5 Things You Should Know at 45+ from a Professional Leadership/Career Coach with Dr. Benjamin Ritter

Many senior professionals are living a life that is draining in hope that it will one day be fulfilling. If this idea resonates with you, how is that going? Probably not that great if you’re like many of my executive clients in the beginning.

What if you could have the job, career, and ultimately life, that gives you what you need today, not tomorrow? Pay attention and read (with an open mind) the top 5 things you should know at 45+ from a professional leadership/career coach in order to create a career you can love.

 It’s never too late (your career is only over if you think it is)

“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing.”
—Jim Rohn

I can share with you story after story of senior executives that were successful on paper but didn’t actually feel successful, some decided to do something about it, and others didn’t. The ones that believed that more was possible, changed their life. The others that decided to accept where they were as all there could be are still in the same place, wishing (but not believing) that things could be different.

The critical factor for anyone that wants more, is to accept the possibility that there can be. Do you believe that you can do something different?

Networking creates possibilities, not just for when you think you need it

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
—Zig Ziglar

One of the most powerful tools you have as a successful senior professional is your network. You’ve been in the world for 45+ years and have built a Rolodex of literal gold. 

The problem that I generally see though is that most of the clients I work with have to brush the cobwebs off of their contact list. They’ve been ignoring one of their most valuable assets.

Would you leave money in a shoe box under your bed collecting dust or would you invest it so that it earns interest? Letting your network sit causes it to lose value and distances you from a world of limitless possibilities.

Are you interested in the unknown or are you happy with the status quo?

You’re not working for freedom, but running from fear

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.”
—Aung San Suu Kyi

Many of the clients I’ve worked with have been working their whole life motivated by the desire for freedom —“If only I could get that promotion, make enough money, get that next job, stick with this company until I vest,” but little did they realize that they weren’t driven toward freedom, but by their fear.

Their fear of loss, not having enough, or not being good enough. Real freedom is a mindset and includes boundaries, and the decision to create the lifestyle that you want today, not tomorrow, and especially not when you “make it.” Are you willing to choose freedom now?

Work doesn’t define you, so you need to figure out what does

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
—Dolly Parton

Balance is the number one thing my clients ask to work on, for themselves and their families. They know what’s important, and want to figure out how to change their priorities and focus. “How can I be more present at home/with my family/my kids” or “how can I create more time for myself?” 

The most interesting factor though is that when we create space from work, my clients are uncomfortable. They don’t know what they should be doing, and they want to work more than anything.

They finally have an evening to play with their kids, but can’t stop checking their work phones. Insert any other activity, date night, workout, etc. Work is what they know. It’s what their brains love to do (easy source of those feel-good chemicals—dopamine).

If you want to live a balanced life you need to discover the things that make you balanced, aka your values, and more specifically, the actions that become a conduit to your values.

It’s time to explore who you fully are. What moments in your life outside of work get you excited, joyful, and that good kind of nervous?

There isn’t a mountain top, you are the mountain

“It is only enough when you realize it will never be enough.”
—Dr. Ritter

You’ve been on a journey throughout your career. I imagine that each new position or promotion has felt like you reached a new peak of this mountain that you’ve been hiking up. There’s an endpoint (that you think) in sight and if only you can get there you’ll finally be able to slow down, enjoy life, and feel successful.

The funniest thing about success is that the definition moves with you. As you become more successful, the definition of what is successful increases.

The only way to prevent that from happening is to realize that success isn’t something to achieve but something to motivate you to accomplish your goals. A never-ending supply of motivation that shouldn’t dictate your life, but help you live it.

Are you ready to believe that you’re already successful? 

The 5 beliefs you just read can be sparks to a fire that moves you to action but they need the proper kindling. Are you ready for this next stage in your professional career, because it’s waiting for you if you want it.