So – you’ve been very successful in your career choices and have done an outstanding job receiving promotions and growing your skill sets – and your personal finances have increased. You are over 40 and you just realize that the personal satisfaction of a job well done just isn’t hitting the mark.
I had the good fortune of hearing a story this past week at a College Board meeting. We were presenting to the board that morning and prior to our turn, they had two recognitions at the beginning of the agenda, one for a student and one for a professor. I noticed the student looked a bit older than you would expect. When she was introduced, she gave her background – very much like my opening statement. She had been in the hospitality industry, starting in retail, travelling for this hotel chain, and working her way up to General Manager, so quite successful. She had an opportunity of working with one of the fire departments in her county where some of the team stayed at her hotel as needed. She learned a lot about what they did, realizing she really wanted to be a paramedic.
To shorten this story, she followed her passion by enrolling in the state college and worked through all that was required – she was in the category of non-traditional student, a bit world-wise and mature, with a passion for learning. When she got to the part about not completing a key exam to receive her certificate, she shared her fears of having to take the term over again, worrying about how the staff and trainers would perceive her (around this time I’m now crying) – to her surprise and joy, there were hugs and a continuous support – suffice it to say she passed with flying colors and is now working in a field that brings her a great feeling of joy and accomplishment. And to close the loop, she was assigned to the fire station where she made great friends and received encouragement to pursue her goals. She was there to receive an award but really to thank the board of this center of learning for achieving her lifelong dream. What a great way to start the morning!
It’s never too late – you can find a way to do what makes you feel special and to contribute in your community – leaving it just a little better.