Bill Ward | Star Tribune
Many adults in their 40s and 50s find passion in radically different professions.
The revelation came on a treadmill. Sharon Billings had tired of IT and human resources work and quit her job. A subsequent workout changed her life.
“I have always been an animal lover. My cat was sick and I took her to the vet, and the care and compassion I saw there really got me thinking,” Billings said. “Then one day I was on a treadmill at the gym and saw a commercial for vet tech school. I thought, ‘I could do that.'”
And she did, becoming a certified veterinary technician in her early 50s. Now 59, Billings manages cases for the pet poison help line at SafetyCall International in Bloomington — and “I love love love what I do every day.”
Amid a turbulent economy and in a rapidly changing workforce, many people are taking to heart the phrase “chosen career” by pursuing a passion in a profoundly different profession. The jobs may not be as lucrative, but the emotional payoff can make up for the difference, they say. Such moves are particularly prevalent among people in their 40s and early 50s, but don’t automatically attach the catchphrase “midlife crisis” to them.
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