Join in today while I visit with Kelley Shields, career and life coach for stressed, unhappy professionals. She helps them find meaning and enjoyment in their work so they can successfully pivot into careers they love.
In part 2 of our conversation, we'll discuss how old is "too old" to start a new career, how to overcome your own mindset blocks around age, and some tips for job searching.
On Kelley's website, find a quick quiz called "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" if you're feeling stuck.
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Welcome back to a magical life. I'm your host magic Barclay. And I'm again, joined today by the fabulous Kelly Shields, fresh from walking her cat outside. Let's ask about that welcome kit.Kelley Shields:
Thank you magic. Yes, I do walk my cat on a lead outside around my neighborhood.Magic Barclay:
I'm so jealous because the only one of my two cats that I could possibly walk outside is too big for any of the harnesses that are sold. He's just big until, and then the other one she's scared of her own shadow. So. It just wouldn't be fun for anyone.Kelley Shields:
Well, you know, you are saving yourself a little bit of distraction during the Workday because, uh, my cat does get very demanding that we go on his afternoon.Magic Barclay:
Oh, I love that. Now in our last episode, we were talking about unlocking the golden handcuffs and that's centered around making changes and not just staying stuck because of a good wage or a steady wage. What I'd really like to explore in this episode is the idea that it's never too late to change. And we were talking off air before we recorded that. Here in Australia. Definitely. There seems to be this idea that, you know, as you get older, you shouldn't have the rights to start a new job or change a career or anything like that. We're quite ageist here, you know, same goes for when we're starting out. We're too young. We don't have experience come back. When you've got experience, that seems to be a sweet spot of about 20 years in the middle. In Australia where you are completely employable anywhere, any time. And on the flip side of that, that is that sweet spot. When most women are raising children. So they might have a big gap on their resume and coming back post children, it's like, well, what have you done for the past 10, 20 years? You know? Oh, you raised kids. So I think a lot of people. Really adversely affected by the idea of change and certainly changing careers or career trajectories. So I'd really love to explore that. What are your thoughts on first of all, age and changing careers?Kelley Shields:
Oh, well I think this is such an important topic and when I get really passionate about, because. I hear that I hear from so many people. Is it too late to change careers? Is it too late to make a change? And the interesting thing is that I've heard that. certainly I've heard it from people who are in their fifties to 55 or 56, but I've also heard it from people in their twenties, maybe as young as 25 or 26, who feel like it's, they're too old to change careers. So what that tells me is that yes, but let's just acknowledge, there are some things that you need to consider. And so you do have some different considerations. If you're older, There's kind of, it's, it's kind of a mindset issue. And I actually prefer another question. Um, I think that just asking, you know, am I too old to change careers that, that almost cuts off the possibility to explore further? I prefer the question. What's the right change for me now. I think that opens up a lot more possibilities and helps you think more creatively and broadly and takes into account those practical considerations. Like if you are approaching retirement age and you want a traditional retirement, then that's something that's going to factor in to what's right for you. Um, in my own case, I changed careers when I was 39. And I was not willing to go back and spend years and tens and tens of thousands of dollars getting another graduate degree. I had already gone deeply into debt, getting a law degree from a prestigious university. And I did not need to do that again. So that did so in that sense, my age and life stage absolutely factored into. Considering what the right change for me was going to be, but it didn't mean that it was too late for me to make a change I work with people of all sorts of different ages. and there are people who start businesses at 65 after they quit their traditional jobs. So there are possibilities for everyone. It's just, what's the right move for you. And sometimes how do I make that mean.Magic Barclay:
That's a really key question there. So how do people make that move? Like, is there some questions they need to ask themselves or do they need to have like, you know, a wad of cash behind them before they make the leap or, you know, what do you suggest in this kind of situation?Kelley Shields:
No, I think it's very individual and cause we want to, or at least my approach is working with you and your individual situation. But, you showed me, it certainly never hurts to have savings, but it doesn't necessarily require a lot of cash. Um, I think what it requires first and really is getting really clear on what it is that. You need and want out of your work. And I tend to do that by helping clients using, um, those a structure called the four pillars of career clarity. And I went to help clients get clear on what. Energizing enjoyable strikes are the ones they want to be using in their work. Um, I want to help them get clear on their particular personality needs and what they need out of a work environment and coworkers, out of a manager, what they need to be able to thrive and do their best work inside a particular organization or setting, what they're interested in. if they need to be passionate about something they want or need to be working for a cause to be happy, is there just some realm of interest that we can loop