Make 2020 the best decade of your career and life
I want to use this article to help you make 2020 the best decade of your career and life.
Sound good? Who doesn’t want that?
But where to start?
This is where the ideas behind Second Half Hero come in. I’d like to introduce you to them. (I’ll be launching my book, Second Half Hero, later in 2020).
This is about
Second Half Hero is a journey of reinvention usually taken when you are in the middle of your working life.
Whatever path you choose, it always begins with having the COURAGE to start.
In December, I shared this thinking at length in a podcast with my good friend and long-time client, Marc Washbourne. Marc is the CEO of ReadyTech. He is an exceptional leader and entrepreneur who has taken his business through an extraordinary growth journey, culminating in a successful listing on the ASX in 2019.
The fact that Marc has his own podcast, WorkED speaks volumes about his contemporary and energetic approach to building something important.
Below is Marc’s introduction piece. It explains the importance and context of Second Half Hero. I’d encourage you to read this and then put aside an hour to listen to the pod. The WorkED podcast is also something you’ll want to add to your favourites.
Here is to a Heroic 2020 for you and yours,
WorkED Podcast #7- Is there a career ‘Second-Half Hero’ in all of us?
Introduction (by Marc Washbourne)
There are questions that many in today’s workforce consider with equal parts of fear and excitement: is it possible to reinvent myself and my career in my 40s or 50s? Could I bring new life into what I do in my current role – or leave it altogether for new pastures or start something myself?
While I’ve been able to do work I love at ReadyTech for a long time, I know many people aren’t as fortunate. When we reach a certain age, often we can feel trapped in a path chosen by our younger selves, with no clear way to turn a corner into something our more mature selves feel “called” to do.
If we don’t acknowledge those frustrations and desires and choose to reinvigorate ourselves and our careers, we risk drift into a place where we are seen as ‘the grumpy person in the room’. Someone not equipped for the world of change we inhabit.
With industries changing the way they operate due to technology, an increasing focus on skills rather than tenure or pedigree and the ongoing “hollowing out” of middle management, the comfortable trajectory through mid-life that may once have been possible is now under threat.
The ‘second-half hero’ is not a myth
Full disclosure – Mark has been a mentor to me for many years. This is one of the reasons I wanted to get him involved in the last WorkED podcast of the year. I’ve learned so much from Mark over countless cups of coffee in cafes across Sydney, and I believe there is a lot that workers and leaders can learn from him as we head into 2020.
Mark Hodgson is someone whose lessons come from the fiery crucible of experience. A former media sales leader in the UK and Europe, Mark transitioned into change management in Australia, where he turned around an ailing Not-For-Profit by putting it “back into the black” over three years.
It was only then – after being made redundant along with his team – that he took the more difficult road less travelled by beginning a new incarnation as a mentor, author and speaker. It’s a road that has allowed him to design his own life, achieve the income he wants, and inspire other leaders.
As Mark suggests in our conversation, it all comes down to finding our ‘second-half hero’.
Many people would be familiar with The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell. While Mark doesn’t dive into mythology in this podcast, he says there are obvious parallels between the timeless hero myth we all intrinsically recognise and the career choices we make in our 40s and 50s.
In a world that he says is getting more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) than ever for managers and leaders, he argues we may cross a threshold in 2020 where old ways of doing things will no longer hold up. Leaders will need to find their ‘second-half hero’ if they are to thrive.
Whether that means some serious self-reflection, rejuvenating ourselves to bring curiosity back into our working lives, or finding the courage to strike out on our own or with others to build something we secretly dream to pursue, the second-half hero ideal can help us find a way.
Careers, reinvention and change
Mark Hodgson is someone who I believe demonstrates the possibility of career reinvention through his work – and more importantly his life. By bringing his full capacities as a human being to his work in line with his experience and expertise, he embodies the energetic and curious ‘second-half hero’ that he describes.
It can be a tired cliché today to talk about change. While we all may know it’s happening, hearing about it can be like a broken record. Some of us are listening and learning. Others are tuning out.
Mark shows us that we may have to listen – and that it’s possible to risk stepping into the unknown.
Listen to my conversation with Mark Hodgson here or on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Be sure to subscribe to WorkED on your favourite streaming service.
Marc Washbourne, CEO, ReadyTech – www.readytech.com.au