Brought to you by Open Colleges

Why it is never too late to change careers

by Amanda Collins

This is your life. You don’t get a rehearsal. It doesn’t start “tomorrow”. It is happening now. With this in mind, stop and think: is this what I have always dreamed of doing?

Isn’t it time that you find your awesome?

Maybe you dreamed of being a designer? Or of working with animals? Maybe you always loved numbers, but had to put off a career in accounting to focus on other things?

It’s not too late! You can start today. After all, if you don’t start now, when will you?

Find your awesome

What’s holding you back?

We all put roadblocks in front of our dreams.

The most common blocks include:

Fear of failure

Most people fear failure, but it’s when it stops you from branching out and doing the thing you love, that this fear becomes a real problem.

You worry about the “what if it doesn’t work out?”, “What if I’m not good enough?”

But the truth is, nothing will change if you don’t take action. If you want to move forward, if you want to find your awesome, you need to take a risk.

Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, you need to start focusing on what you can learn and how you can grow.

There really is no such thing as failure. If you change the way you look at it, failure becomes necessary to success. It’s there to teach you and it’s how you learn.

How to find your awesome

Rethink your ‘what ifs’

There’s nothing wrong with “what ifs”. We all play the ‘what if’ game at some point in our lives. In fact, asking yourself ‘what if’ can be a great way to prepare yourself for your future, and to shift your focus. You just need to answer the questions differently. Refocus on the positives, and what you could learn.

For example:

What if I don’t succeed? Well, then I’ll work out what happened, what I can learn from it, and how I can use this experience to my benefit.

What if people laugh at me? My life is my own. What other people think about me does not matter. I get one life and I want to live it my way.

No time

You may live a very busy life and think that you have no time for yourself. But there is always an hour or so that you can squeeze in to spend working towards your dream and finding your awesome.

This may mean getting up one hour earlier, going to bed one hour later, or spending your lunch break doing something alongside eating. Or you may be able to squeeze four 15 minute “me-time” slots in your day.

Ultimately, time is something that will never be simply handed to you. You need to look at your days, and work out where you can fit some time in.

It’s about being flexible. You may not have time to attend six 2-hour classroom-based lectures, but you may be able to do online study where you can fit in 20 minutes of study whenever it suits you.

Think about where you want your life to be, and realise that nothing will change without some effort and action.

This is how you find your awesome

The right time

Are you waiting for the ‘right time’ to take action? There is no such thing as the right time, there is only now.

You will never find the ideal moment, or the right week to start following your passion. Something will always spring up. From an unexpected flu, to a car breakdown, life can, and does, get in the way.

You just have to learn to go with the flow, and to be flexible.

So you may not be able to do everything at once and have your dream materialise before you, but you can spend a little time every day chipping away at your passion. This is far better than doing nothing at all.

You will end up making changes slowly, which is far better than waiting for the right time, and never achieving anything at all.


Comparing yourself to others is such an easy trap to fall into. Looking at and comparing yourself to someone who has achieved what you want to do, can lead you to think “how can I compete with that?”

That kind of thinking leads to a truck-load of fear, self-doubt, and a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset is where you believe that success is a limited resource, and that only a few people can succeed, and the rest get nothing.

As a wise person once said “comparison is the death of joy”.

When you start to compare yourself to another person remember:

  • No one has lived your life and had your experiences, nor have you walked in someone else’s shoes. So you can’t compare your life to another’s. Your path is your own. Who knows where it will lead!
  • Trying to copy someone else’s steps will only lead you to feel unhappy and empty. You need to tread your own path, live your life to the fullest, not someone else’s.
  • Refocus on yourself. How can you develop and grow? What steps can you take to find your own awesome, and be the best version of yourself?
  • Scarcity in success doesn’t exist. There is a space for you to succeed. In fact, there’s space enough for everyone to succeed.

tips to help you find your awesome

Find your direction

So now you know what is holding you back, and how you can overcome it, it’s time to look at how you can find your direction.

You may know that you love writing, or animals, or caring for other people, but you’re not sure what you could do with that desire. Or you may know that you want to do something else, but you’re not quite sure what that something else is?

Let’s look at clarifying your passion. Ask yourself:

What do you love?

What inspires you, makes you feel alive and excites you?

Is it creating an interesting world with words? Taking photos? Designing a room? Helping others? Playing with animals?

Narrow your passion down to a very specific thing.

What are your strengths?

Knowing your strengths will help you determine what direction to take your passion in. When you combine what you love with what your strengths are, you can often narrow down the perfect path for yourself.

For example, if you are highly organised and detail oriented, and what you love is writing, then you may want to look into becoming an editor.

Or if you are better at working alone, and you love photography, then you may want to consider a career in freelance photography.

What do you value?

Asking yourself what you value will help you to further narrow down your options.

For example, if you love animals, are caring and kind and value helping people and animals, then a career as a vet nurse, may be a perfect way to blend your passion with a career.

Now is the time to find your awesome

Find your awesome

So now you have a better idea of how you can find your awesome, let’s look at how you can make it a reality.

As mentioned, change only comes through action. You can change your life and take action through study.

Studying what you love will not only give you the qualification that you need to launch yourself into a career, but it also:

  • Allows you to explore your passion without too much pressure. You can make mistakes, learn and grow.
  • Gives you time and space to ease yourself into your awesome, rather than diving in at the deep end.
  • Let’s you carve out a bit of time that’s just for you.

Studying online means that you don’t have to attend a physical classroom. It means you can study whenever you want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also means you can study on-the-go, on any device. So if you have your phone with you on your train commute, you can study by watching a video, listening to a podcast or taking quiz to test your knowledge. Or if you have your laptop in a cafe, you can chat to other students or have a go at your next assessment. It’s really up to you when and where you study.

Online study also takes the pressure off as there are no set deadlines. You just make your way through the course at your own pace.

It's time to find your awesome

It’s time!

So now you know the what, when and how of finding your awesome, it’s time for you to get started. If you change your life in little ways every day, you will find that after a while, a big change has happened. Don’t put it off, someday will never come.

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