High Achieving Women and the Next Career Move After 40 – the 5 First Steps

Next success is waiting

If you are a high achiever, a woman, a mum, in the middle of a successful corporate career and “having it all”, you are just like me some time ago. I’ve just turned 40, and in the middle of all seeming success, I found myself empty. I felt that my energy was wasted in all the wrong places.

I’ve come to realize that this was actually the wrap up of one part of my life. A life I worked hard for and really enjoyed for a while. A part I’m proud of and celebrate myself f

There are so many possibilities and I owed it to myself to explore these.

or having done. But I was on the verge of new uncharted territory nobody encourage me to enter, least of all myself. This was the start of my next successful part of my life! Less known, less understood and much scarier than anything I tried so far in life. I felt that I had no choice. I left my high position job and took a plunge straight into the unknown. I allowed myself to create a new career, not following the beaten path. There are so many possibilities and I owed it to myself to explore these. I won’t say it was easy, but for me it was necessary to keep me on my toes, to keep me alive.


I found that there are five important steps when entering this journey. Steps that kept me going even though the path may seem dangerous, steep and uninviting.

Step 1. First I realized that at this point in life I was actually quite sure of what my ideal life would look like, and also well aware that this image will change over time. I invested time in designing that life for myself. Making sure I was following my heart, nobody else’s view of success.

Step 2. Then I created scenarios for myself how I could support this lifestyle, financially. The options today are so many with the technology available.

Step 3. I identified a small support community. I’ve realized that my old social circle was not able to support me in these new ambitions. I also invested in support in the form of a mentor-program with a plan for me to follow.

Step 4. I very deliberately improved my own health, increasing all my healthy habits. Especially those I know that I’ve been neglecting for a long time. I slept more. I’m a natural morning person delighting in the early morning hours, and also need to go to bed early at night. I started to eat healthier, drink more water and increased physical exercises.

Step 5. I prepared myself to tackle the sabotaging tendencies of my own mind. There was so much to learn about myself. I couldn’t believe the length I would go to sabotage my own plans! I had to learn how to trick myself into actually following my own heart and dreams instead of just giving up. Destructive behaviors in the form of procrastination, talking myself down and focusing on the wrong thing (like obsessive cleaning, gardening or sorting of the attic).

The rewards are high but it was easy to forget what I was actually aiming for. The new life, owning my own time and agenda.  Making real worthwhile contributions to the world instead of following corporate directions. Creating a life that I enjoy every day, investing in being healthy and happy.


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  1. Great article…I turn to the obsessive cleaning when I’m blocked or need to start working on changes too. At least my house is clean 🙂

  2. You’ve just described the very situation I find myself in right now! These steps are helpful as I reflect on where I’ve been and how to move forward.

    • Hi C.J. you are in a very interesting place right now then! There are so much to learn on this journey forward old “truths” about oneself that just doesn’t fit anymore. All my best wishes for you going forward! /Cate


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