Mid-Life Professional Career Regrets & New Adventures 3

Penny WebbI am in my mid-life (just!).

I am in the mid-life of my professional career.

I have a poster in my office area at home which reads, ‘Say YES to Adventures’.

I mention this poster because I can identify that it is not always easy saying ‘yes to adventures’ in our career, and for seasons perhaps even impossible .  Unfortunately, however, there are a number of regrets that people may have by the time they reach their mid-life professional career, and one of them is:

“I wish I hadn’t listened to others about what I should study and pursue.”

In truth, there are many people who have a deep sense of regret and pain because they feel like they are living a life that is not theirs but anothers when it comes to their working, career life.

Perhaps when they began their working or studying life, there were authority figures in their life – like good intentioned parents – who strongly encouraged them to pursue a certain direction.  Years and years go by until they find themselves in their mid-life and mid-life career and it hits them big time – they feel like they are in the wrong job and pursuing the wrong goals.

In this case, adventure could be saying yes to your authentic self; your passions, your strengths and what you want to be pursuing for the second half of your life.

My husband, Mark, and I have undertaken many times what we call THE GREAT WHITEBOARD MID-LIFE AUTHENTIC-SELF EXERCISE either for ourselves or for friends at their mid-life point.  This exercise is not done in isolation, or just with a partner but with a small trusting group of friends. We honestly and together write up their passions, strengths and dreams to help support a good understanding of themselves which has more often than not led them saying, ‘YES TO NEW ADVENTURES’ and forging a fresh career path.

I have very recently, taken up yet another adventure in my mid-life professional career, which has resulted in me taking on the CEO role of a not-for-profit organisation South Coastal Health and Community Services, working in the area of health for women, children and families. I took on this role not because I didn’t love being a part of the team and work of where I had contributed for nearly five years at Rise Network but because I wanted to keep growing, learning, stretching and having a sense of adventure in my professional life.

Mark undertook a big adventure five years ago, undertaking full-time studies to be a Clinical Psychologist in his late 40’s.  It was a huge step, a risky adventure as a family, but it was not undertaken on the whim of an afternoon in the sun, but as a result of THE GREAT WHITEBOARD MID-LIFE AUTHENTIC-SELF EXERCISE with friends and family that led him to pursue a career that could build on his business and organisational strengths and years of experience in leadership and life, to really support people, leaders and organisations when they felt overwhelmed, stuck or wondering ‘what next’?

So friends – no regrets when it comes to saying ‘YES TO ADVENTURES AND YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF’.


About Penny

Penny was born in England, raised in New Zealand, lived in America and settled in Perth, Australia. Together with her husband Mark, she is raising a teenage daughter and has twin twenty-something sons. "Coming home at the end of a solid working day to family and friends is my delight" says Penny, Co-author of the book – She’s Not Your Competition. She is a heart-felt communicator who believes in the power of a person’s story. Penny has over 25 years experience as a high level leader and spokesperson in both the private and non-profit sectors with significant public relations experience. She is currently the CEO of South Coastal Women's Health Services, and prior on the Leadership Teams of Rise Network and Riverview supporting people in areas of mental health, domestic and family violence, and children overseas at risk of exploitation. She holds an MBA and MBL, and is a Board Director for the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. For the past 15 years she has provided pro-bono support as a mentor for leaders and consultant to not for profits. Penny’s personal life endeavour is a determination to "make life better not bitter".

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