I’m often asked why I decided to change my career so late at 46 years old?
Did I just snap and change everything or was it a decision following long reflection?
In fact, I really had a ball in my career for 20 years. I had the chance to build a factory in China, travel to the 4 corners of the globe where I built many relationships with wonderful colleagues all over the world. What a chance for some from small little old New Zealand. People tell me always, “Wow your country is so beautiful!” and it’s true, New Zealand is a magnificent country, but needed to discover other countries and cultures! I’ve always invested an enormous amount of energy into my work. My education and upbringing drummed into me that work well done is a high priority in life. To have a good job and to be recognized for my contributions was what I thought was important to succeed in life.
In parallel, we formed a family with two boys of which I’m extremely proud. Life being as it may lead me to divorce and much fewer opportunitiés to see my boys. I started asking myself what was really important in life.
As I passed the age of 40, I decided that I wanted to be happier in life, take my life in hand and build my life around my priorities. I was the one who could change things, no-one else would do it for me. I could wait to win Lotto so I could be ‘comfortable’ financially before making a move, but in reality that was never going to happen!
I’d also dreamed of running my own business, to do something useful, and create some real value for others (not just building powerpoints for my bosses). There was a desire to help others and to see the impact of my decisions and actions. I had many ideas but had not at that point decided exactly what activity I wanted to do. It was more and more difficult to find pleasure at work, whereas that had always been an important driver for me.
Was I crazy to give up my long-standing career with a comfortable salary, holidays and everything that went with it? I’d rebuilt my personal life, but what I was considering meant I could lose it all.
I was going to put my boys and my family in France at risk, I was on the edge of spoiling everything. Perhaps it was better to grit my teeth, suck it up and just keep going on with my ‘normal’ life. There were many interior conflicts going on in my mind, and I was forced to ask myself the question. “What’s the worst that would happen?” Of course, it would be to run out of money, and the worst case, I’d end up living in the street, dragging my family with me.
It was a difficult period, but it helped me understand well my deepest fears and work out how to best manage them. Finally, I was able to build the courage to make the decision and decide to move on to change my lifestyle and to live differently.
In another post, I explain how I managed to overcome my fear and find the confidence and courage to move forward in my lifestyle change project.
And you? Have you ever felt such fear to give up your life for a better one, because all you can imagine is the worst for you and your family?