A New Career After 50? One Stunning Example
When someone finds their unique purpose in life, everything seems to fall into place.
In some cases, we find someone realizing they had a unique gift all along and finally let go of the survival job. Others find their purpose in life through a series of events. Many describe the experience as having disparate parts of ourselves come together in a meaningful and practical way.
John Morgan was one of those people.
In the early days of Inspired Work, one of the largest banks in the country began falling apart. Many of the people who worked there had “jobs for life.” Or, so they thought. A human resource executive came through The Inspired Work Program and was so impacted personally that she started sending hundreds of professionals who had just learned their career with the bank was over.
John was a marketing executive who had served the bank for over 20 years. He called us and also enrolled his wife, Kerstin. They were a handsome and dignified couple. John had gone down the straight-and-narrow road of getting a degree, finding a good job and working there until retirement. Now in his mid-50s, John was frightened no one would hire him. Several times, I suggested that despite his feelings it would be healthy to throw himself into answering the questions that are embedded throughout our program and see where the answers took him.
The next morning, his entire demeanor had changed. He asked if he could stand up and apologize to the room for his deep irritation during our first day. Then, he startled everyone by saying for most of his life, he had been in love with the art world. He continued, “Last night, I realized that life is short and that I could use this time to go get another job, just like the one I had at the bank. Or, I could pursue what I love. From this day forward, I am going to serve the art world”
Ironically, the results for his wife were quite personal as well. She was an agent with New York Life and came to the conclusion she was in the ideal role with the ideal employer where she continues to work to this day.
Not long ago, I was at the gym pumping away on a bike while reading the Sunday Los Angeles Times. I turned the page and was greeted by an obituary. The headline almost knocked me off the bike, “John Morgan, Leader in the LA Art Community.”
John raised millions for local museums. He launched an art program for inner city schools and opened a gallery. As tears started flowing, someone on the bike next to me asked, “Are you OK?” I told her that I had the best job in the world.
Later that day, I called Kerstin to express my condolences. She said, “David, whenever he walked out the door to work, he had a smile on his face. He loved his life.”
The last line of John’s obituary stated,
“Mr. Morgan was previously in the banking industry.”
Life is short. Live it.
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