I’m older now and I should have __________________ a long time ago. You fill in the blank. I’ve heard responses ranging from “got that degree” to “changed jobs”.
In my work as a Career Coach, I’ve heard phrases like that too many times to count. Most people, even some in their forties can come up with at least one goal they wish they had achieved by now.
As a member of Generation X, I’ve had many conversations with people who are settling and masking feelings of fear. I’m no different. I’ve achieved many goals but there are still a few on my list. I remind myself often that with a plan those goals are still within my reach.
It’s disheartening when I talk to Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who see their age as a barrier to even attempting to reach a goal. Beyond that, they also have to contend with others around them who don’t see the value in their experience. Hiring managers and supervisors are making decisions about their employment and career mobility based on age. Ageism, although operating undercover in most cases, is real.
How you view yourself and your abilities is half the battle. Here are a few mindset tips to encourage you to celebrate your longevity and to tackle that goal once and for all.
1.Acknowledge that change is constant. Make it your mission to stay current in your field. Attend conferences and be open to learning new strategies and information. Learn to use new software and technology.
2. Recognize that your experience is irreplaceable. Experience is our greatest treasure and our biggest teacher. No one can take that from you. Your skill and experience are valuable and it matters for the right employer or business.
3. Be coachable. Regardless of age we have to be willing to learn from others and receive feedback. You can’t go wrong if you position yourself as a lifelong learner. Believe in your ability to grow.
4. Do it for yourself. Go after that goal for your own personal satisfaction. There is nothing worse than feelings of regret. Regret is an emotion that can be managed but if you really want to achieve that goal, begin to take steps in that direction. Know yourself and your limitations but above all else, you’ve got to want it for yourself.
5. Embrace the fact that aging is a privilege and a blessing. We all want to live long, fulfilling, productive lives. Aging is something we all aspire to and we’ll all get there if we’re fortunate. Don’t sell yourself short or let anyone else tell you what you can’t do.
Each year is special and precious, for you only live it once.
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