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5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40 – Understanding Fears (Podcast Workshop Series Day 1) | Ep #130

April 22, 2024

5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40 – Understanding Fears and Assessing Risks (Podcast Workshop Series Day 1) | Ep #130 5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40! Step #1 Understanding Fears and Assessing Risks When It Comes To A Career Change (Podcast Workshop Series Day 1) | Ep […]

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5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40 – Understanding Fears and Assessing Risks (Podcast Workshop Series Day 1) | Ep #130

5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40! Step #1 Understanding Fears and Assessing Risks When It Comes To A Career Change (Podcast Workshop Series Day 1) | Ep #130

In this 5 episode Podcast Workshop Series, host and career transition coach Shannon Russell walks you through 5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40. In Episode #130, Shannon discusses strategies you can use to help you understand your fears around making a career change and how to mitigate the risks. Take a listen to Episode #130 of the Second Act Success Career Podcast to hear Part 1 of this 5 part Podcast Workshop Series. 

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Episode #130 - Understanding Your Fears and Assessing Your Risks

Episode #130 – Understanding Your Fears and Assessing Your Risks

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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - 5 Ways To Make A Fearless Career Change Over 40 - Understanding Fears and Assessing Risks (Podcast Workshop Series Day 1) | Ep #130
Episode - #130
Host: Shannon Russell
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Shannon Russell: Over the next five days, I will be sharing five moves for a fearless career change over 40. This advice and this podcast series we're designed to help you mitigate the risks as you move along on your career change journey.

Hey, you, are you feeling stuck, desperate for a career change or thinking of starting a business, but you're just not sure how to make your first move? I'm television producer turned career coach, Shannon Russell, and this is the Second Act Success Career Podcast. This is where you will not only get the career advice you've been craving, but you'll get tips from career and business experts.

along with inspiration from others who have made a career transition to find second act success. Let's get started.

Welcome back. I am your host Shannon Russell. And I'm about to bring you a brand new podcast workshop series.

Over the next five days, I will be sharing five moves for [00:01:00] a fearless career change over 40. This advice and this podcast series we're designed to help you mitigate the risks as you move along on your career change journey.

I am going to break down these five specific ways that you can set yourself up for risk-free career change and how you can do it, feeling confident and ready to take on a whole new you. Throughout these episodes, we will dive into those natural fears. Around career transitions and how you can create a solid supportive surrounding and feel empowered as you overcome obstacles and pursue your true aspirations. My goal with this podcast series workshop. Is to teach you how to build that confidence I truly believe that the more prepared and educated you are on the change, you're embarking on the more confident and excited you will be. That confidence will help you move towards your goal that much [00:02:00] faster.

I created a workbook to help you as you listen, you can grab that now at

This workbook is packed with strategies to help you achieve your goal

There is a goal commitment contract with information on how to really zone in on what it is you want. There are also questions. Journal prompts, note pages, lots of ways for you to gather that information in your head and put it down on paper.

On this episode of the podcast series, we are going to dive into understanding fears and assessing your risks. On the next episode, 1 31, we're going to tackle financial planning and how you can build a safety net right now to prepare you for when you do make that pivot.

Episode 1 32 is all about skills and education and how you can feel confident in this career decision that you're making.

Later in the week on episode 1 33, we are going to discuss contingency plans [00:03:00] and flexibility, and how you can really set yourself up with a great schedule planning and that flexibility that's needed when you are making a major transition in your career and in your life.

And finally an episode, 1 34, it's going to be all about how you can take that leap with confidence.

So this whole podcast series, these five episodes. Are meant for you to listen to in order.

And that's why you have the workbook as a tool to use as you listen to all five episodes.

By the end of these five episodes,

you will have all of the tools you'll need to crush your fears and reduce risk as you navigate your way to a carefree career change. I will also be hosting a Live Zoom Q&A later this week and we'll be diving more into everything we've been discussing in this podcast series. So bring your questions and make a note in your calendar for the Live Zoom Q&A Call. On Thursday, April 25th at 1:00 [00:04:00] PM. Eastern time. Okay, let's get started. As we talk about some ways you can understand your fears and assess your risks.

