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Are you too old to start over? Don’t underestimate yourself.

By Randi Mazzella

Whether it’s going back to school or entering a new field, you may find you have plenty to offer, and you’ll learn a lot

This article is reprinted by permission from

Debbie Halpern, 58, of New Jersey, has thought about making a career change for years. Halpern says. “I worried I was too old or maybe I wouldn’t enjoy the work. And what if I went through all that effort and, in the end, couldn’t make a good living? In retrospect, all the excuses were probably driven by an underlying fear of failure.”

Halpern is not alone. Many older adults, especially women, wonder if they should change careers. While the reasons may vary, making a change later in life can be scary, especially when you know if you do, many of your co-workers could be half your age.

Different reasons for change

In Halpern’s case, she had contemplated a career change for a long time. She says, “I thought about becoming a therapist before I initially went to college, but somehow instead I went to business school. Even though I had a successful career in business, I always thought about ‘my road not taken.'”

See: Getting older and losing confidence? Here’s how to get it back

In contrast, Kasey Kelly (a pseudonym) of New Jersey never thought about being a nurse when she was younger. An advertising executive for many years, Kelly found herself interested in a career in healthcare after one of her three children was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder.

“It was a combination of wanting to understand better what the doctors were saying and being so inspired by the nurses we met in the hospital,” Kelly says. “I decided to take one class to see if this was something I could do, and several years later, I’m a nurse, applying for jobs with people the same age as my kids.”

For Randi…


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