So you have hit the big Five Oh – what are your feelings? Career over, no future, younger fasttrackers pushing you out, no more promotion, dinosaur shoved in the cupboard, nothing left except the slippery slope to being a nonentity? Well how very dramatic of you!! Also, totally unfounded, not to mention negative! Give yourself a shake and drive away those dark thoughts and start thinking about you – So what can you do to give yourself a rosier future?

It all depends on clarity, mindset and focused action!

Firstly, you need to think about that key word ‘retirement’. What does retirement actually mean to you? Is it a brick wall that you haven’t yet imagined going beyond? Or, is it an exciting opportunity to develop and enhance your life? Trust me, you really do need to know what your vision of retirement is – not just the lead up to it, not just the actual official day of retiring, not the things you won’t have to do any more, but way beyond that… What will you do, what are your options, how do you want to spend your time, how active will you be – the how, what, when, where, why and who? You need a clear vision on this then you can work backwards from that…

Let’s imagine you have done that…

On the whole, you have 3 paths to choose from on hitting 50:

  1. Turbocharge your existing career and reach the zenith of your capabilities.
  2. Refocus your direction to incorporate more of what success means to you which isn’t necessarily a direct path from what you are doing now, so could involve lateral movement or focus on other aspects and strengths.
  3. Moving into a different sphere and creating your own business, consultancy or other entity whether it is based on your ‘corporate’ skills or your personal interests, talents and passions.

All three are eminently possible and can renew your zest for life. In addition, you have many advantages at your age that younger people don’t – briefly:

  • You know yourself better so it is easier to align your priorities
  • You have more time. Normally children have left home or at least are independent so you don’t have to organize your life around them – this gives you a clear focus on your own professional and personal objectives.
  • You aren’t so bothered with colleague’s opinions and don’t have to prove yourself as you already have the knowledge, experience and wealth of understanding about the challenges, solutions and best practices that best fit your strengths, interests and talents.
  • You know who you really want around you, and who you don’t!
  • You have a considerable network of contacts whose knowledge and experience can help you as well as you being able to offer yours to help them.
  • You know what you are good at, and where you need to delegate or improve your skills.

How can you decide which path to take?

Start by really analysing yourself in depth. Do the Wheel of Life exercise to see where your balance is now and how you would like to change it, Use the SCOPE process to find clarity on your thoughts, strengths and passions, you can also create a vivid vision for yourself and/or your business (see Cameron Herold’s article).

What is the best way forward?

Start by being practical, what do you need to do to make your choice happen? How can you do this? What outside help or support do you need? Do you need to take into account any income strategies if there is a transition period?

With clarity, research, planning, focus and determination you can move forward in your chosen direction and maximize the pleasure what you are doing along the way. Don’t hesitate, you deserve it!

If you are interested in receiving more detailed information and practical exercises on how to do this, you can get my free regular tips and resources in ‘Anna’s Analysis’ – Shaping Your Own Future.

Why not share your thoughts and questions, do please write them in the comments box below. Together we are stronger and by sharing our experience we can help each other along our chosen paths.


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Anna Letitia Cook

Anna Letitia Cook is passionate about mentoring women in finding clarity and fulfilment in their choices. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd to help women shape their own future.