When you make a shift in your career.


Making a shift over the age of 40 can seem scary to a lot of people, but if you're confident in what you've done in your career, up until this point, then thinking about what it is that you want to do for that second act of your life is really going to be more of an exciting adventure. Than a scary decision. So let's start talking about that fear that often comes with career change and that we might often hear from friends and colleagues and family members, when we discuss, wanting to get unstack. wanting to move to something else. And wanting to leave the security of the job you have now. To pursue something else. Society has really taught us that if you get good grades, you go to school and you graduate, then you'll [00:05:00] get that job in the field of your choice.

And then you can climb that ladder and work your way all through life until retirement.

We are also taught to veer off this destined path would be taboo. So when you get that job that you've worked so hard for, and a few years later, you realize that you don't actually like the work you're doing. That's when the problems arise. And the question comes up of what do you do now? I want you to tell me if you can relate to any of these following thoughts. Who am I to think about switching things up? Shouldn't I be grateful to just have a job.

I spent so much time and money getting to this point in my career. I can't just throw it away.

What would my parents, my partner, my friends, my coworkers, think. This work is what I am experienced in. If I leave this career, what else [00:06:00] can I do? Leaving to try something else just seems scary. What if I fail? As much as I may not love what I do.

I like my schedule. I like my coworkers. I'm just comfortable. Shouldn't I just suck it up. The grass isn't always greener.

If I leave this work, who am I? People know me for what I do.

I have great benefits. So I probably should just stick it out for another year or so.

What if I have to start somewhere else at a lower position with lower pay.

The timing. Isn't perfect. I have a lot plan this year. Maybe I'll just talk about a career change or finding a new job next year.

What if I look into a new career and I find out that I actually need more training, or I have to go back to school.

I'm afraid that if I decide to leave where I am now that I'm going to burn a bridge and never be able to work in this industry again.

Okay. Those were some of the thoughts that [00:07:00] I've heard from clients that I've heard from friends. That are really genuine thoughts that are fear-based that are. You know, based on what we are taught as a society about the way we should look at work.

Now I want you to reframe the negative thoughts. And try to change your mindset. It's all about self-esteem confidence putting off those negative thoughts. And stopping the pudding down of yourself. You don't want to think that you can't do something. Just because you're scared. You don't want to put yourself down and say that you might not be good at something.

If you haven't tried. So really all of what we're going to do is try to reframe those negative thoughts. For example, who am I to think about switching things up? Shouldn't I be grateful to just have a job. How would you reframe that?

You would say, well, I do want to switch things up. I guess if other people can do [00:08:00] it, I can do it too. I'm very grateful for the job that I have, but I'm confident in my abilities that if I try to venture into this new career path, I can probably be really successful over there too.

Whenever you start to feel that fear creeping in. Just try to stop yourself and reframe those negative thoughts. Try to be a little kinder to yourself. Give yourself more credit.

Now when we think about making a drastic change in our career, There's a lot of psychological and emotional impact that that fear can have on our decision making process

if you have this fear. In your mind and your heart all over, then you're going to start to doubt yourself. You're going to stop taking those action steps. You're going to second guess yourself.

That's all part of fear. Trying to creep in. Our emotions control a lot of what we do, obviously. So when we listen to friends and families and coworkers and. [00:09:00] Really bring in that outside world to ask them what we should do on a more personal level.

Like making that decision to change careers, to start a business, to make this transition into doing something else for a living. When we bring these people into that decision, it not only affects us emotionally, but it really does affect us psychologically as far as. What that decision is that we will make, if someone says, oh, I don't think that's a great idea.

