When You're 64, or 54, or 44 for that Matter
Here is a story….
In 2018, I was less than one year away from that famous Beatles song "When I’m 64." I had a 25-plus year marketing career that included cross country moves (twice) in multiple industries such as advertising, motion picture studios, publishing, and television. And then it happened - another merger, but this time I did not make the cut. In corporate speak, I was packaged out.
Entertainment is a glamorous industry, but I was not sure if I wanted to push on to another entertainment marketing job.
Here is where paying attention to what gives you energy can be helpful. One of my favorite job responsibilities was working with the people who reported to me. It was also in teaching and speaking, so I started doing branding/teaching seminars at my company.
I also liked learning/development/coaching. So much so, I started to pay for my own learning and taking coaching seminars. In addition, I volunteered to teach career strategies to students.
In 2018, the merger rumors became reality, and I needed to make some serious decisions. What interested me most – digital marketing, teaching, or coaching? This is where I had to seriously look at my resources (financial, time, and age).
I made the decision to get very serious about coaching and build a skill set in an area where I had a deep interest. At 64, I finished the Columbia University Coaching Certification program, which opened double doors to interests, passions, people, and opportunities. It was not all magic; I still needed to figure how I fit in this new landscape.
I tried to experiment with a few roles; career counselor, which led me to being an adjunct professor teaching career strategies. And then pitching people and companies for coaching services - some failures, some wins. It was enough to clarify where I wanted to put a stake in the ground and start to build.
[Related: Should I Stay, or Should I Go?]
The more I put myself out there, the more wins I got. So here I am today almost four years later (you do the math) with time under my belt and continuous study in a new profession I love and am committed to. It was worth it to me to put up with the uncertainty, the changes, the uphill push to be in a place where I am once again satisfied and challenged professionally.
What is the point here? I invite you to start paying attention to your energies and interests inside and outside your work. The person you are at 44 is not the same at 54 or 64. What grabs your attention and passion can change over time.
Ask yourself along the way, what else sparks your interest? Start thinking about where you want to be at 34, 44, 54, or 64. Regularly reassessing where you are and where you want to go will make any transitions or pivots a bit easier. Knowing where you want to look and explore is half the battle. Be sure you factor in your needs. This could come in the form of skills, financial resources, and/or time.
If you are unsure, this is where you can try new and different things. Don’t be afraid to take a class or volunteer to see if you like something, but give yourself enough space and practice to know the difference. Are you not satisfied because you have yet to feel comfortable with your skill level or are you not satisfied because you simply are not that interested? Make sure you can tell the difference.
This is YOUR future to create and craft, so it deserves your attention and energy.
[Related: Change or Get Out of the Way]
Springer Alvarez is a team of executive coaches working with companies and professionals who are navigating the new world of work. Their work includes insights into current trends in talent management, leadership development, and preparing for a future of work that is mutually beneficial to both employers and employees.
©Eileen Springer and Christine Alvarez June 2022
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I am an Executive and Leadership Coach working with Clients who are looking to transition to a new job or new career. In addition, I am working on research that looks at the conversations around job satisfaction in the workplace I am a Core Guide for Chief, Fellow Coach for BetterUp and on the Coaching Bench Columbia's Teachers College. My private practice covers Corporate, FinTech, Entrepreneurs, Media and Marketing as well as Arts Management... Continue Reading