You Are Never Too Old to Change Your Life!

If there's one thing guaranteed to set me off, it's phrases like 'Oh it's my age’, or ‘I’m too old to change now,' or ‘in my day’. Unless you’re actually dead it’s always still your day! For me, age has no bearing on whether or not you should make a major life change, or follow your dream - and I'm living proof.

Go to the profile of Jane C Woods
Jun 30, 2014
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In my late forties, I left a secure job (and pension) to follow my dream of running my own business in my own way. And it's easily the best thing I ever did.

So why did I leave it so late? Actually, with hindsight it wasn't 'late' at all. The first two-and-a-half decades of my working life were spent gaining vital experience of what makes women tick and the challenges we face in the home, the workplace and society in general. I began working as a social worker in 1978 & started my 2 year post grad in social work soon after my first child was born. Most of my ‘proper’ career was about helping people change themselves in some way during which time I worked with female offenders in prisons, in psychiatric hospitals, and with abused women and saw first-hand how even the toughest lives can be turned around. I moved into management (2 kids and 12 years later.)

As part of a management qualification I did some research on how women in my organisation were sidelined and institutionally discriminated against and we set up a women’s group to effect change, which we did. But I wasn’t really happy in management; I felt I’d lost touch with what I’d set out to do when I became a social worker. I planned my escape. My husband was a fire-fighter and I was the principal money earner so this was no easy decision. But he supported me every inch of the way.

Everyone thought I was mad to leave. The most frequently asked question was ‘what about your pension?‘ Stuff the pension’ was my silent response. I’d die of boredom long before I got that far! It was scary suddenly being totally on my own but it was so exciting too! I did all sorts of freelance consultancy in the early days but lurking at the back of my mind was the idea of doing something different for women. Survey after survey tells us that women lack confidence and I wanted to do something about it. So what did I do, apart from blog on the topic and garner quite a following?

I used my skills and experience to write and deliver a one-day personal development course, RenewYou (www.changingpeople.co.uk/courses-list/), aimed exclusively at women. Its aim is to empower and equip others like me to follow their own professional and personal dreams. The feedback I've had has been amazing and last year I began licensing the course to excellent trainers across the world, including in the US. In 2013 we started with one woman delivering RenewYou, me, and now (summer 2014) we have 60.

It's so exciting to be living this dream. At 58 most of my friends are either retiring or thinking about it, but I never want to stop. Doing what you love enthuses and energises you; I look forward to every day. As I always tell my clients, dreams start to become reality when you stop dreaming and actually do something.

Follow your dream!

Go to the profile of Jane C Woods

Jane C Woods

Women's Personal Development Specialist - Changing People, -

Hi, I’m Jane C Woods and I have an absolute passion for helping women achieve success in their lives. Be it the glass ceiling, the crystal maze, or very personal issues, I’m all about helping women achieve to their full potential and live the way they want to without being carbon copies of men. But I’m not about putting men down in order for women to get ahead, there’s plenty of room; I just want the guys to shifty up a bit… If my face looks familiar it's because I love Psychologies magazine (I've been buying it since the very first issue, such a good resource) and it's the only place I choose to advertise my courses. I write on women’s issues on my blog, www.changingpeople.co.uk, and am regularly featured in magazines, and on radio, but I’m probably best known for RenewYou. RenewYou is my one day personal development course for women. We have an international network of experienced, specialist women licensed to deliver it and empower women across the globe. Our goal is to reach one million women. It’s a big goal but… In 2013 we started with a single RenewYou specialist, me. Now you can find a RenewYou Courses across the UK, in the USA, Canada, Greece, Bangkok, Pakistan, South Africa, Belgium, with new countries being added all the time. My dream was to create a thriving and caring business on ethical, and dare I say, feminine terms, with a real community spirit of help and encouragement. And it’s actually happening with the support, expertise, and enthusiasm of my wonderful trainers. I think, (apart from my two lovely kids, a daughter and a son) that it’s probably my proudest achievement to date. Wonderful Changing People Women: One of the joys and privileges of my work is that I’ve connected with some really inspirational and wonderful women – from politics to entertainment to academia. They include: TV presenter, house fixer and matchmaker Sarah Beeny Amazing entrepreneur Sam Roddick of Coco de Mer Outspoken and entertaining academic Mary Beard Politicians like Siobhan Benita and Natalie Bennett Ex BBC broadcaster Miriam O’Reilly who bravely took on the might of the BBC- and triumphed A very rare interview with Sarah Montague, of the influential BBC Radio 4 Today programme I hope you like the posts and I hope they are helpful. Live life to the max and never hide your light under any bushels!

2 Comments

Go to the profile of Lesley Elder
Lesley Elder over 3 years ago

Jane, you are a great example and inspiration. I have just left a very well paid 23-year career in banking at the grand old age of 45 to move to Spain and set up a yoga retreat. I've just delivered some very happy, relaxed and inspired clients bak to the airport this morning and as I was driving back I had a moment of pure bliss. I just love my new life, and my new job and I'm so glad I had the motivation and determination to stop staring out of the office window at the rain and go and do something different. Financially it's still quite scary as it is slow to get started but I am going to hang in there and do everything I can to make a go if it.

Go to the profile of Jane C Woods
Jane C Woods over 3 years ago

45? So young!!
Well done you. These things always start slow but you'll gather momentum. A yoga retreat in Spain sounds wonderful. One of my trainers does something similar for women in Greece. Serenity Retreats. She also offers RenewYou as part of the package. I really should go and check it out...
Very best wishes to you with your life change.; I'm sure with your business background as well you'll be an outstanding success. It's great to hear from women who follow their dreams. Lang may yer lum reek!
Jane
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