If You're Over 50, the Decision to Leave Your Job Might Not Be Yours

You’re a highly respected subject matter expert with a successful career. You build revenue generating products and services that are used by people all over the world.

You are loyal, and your career is central to who you are. Your presence on teams inspires others to do their best work, and you approach your work with care, consistency, and integrity.

When HR tells you you’ve been let go due to a change in business direction, you are devastated. You didn’t plan to leave your job, and nothing you did at your job really prepared you for being out of work.

Confronted with the reality of signing away your legal right to object in return for your severance check, you're outraged by the injustice. You have done nothing wrong. You feel wretched and ashamed that this happened to you.

You Don’t Deserve This

You are bewildered at the prospect of starting to look for work. You’re over 50, and this job was supposed to be your last corporate position before retiring. You thought the decision to leave your job would be on your own terms.

You begin looking for a new job. Any job. You ask your friends about job openings, update your resume, log in to LinkedIn, and search for your old job title. This always works right?


Recruiters and hiring managers will smell your desperation, fear, and vulnerability. They may ignore you or waste your time with endless hours of interviews with people much younger in order to elicit your contacts and find the person they really are at your expense.

Until the moment you were shown the door, you were successful in your career. You were confident, played to your strengths, met your goals, delivered results, and offered genuine business value and mentorship. The moment after you were let go, you stopped feeling this way about yourself, as the emotions of anger, disbelief, and fear of an unknown future knocked you off balance.

Intellectually you know better than to look for a new job while you are grieving the loss of your last one, but it doesn't stop you from trying.

Hope Isn’t a Strategy

You send out your resume hoping the universe will return an interview in your inbox, but face it, who finds a job based on hope?

To save money you tighten your financial belt and stop investing in your well being, education, personal development, and social opportunities to meet others. Why? Because you don’t have the words yet to explain that you were let go recently.

Sitting behind your laptop for hours on end scouring job ads won't help you, even if you let yourself believe you are working hard to find a new job. All you are doing is becoming isolated and getting further away from the confident subject matter expert you know you are.

Here’s an idea; get some help. Stop going it alone. Interview some coaches, and find out who is the best fit to support you. A coach will metaphorically hold the seat of the bicycle as you learn to balance and ride off on your own.

Once you understand why you have arrived at this point in your life and what is important to you now that you have had some time to reflect, then you can begin to frame what you really want in your life.

There are only two conditions under which people will change, and you are meeting both of them. First is when something bad happens (job loss), or a teacher comes along to show you a new path (coach).

This is a moment for you to explore perspectives for living you may never have considered whilst you were so busy working.

Benefits of Having a Coach

A good coach will help you get clear on what your values are by taking an inventory. You will learn about the behaviors and beliefs you have that stand in the way of achieving what you want. You will rediscover where your strengths and innate powers lie.

A great coach will help you see that what you believe you want, might not be what you need. To receive this wisdom shift, you will step out of a scarcity mindset and step into a place of liminality and a positive growth mindset. From this place, you set up the conditions to hear what your soul is calling you to become.

At the moment where investing in yourself is probably the last thing on your mind, tap into your inner leader, take a leap of faith, and bet on yourself. You're worth it.

Working with a coach through a career transition is a smart move that will get you back on track to a more fulfilling career than you could have achieved on your own.

If you’d like to explore what coaching might do to help your career get back on track, take a look at my website and schedule a complimentary coaching call to see if coaching is a fit.

Image is A Pop Art Painting by Roy Lichtenstein Called Whaam!