Does the idea of having to ‘start over’ in your 50s petrify you? Are you at a point where the kids have left home and you are contemplating re-entering the workforce or reinventing yourself? Or maybe you are recently divorced and have to come up with a financial plan for yourself?
Never fear! The Balance community is here to show that you are not alone… There are many women taking on the challenge of reinventing themselves in their 50s and the website is all about sharing their stories and knowledge – to empower you on your journey.
Australian fashion stylist Jane de Teliga was faced with a dilemma in her 50s.
Her daughters had moved out of home. Se was feeling creatively uninspired in her role as Style Director for a popular Australian women’s magazine. What did she do? Sold her home in Sydney, quit her job and moved to Paris.
“With my job in Australia I’d been covering all the shows in Paris, London and Milan each year so I had been very lucky. But I had this urge to live in France and the only way to do that was to sell my house and say goodbye to my girls. Thankfully both of my daughters had moved out of home and were doing well so they gave me permission to take on a new chapter in my life,” Jane told Balance.
Little did she know that the Global Financial Crisis would hit – resulting in the loss of three-quarters of her life savings. This left her no choice but to re-enter the workforce in Europe at the age of 57.
“I freaked out. I sobbed and said to my eldest daughter, ‘I’m going to be a pauper for the rest of my life’. My salary net was pulled from under me and I had to reinvent myself completely,” Jane said.
After spending time in Paris, she took up a job at one of Britain’s most popular women’s magazines – Good House Keeping – as Fashion Editor,
“I think we live so much longer and we’re not boxed into this idea that at a certain age we have to stop doing the things we want to do. So I just thought ‘why not?’ and I haven’t looked back,” Jane said.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick says women need to remember that a ‘man is not a financial plan‘.
She believes that when it comes to the workforce, it’s vital for women to keep their foot in the door – even if it’s just doing a few hours a week from home.
We asked the Prime Minister’s wife – Lucy Turnbull – who is a highly successful businesswoman and former Lord Mayor of Sydney, her advice for women who felt that they lacked confidence when it came to returning to work after having kids.
“Dive into some online courses and up-skill quietly on your own. You don’t have to turn up to University if you don’t want to… always keep an open mind,” she said.
For author Jane Matthews, hitting mid-life proved to be a very challenging time
“The hurricane of finding myself in an increasingly toxic marriage followed by divorce and the death of my mother, wile juggling two teenage children, getting back into the workforce and dealing with spiraling blood pressure, not to mention physical changes – mid-life had crept up on me like a body snatcher,” she said.
How do we take back control of our life? We reinvent and rediscover who we are.