Planning a dream career

creating your dream career after 40

More than ever, women in their 40s and 50s are making radical career changes. Whether they’re leaving 9-to-5 life in favor of entrepreneurship, accelerating their corporate ambitions, or starting over in a different industry, high-achieving women are making fulfillment a priority for the first time in their lives.

When you hear the term “career planning,” what do you think of? If you’re like many of us, you think of sitting with your guidance counselor in high school or your graduate advisor in grad school, figuring out what that first job will look like and how it will get you to your final goal job. Well, we’re not 22 anymore, and the idea of career planning in that sense doesn’t fit the bill for us. Then we settle into our careers a bit more and begin to have “career conversations” with our leaders or HR in the workplace. This usually focuses on some job we think we want or aspire to and all the development needed to get ready. We then sit and wait for the job to appear, and oftentimes it doesn’t. This doesn’t fit the bill anymore, either. But now, more than ever, women in their 40s and 50s are making radical changes in their careers, totally reinventing their professional lives and seeing big personal payoffs as a result.

For some, this means pursuing their corporate ambitions with the kind of fearlessness and disregard for the “likeability” they just didn’t have in their 20s and 30s. For others, it means abandoning the industry they’ve spent decades to take on something more fulfilling and more impactful. Others are stepping down from high-stress roles to do something easier, allowing them to start a passion project or side hustle. And for yet others, it means exiting corporate life entirely and starting their own businesses—consulting and coaching practices, handmade product shops, multi-level marketing agencies, you name it—with the goal of greater freedom and personal fulfillment than their day jobs could provide. 

The pandemic has only accelerated this trend. For many high-achieving corporate women, this is the first time they’ve ever worked remotely for an extended period of time. The freedom of location that comes with this and the liberation from the time-sucking daily commute has been a revelation to many. They love more time with their families. They’re loving not having to spend a fortune on work clothes and dry cleaning. And they’re loving having more say over how they spend their time every day. Women are natural masters at multitasking and remote work, so this change is their forte. But what about the layoffs and furloughs the pandemic brought with it. While losing a job is rarely a desirable outcome, in many cases, it has allowed women to explore other options with more flexibility than ever before, such as entrepreneurship or contract-based work. If we learned anything in 2020, it’s this: life is short. It’s too short to spend most of your waking hours doing something you hate or tolerate. We were all put on this earth to do something extraordinary. This is the year to figure out your extraordinary professional impact and make a plan to get there.

What has been missing in your professional life? What is not giving you satisfaction? Or more importantly, what was it COSTING you?

2021 is your year to create your dream career!

This year, let’s nail down what you want your professional life to look like and take concrete steps to get there. Each month during 2021, we’ll be publishing articles on different aspects of discovering, planning for,  pursuing and achieving your dream career. The two of us have different approaches, so we’ll be offering different options.

Julie is a certified life coach and long-time leadership development, expert. She’ll work with you on the wisdom of this “midlife awakening” and how it can be a catalyst for massive, positive life transformation. She’ll help you determine your professional future vision, set effective goals, take the necessary mindset shift, prioritize your desires and values, and start the practical pursuit of promotions and growth in the corporate environment.

Mary Kate is an entrepreneur and marketing consultant. She’ll take you through the decision- making process for starting a business, including getting the courage and confidence to make big changes, building your personal brand in and out of the office, and turning major challenges into transformational opportunities.

Many people struggle during the holidays for various factors, so just understanding that the holidays can be lonely for many others besides you. This hopefully takes the sting away and creates a new perspective on the situation. Take the time to understand your feelings, and while it may feel uncomfortable to feel alone, accept that it’s okay and find what you can do to change those negative feelings and turn them into a more attractive situation.

Ready to get more out of your professional life? Then tune into the series right here on She Is You, starting with Julie’s upcoming article, Midlife Awakening: Creating a New Vision for Your Career to be published on January 7.

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Julie Brendich
Julie is the owner of Harmony & Success Personal Coaching, LLC. She’s a long-time leadership development expert having spent over 20 years working in multiple industries, helping leaders become more effective and successful. She works with clients on the wisdom of the “Midlife Awakening” and how it can be the catalyst for massive, positive life transformation in not just their careers but also in their most precious relationships, self-care, and spirituality. She holds advanced degrees in psychology and is credentialed as a Master Spirit Life Coach and Certified Professional Coach through the International Coaching Federation. A midwestern native from the suburbs of Chicago, Julie approaches the coaching process with her clients in a down-to-earth way where each client can be their true selves. It is her life’s purpose and biggest joy to help midlife women achieve their goals.
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