It sounds a little risky. Why not to stay where you are. A lot of the things that, most of us here, when we tell people that we are going to make a change of some sort. In our work in our lives. That really does weigh on us and it can make you second guess yourself maybe if you were starting to map out your plan, your exit strategy, if you will, if you were working on that and now all of a sudden someone tells you that it's a little bit risky, [00:10:00] you might pull back. It's a way of you feeling again, it goes back to that confidence, you feeling confident in your decision and what it is that you're doing. We'll allow you to have a more, I guess, thicker skin when you are talking to people and you're letting them know what you're doing. So that you don't feel that sudden withdraw that set in. Ooh.

Yeah, you're right. Maybe this isn't a good decision for me. When you have that. Confidence you can move forward and think for yourself a little bit more. Oftentimes I tell my coaching clients. That if they are thinking of making a big change in their life, if they're looking to leave their job, Move companies start a business, whatever it might be. And they're not sure what the people around them will think. I often advise them to keep it to themselves.

Hold it close to the vest. [00:11:00] While you do your research while you make your plans while you really figure it out. With me and myself and I let's figure it out. Just you as a person with yourself. And then you can go ahead. Once you're a little bit more confident and you can make that move forward.

And we're going to talk about this on another episode later in this podcast workshop series. But I do want to just let you know that that is a way. Of mitigating some of that decision fatigue all goes back to kind of protecting yourself when you're making this big decision and kind of. you know, There will always be a level of emotion in making that kind of decision. But in order to do it in a way where there's less fear, it really does come down to you trying to look at all the risks and decide, okay. If I change jobs, if I start a business, if I'm no longer doing what I'm [00:12:00] doing is my identity really lost. One of the fears we talked about a few minutes ago was, well, if I leave this job, that is what people know me for, who am I, if I'm not doing this work. That is the whole idea of career identity being that your identity is wrapped in what you do for a living.

We need to think about that as being no. I can change jobs and I'm still the same person with the same set of skills. The same experiences so I can go and start a business. I can go try. A different job or move to a different department in my company. And I can always go back and do what I did because it's a part of me.

As an example, I am a teacher. No, I am Jane Smith and Jane Smith is going to leave her profession as a teacher. And go into marketing because that's something that she's always had a fascination for. [00:13:00] And so she can take her experience and her skills from teaching and use the similar skills and experience. That she has from teaching and move that into her new role in marketing. And you know what?

She is still a teacher and she's still Jane Smith and she is still working in marketing at the current time. That just all goes into the lifelong resume. I like to say. Of who a person is. You are not losing your identity. I think when you start thinking about that, that limits the risk as well.

So really, if we were to go back to all, or if you were to rewind this podcast, you know, about two, three minutes and go back to that list of potential fears and objections when it comes to career change and listen to each of them and then pause and go back and turning it, flipping it on its head and really taking the fear out of that and stating that quote unquote fear for what [00:14:00] it really is. Another example, what if I have to change careers, but I have to start out at a lower position and with lower salary pay. Okay.

Well, how about shifting that fear , what can I do right now? To set a plan in place where I can start saving up enough money, knowing that when I do exit my current role, and I start looking for this new. Opportunity. That I will have enough money saved or I will at least feel a little bit more confident and secure because I had put this plan in place.

I had thought about it ahead of time. That is mitigating that risk that is lessening, that fear. As far as the starting at a lower position, you can say, well, if I'm switching jobs, even though I have this experience in the past, from where I currently work, what I've currently done, I am going to have to start fresh at this new company in this new role in this [00:15:00] new. The apartments and I'm going to have to prove myself just like I did when I was 21 or 22, I was starting out in the working world.

Looking at it like, Hey, this is kind of an opportunity that is expected. And I'm confident in my past experience and my skills that I'm going to nail this job and be able to move up as fast as possible because I'm going to give it my all.

This new opportunity is also going to be a chance to learn new skills, meet new people and test myself. It's a new adventure for me and new challenge for me to face and take on.

That's a really cool opportunity to have, to change that mindset and kind of look for the positive. And what otherwise would look like a negative, A fear-based objection.

