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Am I too old to change jobs?

Dear Nancy,

Recently, I was approached by a headhunter about a new job opportunity. While I have been with my current company for 10 years, and have risen through the ranks, I am intrigued, and yet conflicted. I am pushing 50 and wondering whether I should just stick it out where I am or take a risk and make a move.

With my kids in college and my husband in a job he loves, am thinking if I’m ever going to do it, now would be the time. Have had several interviews, and all my reservations about the job have been addressed, except for one: am I too old to make a big change like this, Nancy?

Torn from Troy, NY

“Excuse me, Ma’am,” the young man said as he moved past me on the bus. It was my first Ma’am-ing and I felt so old I ran home, looked in the mirror, pulled my face back so tightly you could have bounced a quarter off it…and burst into tears. I was 29 years old, and already freaking out about turning 30. So, it’s all relative when it comes to what’s “too old."

People are living younger longer, my dear Torn from Troy, and with that comes a badly needed overhaul of our perceptions about age. Like all heinous “isms,” agism does still exist, but in this case, it seems like you’re the one putting limitations on yourself. From where I’m sitting, you have never been in a better position to make a change…if you choose to.

For the past 10 years, you have worked and been promoted by the same company…all while raising 2 children who are now in college; were scouted by a headhunter for your abilities and are several interviews into a new opportunity that interests you; plus, any reservations you might have had about the job have been answered. In last week’s column, I wrote, “There will always be anxiety and stress in our lives. There’s the anxiety of staying in the same place, and perhaps going backward. Or the anxiety of going forward into the unknown. Pick one!”

While it’s natural to feel anxious about making any major changes in our lives, this opportunity sounds like a calculated risk that’s well worth taking. And pushing 50 is the perfect time to do it!!!

And if you need further support and encouragement, check out How I Got a Job: Over 50s Edition


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