into that, and also what are their lifestyle needs? And that does take into account things like. How old you are and what you do, you have children that you need to support. What is, what is your individual situation? So working with all of that information and figuring out what the most important things for you are, can help give you some direction on what kind of change you want to make for one person. What one person honestly, might making a small change could be a great answer because it can both bring them more enjoyment while giving them an incredibly better lifestyle. So for example, um, I have helped attorneys move from working in law firms to working for companies where they work more of a. Roughly nine to five job and don't have the kind of expectation for the number of hours they're going to work. And that's been a great fit for them because in some cases they do have children or they're single parents, and they need to be able to pay for their children, pay for schools, pay for doctors to continue to pay their mortgage. So they don't have to move and operate their kids. Um, for someone else. Maybe a bigger change. Um, she gives it to use attorney as an example again, just because I used that, but a different example would be, um, moving from being an accountant to an event planner. That's a much bigger change, but it might take a little bit more time, but depending on where you are in life and what your individual needs are just as possible. So it's really all about figuring out what your priorities are. And seeing what we can do to help you get those things that are most important to you and, you know, tailoring your change around that.Magic Barclay:
So for people who are getting older, how do they step either back into the workforce or sideways in the workforce, or start something new? Like. Working for themselves or from home, because I think, you know, this is something that many people are facing certainly at the moment, more than ever. And you know, there's a lot of people out of the workforce, starting things from home because issues are completely out of their control, but there might be people that are realizing just how unfulfilling what they're doing at the moment is. But for example myself, about 10 50, like I love what I do and I'm not changing, but if I were, I would be worried that someone would look at my birthdate and go, Hm, almost 50, kind of, really not that useful for us. So how do people get across that age issue?Kelley Shields:
That's a very real issue. And there, there, just his age as the minutes, very. Unfortunate. Um, so there are some things that you can do to help like leaving off your graduation dates on your resume. And LinkedIn profile would be a good first step. Um, also, a lot of job searching. Just try not to just blindly apply. Um, you can start building out your network, which you can do. It takes a little time, but you can do, even while people are working virtually, you don't have to do it in person, but reaching out to people, you know, Being connected to people they know who are working at companies or in fields that you're interested in working in making new connections, um, finding people that you'd like to talk with and reaching out and telling them you're interested in what they're doing. And would they be willing to have a certain conversation with you about it? Getting to know people becoming a real holistic person instead of. An application with a number on it that where somebody thinks, oh, that's too old. That's going to be most likely the best way. In addition, I mean, there are just going to be situations that aren't going to work. I mean, you can't get around everything. And if you do encounter one instance of age-ism, Or if you do encounter that sometimes the key is not giving you. realizing that, you know, keep building relationships, keep talking to people, keep getting feedback and see if there are other things that you can work on, but it just takes, it just takes one. Yes,Magic Barclay:
certainly does just take one. Yes. And that yes can come from you. It's never too late to start working for yourself, working on your passion project. I mean, you know, I started this podcast going to air last year at the age of 48. It's just never too late. So really my tip for the listeners on this would be just jump in.Kelley Shields:
You know, I love that. And one of my. Yeah, I've got a number of examples of famous people, highly successful people who made career changes later in life. And you know, maybe one that's the most striking is that there is an artist, American folk artist, grandma, Moses, who didn't start painting until she was 77. And she's hugely successful. Um, but even for maybe an example that your listeners would have heard of more Julia child didn't even go to culinary school until she was 37 and she didn't publish her first cookbook until she was 49.Magic Barclay:
Wow. I actually didn't know that. That's amazing. Amazing, good on both of them.Kelley Shields:
Exactly. I've got more, but I don't want to take up the time for people, but yeah, there are lots of amazingly successful people who started their successful direction. Certainly wasn't their first path.Magic Barclay:
And I think part of the key there and correct me if I'm wrong, Kelly, but just having that, self-belief knowing that you can, whatever you try is possible, you can succeed. You just have to believe that you can.Kelley Shields:
I think that having that belief and, you know, having support around you, if you can get that, it's also so helpful. Um, this process can be really hard. And if you can have people that you can count on to reach out to when you're feeling discouraged, that can be, that can make a huge difference. But yes, like not giving up, it's not looking at. One or two or three disappointments or rejections and saying, well, it's never going to work. It is. Yeah. Believing in yourself and continuing to work at it and continuing to work towards making that change. And yeah, it, or build that business, as you said, which is often a change. People want. Um, sometimes getting some help to see if there's something that you can do in a more effective way. Certainly I know that learning about business is something that's really helpful for most entrepreneurs. Um, but yeah, believing in yourself believing you can do it. That's that's going to be really essential for being successful.Magic Barclay:
