I see her so clearly in my mind. An eleven-year-old girl, sitting outside. Sometimes in the hot, Texas sun on a playground. Sometimes on the swing set in the back yard. Most often on the screened-in-porch, safe from predators buzzing about. And always … always, with a pencil and paper in hand. She would write for hours. Pages and pages of stories and poems brought emotions and dreams closer to reality. Somehow, she knew she was born to write and always would. This little girl decided in junior high she would seek a journalism degree and never questioned the path for a minute.
My career reinvention after fifty takes another turn this week. This particular turn is very special to me. Most of my writing career has been on a freelance basis due simply to life, financial choices, and parenting. It was an honor to teach journalism for almost 18 years and oversee award winning publications produced by amazing young people. But, now, at 62, it is finally my turn!
This week I join the full time staff at a major local publishing company in San Antonio. They produce three popular magazines and several online publications well respected in the industry here. I have done freelance work for them since last August. We share a mission to bring quality content to women of all ages in our market. I will be producing journalistic content as well as marketing content and assist with website development and social media. To join this staff is that little girl’s dream come true…to be a member of a print publication team.
Confidence is one of the critical steps which took me boldly to their doorstep. I have more confidence in myself right now than ever before. But, I know there are some who allow age and regrets to hold you back. Here is what I recommend if you are also on a path of reinvention:
- WRITE A MISSION STATEMENT. Write a personal and professional mission statement for the remainder of your life. What would you like to accomplish and where can you make a difference? Write it down and post it someplace you will see it often. On my path of reinvention since last spring, I have said NO to many opportunities outside the lines of my mission. I ran every decision through the mission statement.
- HONESTLY ASSESS YOUR TALENTS. Focus on your strengths and talents. What do you do well and where can you go to find a business or brand who would appreciate your experience and strengths? There is no one like you.
- ASK! If you do not ask, you will not have. I wrote the publisher a powerful letter of why he needed me and how I could make what he does better. He called me and said, “How could I not meet with you after reading this? I would be a fool!” So often we women are too shy to promote ourselves. If you do not have the courage to self-promote, the parade may pass you by.
- BE BOLD! Go for the dream job. Do not listen to naysayers who may say otherwise. You never know what may happen. And always, always DO MORE than asked.
- MAKE SURE YOU ARE LOOKING YOUR BEST. First impressions do matter. Take time for you. Take time to look and feel your best so you are confidently at the top of your game in every way. I always want to appear as if I own the company and there is no need to spend big bucks to look that way if on a tight budget.
- CARE FOR YOUR HEALTH. One of the most important reminders. Without our health we do not have the ability to move forward and pursue our dreams.
Have a look at the image below. I found many of these reminders on Pinterest (Of course – where else does one go for inspiration?) and have posted them in my planner for this time of my life. Each one speaks volumes. Use the ones that mean most to you.
I hope this has helped many of you today. I will be working round the clock at the publishing company… as a blogger… as a contributor here… and as a wife, mom, grandmother and friend. And I’ll be smiling the whole way.
Have a great week!