"Midlife is the time when a woman's career can take off because she has had time to accumulate experience, build a professional network, and develop a strong sense of self"
Contrary to what we see and hear in the media, women in midlife are not at the end of their careers or business opportunities.
Instead, studies have shown that women tend to reach their career peak in midlife due to the combination of experience, accumulated knowledge, skills, a greater sense of self-awareness, confidence, and leadership abilities.
Many women have had time to establish themselves in their careers, gain valuable experience, and develop a strong professional network. Midlife often brings a sense of clarity and purpose, allowing women to focus on their goals and priorities.
Additionally, a recent study by Harvard University confirms that women reach their creative peak in their mid-50s to mid-60s and as women age, they may have more time and freedom to pursue creative endeavors and explore new ideas.
These and many more studies continue to challenge the notion that creativity declines with age and highlight the unique contributions that older women can make to business, governments, and the creative fields.
All of this is no surprise to our community as we have so many inspiring role models amongst us.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Hitting 50 for me was a milestone. And not in a good way. I had breezed through turning 30 and 40 with a shrug of my shoulders and a huge party for each birthday. But 50 felt somehow different.
I started to realise that I had never even started half of the things I had expected to tick off my bucket list by this stage of my life. And that included finding my perfect career, one that I was good at, and that I was passionate about. Then, I found journalism and thought my career goals were complete.
It was two weeks before my 59th birthday, when I suddenly found myself unemployed. I had been working for a health company since moving to Perth in 2020 and had been hired to do their media. I enjoyed working for this company, it had been founded by women and had a great value system in place. But I found myself slowly but surely, moving away from media and into an admin role. I understood that this was what the company needed, but it wasn’t what I needed. I needed a role where I could stretch and grow my media and journalism skills. I wanted desperately to salvage my self-respect and prove to myself that my best was yet to come.
So, I resigned.
Once the panic had subsided, I set about finding my perfect job. It would be easy, I thought. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, I just knew I needed more. I needed to make a difference.
After a few months of applying for jobs and either hearing ‘you are over-qualified’ (seriously, how is that even possible???), or hearing nothing at all, I was flicking through my emails and came across one from Faith at Silver Sirens, announcing she was coming to Perth and would like to catch up with some of her local members. I liked what Silver Sirens was doing for women over 50, and I thought it would be a nice opportunity to meet some like-minded women. I had no idea that it would offer me the opportunity of a lifetime!!
Five Silver Sirens gathered at Fremantle and had a fantastic lunch, and I came home raving about the great work that was being done to empower women over 50.
A few weeks later, I was again email scrolling and found one from Faith, saying that Silver Sirens was looking for someone to help her. For the first time in months, I felt excited about a work prospect.
To be involved in helping to change societal beliefs, and helping to make a difference for women everywhere, was exactly the type of passionate work that I needed! I emailed Faith my resume and the rest, as they say, is history.
Starting a new job at any age offers the opportunity to learn new skills. But for those of us who have circled the sun a few times, learning those skills helps to build new neural pathways and stave off mental decline. It also offers us the opportunity to build new relationships, make new friends and keep us active, happy, and healthy. At least it has in my experience. And if you get to change the world at the same time…..
I cannot say strongly enough that IT IS NEVER TOO LATE to try something new. An elderly friend of mine (she is in her late 80s) told me recently that when you get toward the end of your life, it is not the things you did that you regret, rather it is the things you didn’t do.
My challenge to you is this: if you are thinking about changing your job, what are you waiting for? The timing will never be perfect, the only time we are promised is now...