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North Texans Finding New Passion, Purpose With Midlife Career Change

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett says he "bounces out of bed" in the morning.  Is that how you react when your alarm goes off?

A recent survey revealed more than half of working adults in North Texas would rather be doing something else.  So what's stopping you from going for it?

54-year-old assistant Denton resident Cheryl Brady says she's ready for a change.  She's worked in the school system for 23 years, the last eight as an assistant to the athletic director at Liberty Christian School in Argyle.

"I decided it's time to do something different," Brady explained. "I'm old enough to retire but young enough where we need to find something else."

Dean Niewolny of Southlake recently left a lucrative finance career.  The husband and father of two says he called it quits to seek greater passion and purpose.  He credits the 1995 best-selling book Halftime, written by Texas native Bob Buford, for the inspiration.

"I got to the point like, is this all there is?" said Niewolny. "There has to be more to life than this.  Here I am one day sitting in this office on the 40th floor of the Mercantile Exchange building in downtown Chicago overseeing 400 people and a 100-million dollar business and a great income. The next day we're in Dallas."

Recently named CEO of Halftime, the Dallas-based company based on the book, which now has affiliates in Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Sweden, Niewolny helps others find their passion, to help lead a more significant second half.

"We want to look back and say our life mattered and made a difference. We call this Halftime."

An April 2013 survey conducted by Harris Interactive revealed just 14% of American workers are in their dream careers.  Most want to make a career change: 67 % percent in Atlanta,  60%  in Los Angeles, and 55% in Chicago.  Workers in Dallas/Fort Worth appear the least dissatisfied. 52% want to change careers.

So what's stopping you?

"For alot of people, they know what they're doing they don't want to do, but they're not sure what will make them happy," says Susan Kane, editor-in-chief of Success Magazine, a national publication for high achievers, based in Lake Dallas.

Kane says the first step to a successful second-half career change--is believing you can.

"You have to develop the confidence in yourself to know you can do that," Kane added.  Take one small step every day. Start talking to someone in the field. Look into classes. Read online. There's no excuse for not educating yourself these days."

Cheryl Brady started taking those steps three years ago, to prepare for her next chapter.  That's also when she registered with the state of Texas her new business, A Servant's Heart, a senior care-giving service.  Brady retires from Liberty Christian School Thursday.

"I loved working with schools and kids, and now I just get to work with big kids," Brady smiled.

To help discern your dream career, click here to take Success magazine's online passion test.

Click here to learn more about the Halftime movement.

Click here for more information on A Servant's Heart senior care-giving service.

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