As a career coach, I hear these expressions of fear all the time – “Can I really start over in a new career at this age?” “How on earth would I learn how to do that?” “I can’t have a career in technology; I missed that boat!” “I can’t even imagine myself in that [name one] career!”
Fear I’ve already Missed Out
It can be hard to imagine yourself in a new career; particularly one you think is too “young” for you. So my question back tends to be “How can a career be too young for you?” And then I realize that the person who has said this believes they’re too late, too old, too done to learn new things. They’re suffering from FIMO – Fear I’ve already Missed Out. I read a lot about FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – but I’ve never read anything about FIMO.
Here’s what I think about FIMO. This fear is really about not knowing how to find a bridge from where you are now to where you want to go. You can’t picture what a bridge to your next career would look like, so you probably wouldn’t recognize it if you saw it. That’s the job of a coach – to help you find that bridge. And if we can’t help you find the bridge, it’s our job to help you build it.
You’re not too old!
For example, right now my client, Karen, has an idea for a great app (formerly known as a software program). She’s already tried several things to bring it to market. She’s presented it to an incubator (where investors invest in companies who have products they think will be hits); she’s gone to workshops on how to market it. She hasn’t gotten any traction (or help). Now she’s doing a couple of classes on coding. And Karen is over 50.
Although she has never pictured herself as a programmer, she’s motivated to try it out because she wants to share her app with the world. She’s using the drive to get her app out there to bridge the gap of thinking she’s too old to learn how to program or that she’s not a tech person.
A compelling reason to try something new.
It’s not that she has to find a new career or develop new skills; it’s that she has a compelling reason to risk learning something new, a reason to move beyond her comfort level to try something radically different.
What about you? Do you have a compelling reason to try something new? Are you looking for a way back into the workplace? Or, are you looking for a new career? Do you long for a way to develop skills that lead to a new or revitalized career? Are you looking for self-determination in your career? Are you stuck because you just can’t picture how to get started?
You can build your own bridge.
Here’s the thing. You can build your own bridge. Really, you can. There has never been a better time to try on new jobs, learn new skills, and take risks. Why? Because there is so much information available to you online at little or no cost.
You can find someone who is doing what you’d like to do (check with your friends, look on LinkedIn). You can talk to them and see how they got started. You can find a class where you can refresh your skills or pick up new ones.
Try things out for free!
You can try new things out at home for free (or really cheap). And, if you don’t like what you’re trying out, you can pick something else. There’s no risk involved. You’re just trying it out. It’s not a test – and it’s definitely not a final exam – it’s certainly not the final answer!!
Or, and I have to mention this one, if you can’t quite put your finger on what you want to try, you can find a career coach to help you identify options. Career coaches can also help you start building your bridge to the next thing. By the way, I know a good one….
When you take that first step towards building your own bridge, you stake your claim to control over your future.
Arm yourself against FIMO!
So, with all of this in mind (particularly FIMO), I’d like to introduce you to my newest project, The Women’s Technology Conservatory. I created the Conservatory because there is no place women can go to to learn about and explore career options in technology – a field many women have given up on.
The Conservatory is designed as a bridge between the belief that you’ve already missed out on technology careers and the reality that it’s not too late at all. I created it so you can do more than imagine yourself as a programmer – you can picture yourself in one of the many other tech careers that exist in the world right now. Then you can pursue that career!
The first cohorts will start at the beginning of February. The program includes coaching, talks with tech professionals representing the wide variety of tech careers, face-to-face and virtual support with your cohort, workshops, and opportunities for job shadowing and internships. Women who participate in the first 2 cohorts will have extra support and unique opportunities.
If you’re interested in this one-of-a-kind opportunity, please let me know by clicking here. I’ll contact you and we’ll get everything set up.