By Leah Campbell | The Muse
Christine O’Neill was 48 years old when she turned her life upside down. Leaving behind a career in medicine and hospital leadership, she set out on her own to start an executive coaching practice.
Like so many considering midlife career changes, O’Neill dealt with a fear of failure and the negative opinions of others trying to stop her from taking what they saw as too big a risk. By the time most people reach 40, they’re settled into their careers and a way of life that’s become familiar, which makes considering a career change all the more daunting.
“We become comfortable with our income, our work title and status, and our physical trappings of success. Starting something new means risking all of that, and humans are hardwired for safety and stability,” O’Neill says.
But if burnout or a lack of fulfillment have become everyday burdens in your career, or if there’s a dream you’ve wanted to chase your entire life, taking that risk may feel worth it. It was for O’Neill.
Now she and two other career coaches have some advice for anyone looking to make a similar change after 40.