If you will, to a career change. I hope those examples, clear it up a little bit for you and paint a broader picture of what I'm trying to get at.


Next I love to dive into personal growth. Personal growth is something that many of us [00:16:00] work towards and we strive for in life. It's also not an easy thing. Personal growth takes time, dedication, wisdom, and really clarity,

knowing what you want to work towards do you want to learn more? Do you want to see more? Do you want to travel? Do you want to learn a language? Do you want to. Work on different parts of you that you feel can use some improvement.

When you're thinking about personal growth, you want to think about. What it means to you longterm? What are the goals you want to accomplish? In your career, what are the goals you want to accomplish in your life? When you start to think about the fear. And you let that fear creep in that's when you might slink back and say, Ooh, I'm just going to stick with the status quo. It's safer to kind of stay over here. And not venture into what my life or my career could be. . If you've had this dream, since you were little about writing a book. If you have always wanted to study the [00:17:00] stars and learn more about astronomy, then maybe that is something that is worth that risk,

maybe that's something that is worth you stepping outside of your comfort zone to accomplish that personal goal and have that. Personal growth in your life and in your career. So it's something that you'll never regret later. There's also ways of doing that in a really. More streamlined way, where it can be safer, where you can make that plan logistically of how you can get from where you are now to where you want to be. And really make those stepping stones to get you there in a safe way so that you can accomplish that plan.

You can accomplish that goal and there's a little bit less risk. So really at this stage, when we talk about personal growth and personal goals, It's a matter of you doing that. Risk assessment and saying, is it worth it for me? To step outside of my comfort zone and try to accomplish this. Or is the fear too.

Great. And is it just [00:18:00] worth me? Putting that up on a shelf and staying where I am. That's something that only you can decide that is a very, very personal decision. . That is something that you want to sit in and you want to really reflect on and do that self assessment to kind of understand. What it is you want and how worth it, those goals are to you.


All right. I want to also talk about. Self-assessments. And when I talk about self-assessments, it really is kind of what we've been talking about in this episode. So far about really looking inward, asking yourself, how do you feel? What are your goals? What do you want to do? How do you feel when it comes to risks?

How are you letting other people influence you? All of the things. Self assessment is such an easy thing to do, but it's something that's. So few of us do. It's really about taking that time to sit with yourself, to turn inward and to examine your [00:19:00] life as it is right now at this moment to ask yourself, how are you doing? Are you happy with what you're doing? Is anything missing.

When you can ask those questions, that's when you really get to learn about yourself and about where you are right now. Because so many times we're so busy going from one thing to the other and chasing the goals and driving the kids places doing all of the things that we don't stop to say, Hey, where am I?

How am I. What can I do better? Am I reaching my personal goals. Am I where I want to be? And when you can take that time and really self-assess in that way, you can realize so many things about yourself. And so You can do this in different ways. I often talk to my students in my membership program, my coaching clients. I often talk to them about. Making it super simple, take out a piece of paper and make a list of everything that you love about [00:20:00] your work and your life right now. Make another list about things that just don't sit right with you, whether it's at work or in your personal life. But make a list of those things that if you had the chance to not encounter again, that you wouldn't. So now you have a list of things that you really do enjoy and elicit things that aren't sitting well with.

You. And now you're going to make a list of goals and this can be. Dreams like we said before, writing a book. It can be traveling to a new place. It can be taking up a certain hobby. Starting a small business of your own, the outstanding wishes that you might have. Anything that, you know, you really do sit there and go, oh, I wish I did this.

Or. that would have been really fun to do when I was younger. You are only the age you are now. Once, so take age out of it and make a list of all of those wishes, all of those goals that you might've had at one point [00:21:00] or another in your life. And really start. Thinking about them and dissect each one and say, is this something that maybe I could work into my life right now? Could I find a new hobby to start? Could I plan that vacation. Could I think about starting that small business, could I change jobs and maybe try this new venture? now that you have these lists in front of you. It's about you again, self assessing your needs and what you could work into your life right now. If you're really looking at all of the things you do at work, that just don't sit well with you.

