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I know what you're thinking! It feels like a leap into the void and there is a question: will I make it or will I crash? You have spent more than half of your life in your comfort zone, doing something that you already know, for which you studied or prepared, or something in which you already have a lot of experience and perhaps many achievements and successes. But you have a dream, a passion, something that won't let you sleep and that you want to try. You always dreamed of being... (insert here that job, company, or career that you always liked), but you couldn't because... (again, there are many reasons, you got married, had children, you started working very young, you studied what your parents imposed on you, etc.).
But now, after reflecting on your life at forty, you feel that you do want to pursue that passion, and it's not crazy, if you do things right. Because, besides, you are not the only one. In Europe, 12% of university students are over the age of 25, and in the United States, this segment of “mature” students increased by 41% from 2000 to 2011, accounting for one in four students. People no longer see age as a limit to educate themselves, progress and change their professional course, if necessary.
Recognize the root cause of the excuses: "I'm too old for this", "they're going to criticize me", "better bad known than good to know", are all thoughts that can invade you when you are analyzing a change of profession to this age. Deep down, they are excuses that mask the fear of change and failure. Accept and assume that your new goal will not be easy, that you will have to work hard to achieve it, but you will do it with enthusiasm and motivation and that will increase your chances of success.
Take advantage of the experience you already have: you probably chose a career in your late teens, without knowing yourself well yet. You may or may not have been right. You may not know much about the new field you want to dedicate yourself to, but what you have already learned in your old positions about yourself and regarding human, work or social relationships, you will surely be able to apply to your new initiative. You arrive at this new stage, no longer as an inexperienced young lady, but as a mature woman, who knows what she has to do.
It does not have to be a radical change: if you have many family responsibilities it can be difficult to leave a job that, although it does not motivate or excite you, helps you pay the bills. You don't need to quit all at once; you can start taking steps in parallel to start this new career path. You can take courses online, go back to university on the night shift, create your own company and develop your business plan, build a network of contacts, go looking for all the tools you need and when you have them, take the final step with a stronger foundation.