At 40 I’m Starting My Career Over and I’m Terrified.

If you’re thinking of changing direction maybe you can relate

Sam Dixon Brown


Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

I feel like a hypocrite.

A couple of months ago I hosted a workshop at a Digital Nomad conference to help people pivot their careers in a new direction. As I have already had 5 different careers, this is a subject that is well within my wheelhouse.

I focused on overcoming our fears about starting something new, and how many of our fears are ungrounded, or can at least be mitigated. Everyone left the session feeling motivated and confident about taking their career in a new direction.

Except me.

I felt like a fraud because I’m starting a new career and I’m terrified.

It wasn’t meant to be like this

I thought I was supposed to be a writer.

But almost a year ago I abruptly went from posting several times a week on Medium (my main source of income at the time) to zilch. I suddenly felt like I’d said everything I had to say. Maybe I just needed a break to refocus. But the desire to write didn’t come back and I haven’t clicked that write a story button once since then.

I don’t even remember why but shortly after giving up writing, I decided to take a free Introduction To Python programming course. Within minutes I was hooked. Is this what it’s like to try opiates for the first time?

I devoured the course and immediately took a second, and then a third. When I wasn’t studying, I was completing coding challenges or reading tutorials.

There were evenings when I was so engrossed in coding, Charlie Brown had to physically drag me away from my laptop.

So why so scared?

In March I had the idea for a specialty coffee app and I figured that it would be fun to try to code it and perhaps use it as a portfolio project to attract clients.

But the more I worked on the app and the more people’s faces lit up when I talked to them about the idea, the more I thought maybe it could actually become… something.