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How to Make a Career Change (at any age!)

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It was a normal day like any other. Go to work, cut hair all day, laugh with my coworkers, go home, fire up my comp and poof. There it was. The email that changed my entire existence. I was in shock. I was excited. I was on cloud 9. I couldn’t believe this was finally happening to me.

This is the day my whole world changed. What I didn’t know then was exactly how much my world was about to change. This was the first day that I knew for sure, my career change was about to happen.

(this post contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase I may make a small commission-affiliate disclosure here)

Rewind to 2014-when I first thought about making a career change

I was a hairstylist in a mall in a salon in Northern Ontario, Canada dreaming of warm winters in Central America and working for myself. I was so tired of my life and everything about it. I lived to work and I worked to survive. That was my existence. I had no life and the little boring life I did have was riddled with stress, anxiety, frustration, hopelessness, and sadness.

I honestly hated my life.

I felt like I was in constant desperation mode and something had to change. Anything. Soon. And it did. I realized that if I wanted a different life, a happier life, it was up to me to change something.

Everything in fact. I knew I needed to not only change my mindset but I also had to make a career change if I was going to live the life I desired.

I was scared. But I was ready. And I dove into the world of reading blogs and researching on how to become a freelancer. I figured if I could do that, I could finally leave this miserable place I had called home for 52 years and start a whole new life.

And so the journey to changing careers began

I read, I researched, I absorbed everything I could on how to become a freelance writer. Writing comes naturally for me so I thought for sure this was going to be easy.

It was and it wasn’t. It was frustrating but I persisted. I wrote blogs, I submitted them to many many high authority sites and they all shut me down. I had stacks of pages in my “freelance” binder of sites I submitted to and all the big “no’s” right beside their names.

I wasn’t so sure this was for me at one point. Maybe I’m not that great of a writer. Maybe my destiny is to just be doomed here in Sudbury and retire poor from hairstyling. I cried many nights. Something had to give.

And something did…finally

The beginning of my freelance writing career

It was November of 2014 and winter had arrived. It was in full bloom in Sudbury and oh how I hated winter. I prayed to God to please make my dreams come true. Please help me to get out of this hell hole.

I fired up the computer and checked my emails and there it was. The “yes” email. Someone had finally accepted one of my blogs. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. Finally, something was starting to happen. I cried, I screamed in joy, I laughed, I jumped up and down like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

It was Steven Aitchison from the Change Your Thoughts website.

This was the beginning of my freelance writing career. The beginning of the career change I had only dreamed of. I had no idea how much my world would change on that day.

Changing careers calls for determination!

I knew I couldn’t stop there. This site loved my blog and wanted more from me. Are you kidding me? Pinch me I must be dreaming! I’ll give them more! And I did. I tried to submit at least one article a week. That didn’t always happen as work was busy and I was also still trying to break into other sites. Finally more yes’s started coming in.

I was on a roll. I was working 8-10 at the salon and 3-4 more at home every day. I was persistent, determined, focused. My life was changing.

The craziest thing about all of this was that I was doing it all for free. Yup. I was becoming an avid guest blogger 6 months after my first blog was accepted. I kept at it. I knew deep in my heart something good was going to come of all this.

And it did. Something really good. Mind-blowing kinda good. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever expected my life to turn as quickly as it did. The career change I was hoping and praying for was about to blow my mind. 

Being persistent pays off

It was time to get bold. It was time to test the waters. It was time to ask someone for a job and start paying me for my talent. I asked and I got shut down. That’s ok. I’ll give it some time and ask again in a little while. And I did. And got shut down again. That’s ok, I’ll ask again in a little while. And I did…..and finally

Another yes. Steven finally hired me to do some writing. Oh Yay!!! Pinch me again. I can’t believe this is my life. One thing and one blog lead to another and a year after starting working for this site I was packing two suitcases, buying a one-way ticket to Guatemala, and getting ready for my new life.

The unknown. Something that was always just only a cloud bubble over my head was finally coming to fruition. I was finally leaving Northern Ontario winter behind.

You can do this too!!

I wanted to share my story with you to show you how it is absolutely possible to make a career change, no matter how old you are. I was 53 when all this happened for me. 

I’m gonna give you 5 solid pieces of advice to help you change your career so you can be happy too!

How to make a career change (at any age) in 5 simple steps

1 Find your passion– It sounds like a no brainer but I had to say it. No sense in chasing a new career path and winding up on another dirt path filled with potholes. 

What do you truly love to do? Whatever it is, keep one thing in mind-someone is already doing it and making a living from it. 

So can you.

2 Do some research– Go follow and read some blogs from people who are already doing this thing. Find out how they did it, what their journey looked like, ask around. 

I spent hours upon hours on the internet reading all I needed to know about how to become a freelance writer. I honestly had no friggin clue. 

3 Sign up for some online courses– Keep in mind that not all courses cost money. Some are free! Many bloggers offer free 5-day email courses that are perfect to get you started. Find a blogger or two, sign up, and get started. 

Also Creative Live offers loads of free classes too! Go check them out, take a peek at what they have and then sign up for as many as you need to. Learning how to do what you need to do to make your career change will help you more than you can imagine.

4 Make a mindmap– Now that you are thinking about finally changing careers you need to have a goal. My absolute best advice to you is to get a whiteboard (or poster board), stick it somewhere you can see it all the time, and write your goals down. Kinda like this:

  • put your name in the middle of your whiteboard
  • write out 3-5 short term goals around your name (ie-change careers, get healthy, quit smoking, etc)
  • set a realistic date that you think you will be able to achieve these goals.
  • look at this daily and take action every damn day on your goal

5 Take action– It’s time to put in the work. You know what your passion is, you’ve done your research, you have educational material and set a date. Get ‘er done!!!

You should definitely dedicate an hour or two daily to work on your goal and your career change. Remind yourself you can do this. It will be tiring and frustrating and sometimes it may even seem hopeless. It’s not hopeless.

You have a dream. You have a goal. You want to make a career change. Do it. One of the main things that may be holding you back is fear. Fear of change. Face fear and work hard towards the life you desire and deserve!

Personal update

It’s now 2020 and I am working for myself. I retired from my freelance writing career back in 2018 and run my own two successful websites and have a mini self help eBook series that also does very well. 

I had no idea back in 2014 just how far I could go. You won’t know either. Let your passion lead you and the Universe surprise you!

You can make a career change at any age

If you’ve been thinking of making a career change I hope this blogs holds inspiration for you to do that. It doesn’t matter how old you are and never let age be a barrier.

Didn’t Colonel Sanders start his chicken business in his 60’s?? You can most certainly change careers no matter how old you are. Did you know the average person changes careers between 5-7 times in their lifetime? 

You don’t have to stay stuck in a shitty job or a job you absolutely hate. Please don’t. 

Don’t you dare give up on your dreams. Don’t you dare stop believing in yourself and your talents. Don’t you dare take no for an answer or let no stop you or cut you down. Be a pitbull!!

*woof woof*

Peace and Love

Iva

 

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ABOUT ME

Iva Ursano is a retired hairstylist turned badass freelancer, who left behind 52 years of her life in Northern Ontario, Canada for a life of freedom, love and beauty in sunny Guatemala. She has two main purposes in life: feed hungry bellies and help inspire people to live a life of joy and love.

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