Worried You Waited Too Long

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Are you worried that it is too late for you to find a career you love?

I heard a story the other day about a woman named Joanna. Joanna is in her mid-50s and is certain that the time for pursuing a career she loves has long since passed her by. She never went to college and believes it is too late to get that sort of education. There are reasons for Joanna’s current circumstances: she dealt with health issues, family commitments and a few other unexpected curveballs that life sometimes brings. She doesn’t regret the choices she made, yet she has spent decades feeling unsatisfied by her work. Because she now believes it is too late to make any changes, she has given up. Today she is waiting to retire, which she hopes will happen in her early 60’s. Joanna’s plan is to spend the next 10 or more years working in misery, hoping retirement will bring her enjoyment.

Unfortunately Joanna’s story is not unique. I hear countless stories just like hers every day. I have had phases in life where I felt like Joanna. I just wanted to give up.

How about you? Do you feel like Joanna? Or does just reading Joanna’s story trigger your fears for your own life and career? Do you worry that too much time has passed and wonder if it is now too late for you?

I have learned that if you are willing to do the required work to unearth your own worth, you can find a job and career you love. And it doesn’t have to take years to do it. What could Joanna really do to change her situation? Even more importantly, what can you do?

Here are 5 steps to reclaim your career right now. The good news is you can take these steps on any budget.

1. STOP!

My friend Francesca has this great technique she uses when she catches herself thinking thoughts that don’t serve her greater good or happiness. She just says, “STOP!” out loud to her inner critic. If you are caught in a cycle of thinking your career options are doomed, right now say, “STOP!” to that voice in your mind.

Is it really too late for you? Unless you’re dead (in which case you probably have other serious concerns), it isn’t too late for you. There are steps you can take and things you can do.


2. LOOK!

So what is the next step to take? Look at who you are. Spend the time it takes to unearth your innate strengths and skills. These are the ones that find a way to express themselves even when you’re not paying attention. Once you know these, you can leverage them into a job you’ll love. But you must start by taking the time to LOOK for them. Figure out what are the things you truly love to do. There are clues to these in your own stories from your life. But if you don’t take the time to look for them, you won’t find them.



Listen with your ears. Seek expert advice from a professional career coach who specializes in your situation. Don’t assume you can’t afford expert advice. Many coaching services offer hardship rates if you ask. Ask your local department of labor workforce group about services they offer. Seek support and advice from a local job club or employment group. These typically are free or low cost. Ask for support from your friends and family. I have conversations every day with someone who found their current job or career because a trusted loved one suggested it for them. Do informational interviews to find out what your dream job is like in the real world, along with what are the real job requirements. These cost you nothing but time and effort.

Listen with your eyes. Do research. If you find a field you’d love, do some research online or at your local library. Find out what jobs are in that field. My favorite free online resource for this sort of research is http://www.onetonline.org . Look for options that fit your skills and education. Not all jobs require a degree. Look for organizations that will pay for your training and education.



Once you know what you’re great at and would love to do, and have sought advice and support from others, then it’s time to make the big decision: Will you be like Joanna, and choose to live and work in misery until death or retirement? Or will you take the time you do have to find a job and career you love? The choice is yours. And you must choose.


5. ACT!

Of course, setting the goal and making the choice to pursue it are not quite enough. You now have to do the work to get you there. Develop your job search strategy. Schedule your steps. Follow your plan. Put in the effort to actively seek a job you’d love.


The bottom line is that it is not too late for you, unless you choose for that to be true. No matter what your circumstances, there are options for you to improve your job and career situation. There are steps you can take right now. You can keep waiting, hating your job, and wishing it were different. Or you can spend the time you have doing something about it. I know it can be done. I’ve seen people of all ages do it.

What is stopping you? What will you do? I invite you to share your thoughts on my blog below. 

I have helped clients from their 20’s through their 60’s to find a job and career they love. My clients rely on 1-on-1 support to help them create a real, pragmatic plan to land their dream job. If you want to schedule time with me, just email me or schedule time now at http://tungle.me/lori.howard

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?

I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?

Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit me...it was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?

Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing Sherlock...to be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.


Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA