Yes, although in our 60s and 70s now, baby boomers are still changing careers. After decades as a lawyer, Lorie Eber was determined to… and she succeeded. From lawyer to wellness coach. This is an excerpt from the book she wrote about it: How I Escaped Legal Practice and Got Myself a Life.
If nothing else, my career exploration had ameliorated my worry that I was no more than a one-trick pony. I was capable of pursuing any number of different paths in search of my second career and fully convinced that my strategy of letting karma guide my direction was ultimately going to stand me in good stead.
I’ve never had a determination deficit, but this journey also required a truckload of bravery and resilience. My dad had instilled in me a deep sense that any type of work, if done well, is deserving of respect. He’d taught me to appreciate and acknowledge the helpful handyman in our apartment building, the gardener who kept the grass alive, and the cashier at the local deli. This egalitarian attitude allowed me to cheerfully pay my dues at the bottom of the heap in elder care and teaching, and to willingly take direction from people half my age. I expected to have to prove myself and was confident I could do so. As long as I was able to use my brain, acquire new information, and develop skills, I knew I would succeed at any pursuit I chose.
I was in the midst of a remarkable and stimulating journey of self-discovery. I’d dug under quite a few layers of tough-guy Lorie and discovered a well-protected softer center that I now felt comfortable exposing. I actually liked myself a lot more.
By far the most personally gratifying change I’d made was putting my husband at the forefront of my life, a vow I’d made to myself when I retired. Exposing a somewhat squishy, less guarded version of myself was scary but amazingly rewarding. In doing so, I was navigating in uncharted waters, but the deepening sense of connection was undeniably wonderful. It far exceeded the fleeting satisfaction of any of my career achievements. Prior to reordering my priorities, I was not at all sure I could allow myself to be vulnerable enough to expose my deepest fears and doubts to another human being. Until I married Wes I’d gone through life peeking out of, and then retreating back into my tortoise shell as a way to protect myself from emotional wounds.
I could definitely envision myself doing one-on-one coaching with clients who were motivated to improve their health habits and had come to the realization that they needed guidance and accountability from a professional. The more I read, the more my intuition told me this was something I’d be good at, while also being an undertaking that would allow me to use skills from many parts of my eclectic background. Most importantly, it would feel purposeful.
Since I’d retired and had the luxury of time to contemplate my navel, it had become quite evident to me that there were two necessary ingredients for my career happiness: (1) a purposeful endeavor, and (2) human interaction. What I was reading about Wellness Coaching gave me confidence that this was a field that I would find gratifying and something I could likely do for as long as I wanted to continue to work.