By Joe Casey
It’s inevitable that you will approach a crossroads in your career in mid to later life.
Questions bubble up.
Sometimes from within. Sometimes from others. Or both.
The questions are around your path.
Should I Stay With What I’m Doing?
Or Should I Pursue a Different Direction?
It’s an invitation to tune in to that little voice inside that’s easy to mute in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Practical considerations quickly come to the fore. Stability. Financial security.
And then the ‘What If’s” join the conversation.
Often, it’s the negatrons that jump in first. They tend to be the louder ones.
What if I switch direction and fail?
But you usually have to concentrate on hearing the quieter voice. But it’s worth it. There’s usually a dream in there.
What if I could do x?
What if I started my own business? The one I’ve always thought about.
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The practical considerations are real and important. There are challenges and risks that have to be weighed and considered.
So what’s the right answer?
I encountered two examples this week that answered the same question differently.
First up is Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks. In his case, the questions have been swirling. From others.
He is clearly passionate about what he does. His answer is:
“Somebody said, ‘You’re 65, are you thinking of retiring?’
….Who says at 65, you have to retire?
What does that mean? It means nothing to me.
I’m not old enough to retire.”
– The MMQB – Sports Illustrated | June 11, 2018
He loves his job. A key theme in his coaching is to Always Compete. For him, the choice to stay the course seems clear. In spite of
the strident voices around him who suggest otherwise. Maybe that will be the right choice for you. But for others, there can be a
sense that there’s more, something else to pursue, something left to do.
Next, meet Melissa Davey. In the midst of a successful career as a senior leader in healthcare, a chance detour led her to plan a
seismic career shift to filmmaking. Melissa joined us on our podcast, The Retirement Conversation, to discuss her story
and her documentary feature-film titled Beyond Sixty Project. The story of her film is fascinating, capturing the life experiences
of women across the country who are crafting their own stories of “resilience and relevance.”
Like Pete Carroll, she loved her job, too. But a focal point of her story is being open to new experiences that could open up a new
avenue. Perhaps most of all, her story is about listening carefully to that inner voice, having the courage to pursue a dream Second
Act – and then creating and executing the right plan to make it happen.
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You can listen to our conversation with Melissa here.
You’ll hear the inspiring story about how she became a filmmaker at 65 and the role of a pivotal encounter with
It could help you tune in to your inner voice at just the right time.
Joe Casey is a former senior HR executive pursuing a Second Act career as a retirement coach.