A 3 minute read continuing from my previous blog on reigniting your career aged 50, offering 7 more life lessons for work and home.
Fabulous at Fifty
Hurtling towards 50 as I am (6 months now and counting…), recently I’ve been hit by a sudden appreciation of my own wisdom, borne out of a half century of lived experiences. And I’m not alone. Far from antiquated attitudes of women being ready for the professional scrap heap, I see time and again, with my “queenager”* women in law clients, a doubling down: time to put their feet firmly on the gas pedal and accelerate career progression. They are ready to make full use of life experiences and the benefits on the horizon afforded by emptying nests. A healthy dose of time and ambition combine to finally, and with full commitment, empower them to “go for it” at work.
Reflect. Re-think. Re-group
If you are one of those women, don’t be side-lined or written off. You have as much right as the next person to be there, and progress. You have earned your stripes. You belong.
And if reality doesn’t live up to the imagined “equal entitlement”, then take a moment. Reflect. Re-think. Re-group.
Think about the lessons from your own life that you have to share.
As promised, this is the sequel to mine. Part Two of the living document first published August 2023, with the first 15 of doubtless many more life lessons still to come. Watch out for future blogs. I’m considering making them into a series, including further reflections on topics from Confidence to Cancer, Mindset to Menopause, Resilience to Rising within your career, and the working parent conundrum. Let me know if you have a preference as to which you want to land first!
My hope is that by sharing, they’ll help motivate. By applying even only one or two, perhaps you’ll turn dreams to plans; convert wishes into objectives achieved.
Here are my final seven…until next time, of course!
1. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
You may not appreciate in moments of extreme challenge that there are life lessons to be learned there. Your resilience may be sorely tested, but in time, you will look back and appreciate the wisdom you can now impart from those challenges and better support/ inspire others as a result.
2. Blind Faith
In business, as careers, don’t let blind loyalty impede personal growth or career progression. Sometimes it takes a brave decision to plough your own furrow, which others neither appreciate nor understand. I came to realise this myself on starting my own business, and resigning from Chambers shortly thereafter, after nearly 2 decades at the criminal Bar.
3. Ignore the Nay-sayers
Likewise, don’t let nay-sayers block your path. If I’d listened to those undermining my desire to do voluntary work on Death Row in Jamaica, likely I wouldn’t have (1) gone to do the most transformational work of my entire career or (2) written a book about the experiences. I’m thankful I paid them no attention or heed.
4. Say Yes to Opportunities
Say yes to opportunities, even when they take you down an unexpected path that you’ve not previously anticipated or planned for. There ahead lie some of the most powerfully transformative moments in life. Adopt a growth mindset around those opportunities. Take them.
5. Live a life true to yourself
By the same token, find the courage to live a life true to yourself as opposed to the life others expect. Doing otherwise leads to an inauthentic existence and doesn’t feature in the list of top five regrets of the dying for no reason!
6. Success Defined
Define success for you and no one else, particularly when it comes to your career. Not all career progression occurs, as per the status quo, on a career ladder, pointing sky-ward. There’s lots to commend a squiggly or portfolio career. Sometimes you just have keep the faith and back yourself.
7. Start before you’re ready
There will never feel the right or perfect time to do the big and scary goals, and if there does, either you likely will have wasted some or the goals are not big or scary enough! Go for it.
What will you risk doing, and differently?
When things feel a little rocky, there’ll be a resilience lesson in there for you too.
Stand firm. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
* Queenager: a mid-life woman, comfortable with her 40/ 50 years, and living as freely as she did in her teenage years.
Other topics coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled.
Nikki Alderson Biography
Nikki Alderson, specialist coach, speaker, author, and former Criminal Barrister:
- supports legal organisations retain female talent; and
- empowers female lawyers to achieve career ambitions.
Nikki specialises in:
- Women leadership;
- Enhanced career break returner support; and
- Workplace resilience, confidence and wellness.
She is the author of Amazon No.1 Bestseller Raising the Bar: empowering female lawyers through coaching, (https://amzn.to/3fodKQX), nominee for 2019 Inspirational Women Awards, and finalist in 2020 Women in Law Awards and 2019 International Coaching Awards.