You might have noticed that there are a lot of articles around that focus on “millennials” as the current stars of the workplace. Not to mention the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, still only thirty-three and the fifth richest person in the world, according to Forbes.
So it might be easy to think, if you’re of an age that still remembers ‘Rentaghost’, working public phone booths and the half-penny piece, not to bother starting a business, because frankly, you’re over the hill.
Or, as one recent article published in a national newspaper this week kindly put it, once you’ve hit your forties, “the drawbridge is definitely starting to go up”.
As somebody who’s just about to head into their fifth decade, I can honestly say that not only is this the most exhilarating time of my life so far, but that waiting until my late thirties to strike out on my own in business is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Here’s why:
Confidence is booming
I’m an introvert who has always been nervous about speaking up in groups. At no time was this more career-hampering than when I was young and in my first real job, terrified of having to ask for anything in case I got a “no”, and fearing constant judgement.
Now I’m that much older, I rarely think about how I might be judged by others, and in some cases I’m the one who’s saying “no”. This makes doing business far less nerve-inducing, not to mention far more enjoyable.
(As for the whole “speaking up in groups” thing; well, it may not be your favourite ever thing to do, but by the time you get to my age you’ve probably got proof that it won’t actually kill you, and you might even have received some occasionally positive feedback!)
I know what I’m good at…and what I’m not
Experience has taught me to develop what I know and am actually good at, then outsource the rest. As someone who only managed an ‘E’ in GCSE Maths and whose number skills haven’t improved very much since, I wouldn’t dream of attempting to do my own accounts.
It’s easier to see issues from different viewpoints
It’s hard for younger people to imagine what it’s like to get older, what with all the soul-searching and nostalgia that suddenly rears its head…let alone payback (good or bad!) from earlier life decisions.
Not only can I channel my life experience into my writing, but I’m lucky enough to have reams of younger friends and family whose youthful perspectives I can tap into whenever the need arises!
I’ve got more experience and a bigger network
I have never been able to remain in a ‘normal’ job for over two years without getting bored, so I’ve moved around quite a bit. What this meant, though I didn’t know it at the time, was that I was busily building future work connections, not to mention plenty of experience working with different types of people in different companies.
Not only that, I’ve got the experience to understand what I will and won’t put up with in the second half of my career, which is worth far more than a gold carriage clock and a stable retirement plan.
So if you’re contemplating making a bold career move in your forties and beyond, don’t fear the “drawbridge going up” – sidestep it altogether and go for a swim instead!
However old you are, if you’d like me to help you out with anything wordy while you’re at it – why not drop me a line?
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
Good listening is more than just letting people talk.Read more
How to take the pressure off... and just enjoy being creative.Read more
What's in it for me?Read more
What's your personal soapbox topic?Read more
Don't let spelling and grammar fears stop you from writing.Read more
"You can’t be on somebody’s side, if you don’t know what they think or how they feel".Read more
...they were learning how to express their true feelings in words, and the results were honest, uplifting, and totally magnetic.Read more
It's Universal Letter Writing Week - how will you celebrate?Read more
When you give people a piece of yourself, you will naturally engage them.Read more
Simple tips to help you breeze through any interview scenario.Read more
Learn how to live happily ever after through the power of storytellingRead more
Standing up and presenting to a group of people is something that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most confident people - so if you're an introvert like me, it can really be the stuff of nightmares! Here's how I tackle my nerves head-on, with some careful preparation and relatable content.Read more
You don't have to be a professional writer to discover a unique writing voice that speaks to its readers. Finding your own voice is often easier than you might think, and it all starts when you write from the heart.Read more
I'm a 'Success Story'! My career change journey was featured on Careershifters' website this week, and I'm incredibly proud of it. But I wouldn't want anybody to think changing my career has been easy. And so this is a reflection of sorts, on where I was when I began, and how I've ended up where I am now.Read more
If you know someone who already has everything, give them something truly unique - special words.Read more
Are you reading this over coffee, or maybe as you wait for a late train? Blogging for business is a handy way to keep in regular contact with your followers and show them the human side of your company, but it can be difficult to keep it going once you've started. It's worth it, though - so here are a few tips to keep your blog posts consistent and entertaining.Read more
There's a new trend sweeping Silicon Valley - giving honest and direct feedback to your colleagues. Before you go rushing in, focus your message by writing it down first...your colleagues and your career will thank you for it!Read more
All those celebrated business gurus had to start somewhere...and the most successful ones know how to tell their stories in a relatable way that inspires others to act on their dreams and ideas. By writing a business book, you can do just that yourself!Read more
Writing a recruitment ad is often a rushed activity, with the words used ones you've read many times before ("dynamic" anyone?) Here's how the Banks children managed to recruit their ideal candidate - Mary Poppins! - by using clear and creative words that stood out.Read more
If you're stuck in a job you don't particularly like, mindlessly searching job boards for something else, it can be hard to dredge up any enthusiasm to make a change. But that little bit of rest time between Christmas and a brand new year beginning is perfect for considering exactly what you want, and how to take the very first step towards making 2017 your happy work year!Read more
With a new year on the horizon, why not make a resolution to tell your life story? Committing your personal tales to paper can be a rich and rewarding experience for you to write and others to read...for generations to come. Here's how to get started.Read more
Is time getting the better of you? With a growing business, several passion projects on the go, books to read and friends I'd quite like to see, I was starting to feel overwhelmed...until I decided to take a closer look at planning my time more effectively. Here's how you can do the same.Read more
Looking for ways to sound consistent and authentic in your written communications? Here are a few tried, tested and original ways to do just that.Read more
BOO! Like a ripe pumpkin Hallowe'en has rolled around yet again, so what better time to extol the benefits of ghostwriting, definitely not just the province of bargain-bin bound celebrities.Read more
An encounter with a corporate headhunter made me question my career - why was I still doing something I didn't love? Here's how I formulated my corporate escape plan and found a career I truly enjoy.Read more
Going it alone, releasing yourself from the shackles of a traditional nine-to-five, is exhilarating. It's also incredibly scary! To celebrate my first quarter-year in business, here are some of the most important lessons I've learned from the front line.Read more
Writing an online dating profile that reveals the real 'you' takes time and courage - but that special person will appreciate the effort. Read on for a few tips to get you started.Read more