starting Over When You're Over 40

When is it too late to start over in a career? When you're dead, maybe. 5 steps to get you going.


This equation is irking me.

Divorce + stay-at-home Mom + 3 young children + not enough of a settlement to live on = HIT THE RESET BUTTON


There are many reasons we must hit our reset button in life. Death, divorce, job in which you're absolutely miserable, and it is sucking you dry every minute of everyday, a personal epiphany, and on, and on. Whatever your equation happens to be, it's time to start over.


Oh, I had a great job seven years ago. Then, after child number 2, I was working two days a week. My law firm was merging with another, larger firm, and layoffs happened. My career as a Sales Trainer and Marketing Manager was over.

At the time, I thought, "Yes! I can't be here all day when I have a child who's not eating when I'm gone." I had been begging my boss to fire me. I know, I should have quit, but at the time, I was married to a CPA and it was not in the budget. Now, here I am, seven years later, jobless, husbandless and not too many pennies to rub together. I am hitting the button. I am hitting it again and again. My finger is cramping up... oh dear.


Writing this article is one of my first attempts to get myself back out there. I had a very nasty divorce, which did not go well for me (might write more about that later) and I am now beginning my new life!

When I was beginning to contemplate divorce, I began looking at what I really wanted to be when I grew up. I knew it involved changing my life and the lives of others. I had always known "helping others" was important to me. I just pushed it down in an attempt to be what another person thought I should be (oh yes, I just admitted that out loud and I don't blame the other person, I allowed it).

I went to CTI (Coaches Training Institute). I became a Reiki Master. I became an Akashic Records Master. I had a website and began blogging. I had clients. As the divorce became nastier and nastier, I lost the ability to do much beyond survive. No more website, no more clients. Not much of anything, except I did survive and now I'm designing my new life. So here I am, starting over and sharing my thought process, in case you want a new life too, or just need a bit of a push to get your current one in motion.

1. What Do You Really Want?


Really think about what you want. If you want to take the spiritual path, meditate on it. Ask your guides to assist you. Allow whatever you need to hear to come in. Allowing is so powerful.

If you want the brainy path (or in conjunction with the spiritual), think about what excites you. Write it down on an on-going list. Do you love to paint? Draw? Problem solve? When you read, what kind of books are you drawn to? Biographies? Complex, problem solving mysteries? Self Help books? What is it in these books that draws you in?

There are many areas you can look at to discover hidden passions that you appease with various stimulations, TV shows, books, magazines, internet searches and of course hobbies. What excites you?

Ask your friends and family what they think gets you going. When do they "light up" when you're discussing things with them? They know more than you think. We notice things in others on a continual basis, and we often must just ask the questions to bring it to the surface because it is stored somewhere in their brains waiting for use. Write all of it down as you go. Keep a book just for ideas on what you really love.


Do a brain dump. In your "career journal" write down anything that comes to mind, and just keep writing until nothing is left. Get it out of your head and on to paper. It's amazing how different things can look when they exist outside of your mind.

2. Research How You Can Use Your Passions To Make Money

Love bugs? Google it. Find out who else loves bugs and what they do with that passion. Love animals? Everyone might say to become a Veterinarian. That's not your only option. That requires many years of school that may or may not work for you. What else is out there? What is it you love about animals? Do you only love a few certain species of animals?

If you're fresh out of ideas after all of that brainstorming, get a coach or career counselor. They can assist you in uncovering what you may be hiding from. Hiding? Why would I hide? Good question.


We're expert hiders as humans. The thing we hide most often from is our own magnificence. We're often afraid to step into our own truth and power because it feels too big, or scary, or we don't believe we deserve it. Guess what? You do deserve it. I truly believe that if we all lived in our most passionate self and allowed ourselves our full potential, we would all fit together perfectly, like a well-oiled, complex machine. That's why Biff likes to do something completely different than Rock (not people I actually know). 

This is the area where many of us get stuck and frustrated. What if there is more than one option? What if you just don't see your dream as something you can do? What if you just do not know? Try joining a few professional groups, or speaking to professionals in a few of your choice areas. See what you think and feel about it after you look at the life of those professionals.

Also, try to throw away these assumptions that we hold due to family, friends, society or all of the above:

1. I can only do one thing professionally at a time.


Says who? That's something someone made up. Move on.

2. I'm not good at anything.

Says who? This one has probably held you in your own trap for years. Get professional help to release this idea if you can't do it on your own. It's a life destroyer.

3. I'm highly educated and what I want does not require education. I can't throw away my education.

Okay. You keep going to that job you hate then. Obviously the education did not actually work for you for whatever reason.

4. Others will think less of me of I do this.

Yes, they may. And this may be what got you here in the first place. Does it matter what others think if you are miserable? Or is that facade more important than having your own life? What's most important is what you think of yourself and that you're living your best life. Not anyone else's. No one said it would be easy to take control of your own destiny.


5. I paid a ridiculous amount of money to get updated credentials, more education, etc.

Good. Maybe that can be part of how you make money while you get your other life on solid footing. Otherwise, you are just making up more reasons to stay miserable. Nice work.  You win the "most human" award.  We are so good at being comfortably miserable.  I have done it too.  

6. I can't afford to start over.

Can you afford to be out of work for a year while treating your stress related heart condition? Can you afford to lose your job to someone who likes it and has the passion that you lack? There are always reasons to not do something. What's more important are the reasons to do them. If the reasons to do something else are right for you, you can figure out the rest.


Also, allow yourself to know that it's okay if you take a while to figure it out. We get caught up in things when we finally decide it's time and we expect things to just happen as our thought process changes. Remember, the speed of our thoughts are much faster than the speed of our lives. Accept that. It helps.

Also accept that you may choose wrong, or appear to choose wrong at first. Often, once we start to change our lives, the journey ends up looking completely different than we could have planned. I call this divine timing/guidance. You can call it crap or annoying or whatever works for you, but again, if you allow it, it will lead you to exactly the place you are supposed to be. We can learn from everything we do, if we allow it. 

3. Make A Plan


Once you narrow it down and have done your research, begin making a plan. Does it involve more education? What's the time and monetary cost? Does it require involvement in certain groups? Can you start in the group as you work your way into the profession? Professional groups are so helpful for education and understanding of your chosen area. It doesn't have to be a complex plan. Do it in a way that works for you.

My plan is this: Write articles, build a new website, take a few classes, get myself back together, move forward. I know, mind boggling in it's complexity, but it works for me.

4. Get Others On Board

Once you create the plan, get buy-in from loved ones (if you have others that are involved in this, kids, spouses, whoever). Let them know what kind of emotional, financial and physical (babysitting or whatever) needs you will require assistance with as you take this new journey. Give them time to digest it, because it will probably have an impact on them as well. Be clear in expressing your needs. Ask for feedback. Make sure that you have someone privately (parent, sibling, friend) or professionally (a coach, counselor or therapist) who can assist you with all of the path obstacles.


5. Get Started On Your New Journey!

Talk about exciting! You have the courage to begin again, and that, all by itself, is something to celebrate. Celebrate yourself often through this, as you're walking away from something that did not work for you, into something that will (or at least get you closer). That is truly living your life. Good for you!

Thank you to any and all who took the time to read my musings. I'm so very grateful for my new chance and I allow that beauty out into the world to be used by any and all who also need it.

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