MIDLIFE CHANGE: How to reinvent yourself later in life

8 On Your Side

If you’re hitting the midlife stage of your life and have thoughts of re-inventing yourself, know you are not alone.  

8 is On Your Side to help you take on that transition and help keep you from feeling restless and unfulfilled.

We first introduce you to two people who’ve made and survived major life changes. Then you’ll get expert advice from a professional.

Meet Rhonda Shear, born and raised in a small town in Louisiana. The vivacious young lady went on to become not only a graduate of Loyola University, she was also crowned Miss Louisiana. Soon after, she took a chance on the bright lights of Tinseltown. Rhonda packed her belongings and took her bubbly personality and infectious laugh to L.A.

“I love working. And maybe that goes back to my ambition. I still feel like I haven’t completely accomplished everything I want,” she said.

Rhonda’s first big splash in Hollywood was being picked as a Playboy Playmate. She was an instant success and spent many years being friends with Hugh Hefner.

Then with The Dick Clark Talent Agency managing her career, she landed the role as hostess of USA Networks “Up all night” series that lasted for years.

But the bright lights of Hollywood started to fade a tad. Rhonda realized she could either take charge or sit and wait for change. 

So this sexy Southern Belle decided to go for it! She created a line of undergarments for women and soon became a best seller on HSN with Shear Enterprises and her best seller, The Ahh Bra. 

Rhonda’s advice is simple, “I’m just saying to anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur, if they have that spirit, you just have to believe in yourself.”

But don’t think her Hollywood career automatically opened doors for her in the Bay Area. 

“Actually, it didn’t. If anything, it could of closed them, in that, obviously because I was type-cast as a bimbo character,” she said.

Someone else who’s endured the evolution of midlife is Jose Bello. His first professional job was with The Tampa Tribune.

“I launched my career in an old industry the newspaper industry many, many years ago,” Bello said.

And when the paper closed, he found himself trying a variety of industries. Something, he says, paid off in the long run and has served him well for what he’s doing now. These days he’s working with a global firm based in Tampa called Blueline Associates. He makes connections with new clients who want to create customized strategies and staffing to better their bottom line.

As a professional who’s endured not two or three but four career changes, Bello’s suggests seeking council from others you trust.

“However, there his a caveat to that and that is remember the advice that people give you is always based on their perspective of your question or your situation. It’s important to remember that…with a grain of salt,” he says.

His advice for finding your next career? Relationship building, asking and inquiring. 

“If there is a job you want…Go get it! Do the things you need to do to make those decision,” Bello says.

Jose and Rhonda: Two people who like a lot of others embraced a career change in their midlife years whether they wanted to or not. But both took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and found a new happiness.

Something life counselor, Julie Teeling, says don’t be afraid of. And when it comes to a career change, Teeling says think big!’

“Dream as big as you can first because you can always taper down,” is her suggestion.

We also wanted to know if there was any one profession she sees the most people taking a break from? 

Her response was simple. “An attorney. It’s a tough tough business if you’re not really all in. So, that one for sure,” she says.

She also suggests anyone considering making a 180-degree turn in their 30s, 40s or 50s to be ready with a backup plan.

“I think when somebody is truly passionate about something that they want to do, they tend to make it work,” says Teeling.

Back to Rhonda Shear, her last piece of advice is to always remember that it’s OK to be told no when you’re knocking on doors.

“What’s the worst that’ll happen? How many times did I reach out in my Hollywood career or in any career that I’ve done, in school and been told no? A million times.”

Words of wisdom from a woman who’s star is still shining as bright as her smile.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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