So Kelly listeners have heard you in our previous episode and they're listening now, obviously, and they're probably wondering how do they work with you? So we'll give your contact details in a moment, but when they contact you, what's the process that you take them through. What can they expect?Kelley Shields:
Oh, absolutely. So first I want to get clear on what their goals are. So if it's somebody who is really wondering what is my next step and I, I really, you know, I really don't know what that is. Um, somebody who is saying. I don't know what I'd want to do, but I know my current job, isn't it. With someone like that first, we're going to take a deep introspective dive and help that person get clear on, you know, what they value the most. What's most important to them when to get clear on what their strengths are, what their interests are, what their lifestyle needs are and what they need out of a working environment in order to thrive. And we're going to use all of that information. That we generate together to develop what I call career hypothesis. And we call them hypothesis because we don't want to take that information and just have you make a change. Um, you would be, we don't want you to make a change based just on how something sounds inside your head. Um, we want to test those hypotheses out in the real world. So then we would move to do that. We take those hypotheses and we've worked together. To help the client to investigate, oh, is this something that's drained me and in my head, or is this also something that's dreaming of real life, because we want you to get to that dreaming of some real life. And so we work together to brainstorm what the most effective ways for each client are going to be. And. Which, which of those hypotheses is something that continues to be a yes for you as you learn more about it. Sometimes we have to go back and make some adjustments because you learn something and it changes what you thought you wanted, and that's fine. That's getting you closer to what you want. But then finally, once you're clear, it's all about execution. So that's where. You know, I work with you to help you professionally rebrand yourself. If that's something you need, especially if you're changing lanes and do that through your resume and cover letter and LinkedIn profile and show why it would make sense for someone to hire you and how you do have qualifications and help you with effective job searching. So you're not just shooting up resumes into that black box of the internet. Never hearing back again. Had that interview effectively. And once you get the job, how to negotiate the salary that you want. So that's how I work with clients, but if somebody has a different goal, just needing to find another job, we do have that process. We'd just focus on helping them find the job. So it's really about TA it's really about figuring out what the client, you know, what your listener, what the client is really hoping for and how we can make that.Magic Barclay:
That's such an old Miranda service. I really love that you cover all facets of changing careers. Now, Kelly people can find email@example.com on Instagram at Kelly Shields. Also Kelly Shields coach on LinkedIn. And you do have a freebie on your website. Should I stay or should I go the quiz? What are some parting words you have for the listeners today?Kelley Shields:
Oh, you know, there isn't just one right career path for you. Your work does have a huge impact on the rest of your life, because a huge impact on your health, your happiness, your satisfaction in life. How you can show up in the rest of your life, how you can be the parent, you want to be hugging to the spouse or partner. You want to be how you can be the friend you want to be, and you can just be the individual human you want to be. And it does matter. So finding out it really is worth it to take the time and the effort should try to do some strategic work to figure out, especially if you aren't happy. What do I, as an individual need for my work to be really meaningful and fulfilling while it's still being profitable. You know, success is portrayed as this one size fits all path and it's not that, um, success is really what. It's going to mean for you to feel fulfilled and happy and successful while paying your bills and supporting yourself. And there are different ways that can make sense to meet that. And, you know, there might be different answers to that question at different points in your life. So give yourself the opportunity. Um, try not to let that practical side of you that thinks, oh, I've just had this job. I should just do it. That side of you that is, uh, concerned about, uh, unto all there's too much ages. Um, you know, that's just fear and that can be helpful. We don't want you to do something. We don't want you to make a radical change. That's going to be a bad one for you. We want, we wanting to do things in a really brisk managed way to protect you and make sure you get where you want to go. But oh, the payoff for actually loving what you're doing every day. It's really wonderful and really life changing and really spills over into more of your life. So give yourself the gift of the opportunity to explore that and examine it for you.Magic Barclay:
100% now, listeners, this was your episode 1 0 5. Have a magical life coming up in 1 0 6. We have Adam Barry talking about building strength in body, mind, and soul listeners. Thank you so much for your time. Go forth and create your magical life.