DEAR HARRIETTE: I am an older woman, and I would like to leave the job that I’ve been working at for decades. I find that my creativity and my desire to do something different are not being fulfilled. I fear that it is too late for me to follow my dreams, and I have too much to lose -- I am in my 50s now, and I have a family to support. I know that people say it is never too late to follow your dreams, but I am trying to be pragmatic. I cannot abandon my job altogether, but I fear if I don’t leave now, I’ll be stuck here for the rest of my life. What steps should I take? -- Practicality
DEAR PRACTICALITY: Make a plan. Rather than doing anything rash, think about what you would like to do. Perhaps there is a hobby that you can practice that will allow you the creative outlet that you crave. Sometimes adding an activity outside of the workplace can be incredibly satisfying because it also helps you to nurture your whole life, not just your work life.
If there is a career change that you desire, figure out what it is. Do you have the skills, or should you take a class to get yourself ready? Can you volunteer in that area of interest in your free time? Volunteering is an effective way of gaining skills and a soft entry into a new experience. The point: Don’t give up. Get creative. It is never too late!