You Are Never Too Old To Switch Careers
Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! If you're new to grace + hudson, I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I want to stress the importance of "you're never too old." I speak to a lot of women who want to make a big career change like I did, and sometimes I hear, "Yeah but I'm already 30 years old and I feel like I'm too old to switch careers." No, no, no. And another no. You are NEVER too old to change course.
Think about it - we're asked around the age of 20, give or take, to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives. I had NO idea who I was at 20. I thought I did. But I had no idea. Some of us are lucky at that age and pick a beautiful career right out the gate. But most of us don't. The average person does change course at least once in their lifetime and - even if you don't make a huge career change - the average person holds 12 jobs during their working life. That's a lot of change! And that's a good thing. You should never feel trapped in a job or so stifled that you are no longer growing and learning.
When I quit my lawyer job, I was 36 years old. I practiced law for 11 years. Sure, I could've said, "Oh I have already invested so much in this career, I can't leave now." But I put my mental health and wellbeing first, and I have to say it was the single best decision I've ever made. I am so much happier, but also so much healthier. When I was a lawyer, I was miserable and because I was so unhappy, I was often sick. Thankfully with nothing serious, but I always had a stomachache. I always had a cold. I never felt good. Looking back, I now know that was my body trying to tell me something. I wonder what kind of condition my body would be in today, or ten years from now, if I stayed in the legal profession. Literally, I look younger today at 41 than I do in some pictures of me as a lawyer when I was age 30. It's a little scary to be honest. I tell you all of this because you should never feel too old to change careers, especially when your mental and physical wellbeing are at stake. Staying in a toxic career or job will take years off your life. No one can endure that for too long without consequences.
Over the years, I've met so many former lawyers (and other career professionals) doing different things with their lives now. You see, I have this sign outside my shop in Charleston that says "Jewelry designed in Charleston by a former lawyer pursuing a happier life." And that sign brings a lot of people into my shop. I hear the best stories from people who've made similar career jumps. Some left their professions when they were young, some left when they were much older. The stories really do run the spectrum. There is no "right" time and there is no "I'm too old to make a change now." Sure, it stinks to have "wasted" time in a career that didn't work out in the long run, but I equate it to a divorce. Sure, it stinks to have "wasted" time in a relationship that didn't last a lifetime, but I'm sure with some time and space both parties to that relationship can look back and see all the ways they grew and changed and learned during that relationship. It did serve a purpose. It wasn't a failure and a waste. And that's how you have to look at a career that just isn't working out for you. You learned from it, and chances are, the skills you learned in that job are going to be crucial for success in your next job. It's funny how things work out like that.
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P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I created a Weekly Journal board so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!
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