All of the things that make you dread Monday mornings, we want to try to get those out of the picture. And so when you look at the idea of starting a business, for example, Would you be able to create a business in a way using the skills and the things that you love? Taking out the things that really don't serve you and figuring out how you can [00:22:00] achieve that goal on your wishlist. Is there a way of transitioning and making that part of your second act.

So that's where self-assessing yourself. I can really bring about ideas and new desires to think kind of outside of the box. Just doing that with a simple, jotting down list making, , exercise. You can start to learn a little bit more about yourself and ask yourself those questions that you might not have asked yourself for quite some time. there are also other self-assessments you can take, if you want to dive a little deeper,

I am a YouMap® coach. So YouMap® is my self-assessment of choice that I use with my clients. that really takes all of your personality, your values, your likes, your dislikes, or skills, and compiles them in a way that you can take that YouMap® profile, we call it and you can look at it and kind of. Use it as you're planning your next step,

there are other tests out there that are personality tests, career tests, like Enneagram, [00:23:00] Clifton strengths finders.

Myers-Briggs, there's a ton out there. So it's just a matter of finding one. That really feels like it's going to give you the results. That'll work for you. You can always reach out to me. You can DM me on Instagram.

I'm @secondactsucceess. You can send me an email, but reach out to me. I'd be happy to give you my opinion on. All of the different assessments and help steer you in the right direction. The reason I brought up self-assessments is because I feel like it's a way of really mitigating that fear and mitigating those, wishy washy feelings you might be having about a career change, because it's going to have you get more in touch with yourself and you are the ultimate person to decide if you are moving forward in a career change or not.

No one is going to make that decision, but you, you are going to be the one to do the outreach, to find that job, to start that business, to get that LLC. Two. Make that move to write a book, whatever it is, you are in charge. [00:24:00] So doing that, self-assessment just takes a lot of that fear out of the way.

And really makes you feel more confident and more able to move forward.

So We have talked a lot this episode about risk assessments and really assessing the risk of whatever situation you are thinking about entering into. .

When you finally get to the point where you feel like you've mitigated these risks, You feel like you're in a better space, you have a better mindset about what you're working towards and you are a little bit less afraid and more willing to take that leap. You're in a great place because that's the time where you can really start reaping all of the rewards that are around you.

You can get excited about these challenges that are in front of you. You can get excited about. Reinventing yourself. You feel more comfortable, you feel less afraid, less alone, less scared. And ready to take on. Your next steps towards a career change towards your second act because you've gone through the risks.

Okay, my friend. Well, that [00:25:00] is it for part one of this five part podcast workshop series.

Before we go, I want to leave you with this. Notion that you are not alone, you are here because you want to be fearless. In your career change. Fearless in your forties or thirties or fifties, wherever you are. But knowing that you are at the stage where you want to take a leap, you want to make a second act for yourself. You've mitigated those fears and you're ready to move forward.

Now it's time. If you have not done so already to head over to to download your free workbook. And this workbook will help you throughout this workshop series. You can also register for our live Q and a zoom call that will be happening this Thursday, April 25th at 1:00 PM. Eastern time. You can download your workbook and register for the zoom call [00:26:00]

And I will also link it for you below in the show notes as well. .

Oh, and don't worry if you can't make it live to our zoom Q and a call, just DM me over on Instagram with any questions that you have, and I'll make sure that we answer it during the call.

My Instagram handle is @secondactsuccess. You'll be able to catch everything on the replay. When I email it out later that day. All right.

I hope you learned a lot today on the episode, but guess what? We are just getting started. Tomorrow on episode 1 31. We will be tackling financial planning and how you can build a safety net to get you even more prepared as you make that leap from where you are now to where you want to be. Thank you again so much for listening and I'll catch you tomorrow.

[00:26:46] Shannon Russell: Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit co. [00:27:00] Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much.

Thank you again for listening. I'm Shannon Russell and this is Second Act Success.


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