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Middle Age, Fresh Start

Sara Glaz

The idea of changing careers in midlife might seem daunting, but the courage to jump can often lead to a satisfying second act.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

After 26 years in Manhattan’s diamond district,FredMarkovitz saw the writing on the wall. Even though he had made it to the top of the industry as chairman of the board of the Diamond Dealers Club, he no longer saw a future for himself dealing diamonds. So, at 48 years old, when most people are thinking about climbing to the apex of the career ladder,Fred decided to start building a new one altogether. In his case, he went from taking care of precious stones to taking care of our precious loved ones, the elderly. But his transition wasn’t simple or easy: He dreamed of opening a business in an industry that was in its infancy, one in which he had no experience. Moreover, he decided the best way to gain legitimacy in his new field was to return to school, taking on debt in the process. Not to mention the possibility that his new business wouldn’t take off, and he would be left without any job at all. Could he make it? Or was his midlife career change doomed from the start? The common myth is that our career life is shaped like a bell curve — you work hard and put in long hours to make it to the top. And when you get there, let’s say in your 40s or 50s, making a career change becomes nearly impossible. But is this really the case? Or are we actually in a better position in our middle years to make the leap?  

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