When I first started blogging I didn’t know of many inspiring women over 50 who also had blogs.
A few years into writing Lifestyle Fifty I realised there was a blogger who lived not just in my State, but in my home town, who was around my age, and writing a thoughtful, insightful blog about midlife.
Then I met her in real life – and she is lovely.
Meet super talented, Leanne Le Cras from Cresting the Hill who shares her story with us today.
Inspiring Women Over 50 – Meet Leanne Le Cras
COMING LATE TO THE SECRETARIAL PARTY
A lot of Midlife women started their careers as secretaries, then they got bored and moved on to new endeavours. I seem to have done things backwards when it comes to my career choices.
I finished high school with a Yr 12 result that put me in the top 5% of students in our State – but I was “blessed” with parents who thought further education was wasted on girls “because they just get married and have babies”. So, thoughts of university dimmed slowly and I wondered what I’d do with my life.
Somewhere along the line in the month or so after I finished school, I came across a course being offered in a relatively new field – Dental Therapy (or Dental Hygiene for those who haven’t heard of it) and the benefit was that they paid a small stipend over the two years of training. Enough to pay board to my parents and to put petrol in my little Daihatsu 3 cylinder buzz box car.
From there I did my two years of country service, met my husband, moved back to the city, had our two children and kept working part-time to supplement my husband’s fluctuating salary. We decided to move to the country, and after eleven years of drilling, filling, and scaling and cleaning teeth, my neck was pretty well wrecked (from peering in mouths all day) and AIDS and Hepatitis C were becoming more of a concern – it felt like it was time to look at something different.
Fortunately, my husband had been keen to embrace the new technology of computers and I got to play around with his word processor (remember those) and by picking up those skills, it was the beginning of a new career path. I found a job being a Personal Assistant for a couple of years and then a government Call Centre opened in our town and I jumped into a whole new world of cubicles, phones, teams, performance appraisals and customer service. Eight years zoomed by and I realized I’d had enough of sitting in a “cell” answering calls all day and I headed off again.
The next step was a return to my dental roots (a little bit of a word play there!) but staying out of mouths – I took on the role of office manager for an Orthodontist.
The next eight years of my life were spent booking appointments, taking copious amounts of money off patients (braces are expensive), typing, and generally keeping things rolling along until the day I realized that being under-appreciated and under-paid was not working for me anymore, and I bit the bullet and pulled the pin.
As far as I could see, I was 52 and that was the end of my working life – after all, who’d employ a 50+ year old woman with all those young 20-something girls waiting in the wings?
Well, it turns out that Midlife women are still in high demand and I had a new job within 4 weeks of walking out the door. And that’s when I became a secretary – well a Medical Secretary to be exact. I found the perfect part-time job and thought I was settled. 12 months later I was poached by another surgeon who offered me even better working hours and pay and now I’m his Medical Secretary.
I’m happily working two days a week in a job that doesn’t overly tax my brain – but is full of variety, lots of people to help, and a lovely office to work in. I walk out the door at the end of the day and the rest of the week is all mine – I’m free to volunteer, blog, read, walk, coffee with friends, go to the movies, enjoy my husband’s company (he works from home), and generally have a great life. I may have come to the party late when it comes to being a secretary – but better late than never!
For more stories in this series about inspiring women over 50 and their stories on Lifestyle Fifty you might like …