Career Change: Moving from “I Can’t” to “Why Not?”

When have you talked yourself out of doing something or exploring different paths to take because you thought you couldn’t? So often, we put ourselves down or engage in “what if-ing” focused on all of the bad things that could happen, rather than exploring possibilities and staying open to discoveries of what we can do next in our careers.

Whether we blame our age, a lack of confidence, fear, or any other reason, our minds are very good at trying to dissuade us from leaving our status quo, potentially running the risk of us staying in a state of burnout, dissatisfaction, or endless spinning with no real plan for what to do next.

Instead, look to your past to help identify what you can do in your future. What are the roles, experiences, and activities you did that you’d like to get back to (if possible) or that you can leverage? What’s something you’ve always wanted to try or that you’ve been curious about that you can investigate to learn more? What feedback have you received about what you’re good at that you’d like to incorporate more in your next phase?

There are all sorts of stories of people embarking on new careers in middle-later age, whether involving going back to school, starting businesses, or switching to more flexible or less demanding work. After all, my brother-in-law didn’t even start med school until he was in his 40s.

It doesn’t have to mean that you throw pragmatism or realism out the window. It does mean that you allow yourself the opportunity to do a bit of exploration. Why not set off on that journey today?