BLOG Image Elise Stevens

Female Leader, Elise Stevens, Author & Founder Age Defying Careers

Elise Stevens founded her business Age Defying Careers to help women over 40 learn new skills and embrace change and transformation to reach their career goals. Elise’s own successful career in project management led her to begin Podcasting, seeking out, connecting with and sharing the career stories of other women via social media. Her purpose is to encourage women over 40 to reignite their career purpose and passion, and continue to pursue self development. 

Elise has just launched her book Age Defying Careers for Women at 40: A Practical Guide to Understanding You, Identifying your Career Passion and Developing your Plan, to assist women with their career journey as well as to live a happier lifestyle. 

Why did you start your business Age Defying Careers?

Through my consulting work and conversations with my friends it was apparent that women over 40 were finding themselves in situations due to unforgiving workplaces, redundancy, years devoted to raising children and divorce, where they are not seen as a valuable asset anymore by employers. They were starting to question their longevity in the workplace and wondering if they were going to be able to continue having fulfilling careers.

I became aware that while organisations needed to do more to see women over 40 as the vibrant women they are, the women themselves have to take more responsibility for their career options and not leave it to others to manage their careers. 

I felt that there was little positive information for women over 40 about how to take control of their careers and this is why I was keen to address this huge gap in the market.

You’ve just written a book for women called Age Defying Careers. Tell us why you wrote it, and who it’s for.

I wrote Age Defying Careers as a practical guide for women to celebrate their achievements, identify and achieve their goals.

The approach outlined in the book is practical with a focus on completing activities, rather than reading. 

Share your key messages for women over 40 who are at a crossroads in their career.

My key messages are:

  1. Take time to understand yourself and what you want out of your career
  2. Adopt a mindset of continuing to develop your skills – skill development is not a once off thing, it should be with you always
  3. Take control of your career and what you want to achieve

Tell us about your own age defying career journey.

My career journey has a solid foundation in corporate Australia. I have been fortunate to work in some fantastic organisations and learn from inspirational leaders. Along the way have encountered some not so good leaders and realised that no-one was going to look after my career as I wanted, so I needed to do that myself. 

Later in my career I started to question what was important to me from a career perspective, what did I want to achieve and what was it I actually wanted to. It was what I didn’t want to happen to my career that made me realise that I needed to embark on a different journey – one outside of the true corporate track. This is how I started my own business. 

What’s one piece of advice for future female leaders?

My advice is to always have a Plan B for your career. You need to always be thinking and planning for the unexpected in your career. It will be very rewarding and liberating if you approach your career in this way.

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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.