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Ask Tag and Catherine

Am I too old to achieve my dream?

One of the questions we hear most often from people who dream of a new career is "am I too old to get started?" Here are two recent letters we received:

Greetings Tag and Catherine,
I stumbled onto your website and love it! I have been considering a career change and after assessing my talents I think I would make a great personal shopper. I love to shop and buy unique items. I love the hunt for the item and then buying it at a bargain price. What is the best way to "break into the field?" I will have to keep my current job until I can achieve my current income or at least a good percentage of my current income. I am 51 years old and wonder if that is too old to begin this career.
    - Mary

Dear Tag and Catherine,
I am a 28 year old single mom with two small children. I want to pursue a career in acting but have been told that because of my age and because I have children I will not succeed. I have no acting experience. I was in two school plays as a child but that's all. My dream career as a teen was acting but life took me in a different direction. I feel I waited too long but I'm still holding on to the possibility. Is there still hope for me?
   - Laronda

To both of these career changers, and most others who dream of starting a new career but wonder if it is too late, the answer is the same. With few exceptions, it is not too late to pursue your dreams.

There are many examples of career changers who have gone on to achieve great success. One example we love because of how old she was when she started her dream career is Anna Mary Robertson Moses. She taught herself to paint when she was in her seventies. Known as "Grandma" Moses, she became one of the most famous folk artists of the 20th century.

Certainly people will hire a 51 year old personal shopper. In fact, many clients are likely to be around your age because personal shoppers are in great demand by the busy baby boomer generation. 

Likewise, 28 is definitely not too late to begin an acting career. Fred Thompson was in his forties and working as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. when he was cast in a movie. That launched an acting career that has included numerous television and movie roles. In 2002, he joined the cast of the hit TV show Law & Order a few months before finishing up a term as a U.S. Senator.

While few people will have the opportunity to star in a hit TV show or get elected as a senator (and even fewer will do both!), it is possible to achieve career dreams at almost any age.

What matters much more than your age is your ability to do the job and your ability to sell yourself to the people who can hire you. 

To help with both, we are happy to send the FabJob Guide to Become a Personal Shopper to Mary and the FabJob Guide to Become an Actor to Laronda. As you will see from these guides, you can start taking small steps towards your dreams. For example, you can start a personal shopping business part-time while keeping your day job. Likewise, you can start acting in your own city rather than trying to move your family to Hollywood.

Career-changers of all ages will also find inspiration in our book Dream Careers, which we'll be sending to both of our letter writers this month, along with the FabJob guide of their choice.

Send Tag and Catherine your questions for publication.

To be chosen, your question should be different from those we have already answered, and should be of interest to other job-seekers. 

If your question is selected for publication you will receive a free FabJob guide of your choice. 

Click here to find the career of your dreams

Tag and Catherine Goulet are founders of, a publisher of career guides offering step-by-step advice for breaking into a variety of dream careers. Visit to discover how to break into the career of your dreams. 

by Tag and Catherine Goulet

Sisters Tag and Catherine Goulet are the Dream Career Experts. In 1999 they founded, the leading publisher of guides on how to break into a dream career, which has been visited by 50 million people. They have been featured in media from ABC to and Woman's Day to the Wall Street Journal online, and their career advice appears on the career pages at AOL, CNN, and MSN. They are authors of Dream Careers and other career books. Visit to discover how to break into your dream career.

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