Nearly 60 percent of American workers say they would choose a different career if given the chance to start over, according to a 2012 survey from Yahoo Finance and Parade Magazine.

The opportunity to start over, the opportunity to reinvent yourself, is always there. Yet few chose it. Why? Often because when you’re mid career you are comfortable even if you are unhappy. And to make things worse the idea of a midlife career change seems to get harder with each passing year. You have a lot invested in your current field and there are parts of it that you like and other parts that drive you nuts (Work Stress is Killing You: 3 Waring Signs).  I know that was the case with me before I left Operations Management.

There is always a way to find a life that fits you. One that excites your soul. Yet excuses and self doubt creep in and claiming your dream is delayed another year. Then another…then another…until you forget you had a dream.

The thing is that YOU have to be important to you. Your dreams and the impact the future you will have on this world are not something that are to be put on hold indefinitely but something you have to fight for; plan for and claim.

Does this sound a bit dramatic for an article about midlife career changes? Good because that’s the point. You’re leaving your dream on the table and I’m up in arms about it because THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO YOU JUST HAVE TO WANT IT BAD ENOUGH AND BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH IT.

There is a story I read recently which embodies that last sentence. Ryan Reed is a 21 year old NASCAR driver who started racing when he was 4 years old. By 2011 his career was starting to boom and he got a taste living his dream. Until he was diagnosed with type 1 debates (T1D)…

He was told that he couldn’t race because everything about this sport from the heat to the stress could cause his blood sugar to rise mid-race. Yet Ryan knew that there had to be a way…

He started searching for solutions. With consultation from doctors and his team a plan was developed. He now has a sensor on my stomach when he races that transfers a blood sugar signal to his crew including a 3 hour trend Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor. He has a crew member specifically trained to administrator an insulin injection. He has an endurance drink that runs through his helmet when his blood glucose get too high. A crew member is also prepped to give him glucagon but he’s never needed it. He works with a dietitian to maintain a strict eating plan and he exercises regularly which is an essential part of his management plan.

“What Ryan did was create from the get-go a team. Being proactive the way Ryan’s managed is the way to do it. He didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself. That spirit is something I really respect.” Anne Peters, MD.

I could not agree with Anne Peters more (Ryan’s endocrinologist, professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and director of the USC Westside Center for Diabetes).


Copyright 2015, Mary R Miller