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Home arrow News arrow Breaking the Age Barrier: 5 Inspirational Career Journeys in Health and Wellness After 30

Breaking the Age Barrier: 5 Inspirational Career Journeys in Health and Wellness After 30

HealthReporter author Nadzeya Sankovich
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 2, 2023
9 min read 1211 Views 0 Comments
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Have you ever doubted your ability to achieve your goals due to your age? From Hollywood costume designers to aerospace engineers, get inspired by 5 people who achieved remarkable success in health and wellness after their 30s.

Career Journeys in Health and Wellness After 30

Society often bombards us with stories of young prodigies who achieved great things by the time they reached their 20s.

It’s easy to get caught up in this narrative, and it may feel like you have missed your chance. Changing careers in your 30s seem daunting due to the risks, uncertainties, and fear of social judgment for lacking direction.

Yet, there is no such thing as a deadline for opportunity, passion, and fulfillment. Many people have taken unconventional paths to get to where they are.

For those who may feel dispirited, here are 5 compelling stories of people who defied the odds and found success in the healthcare and wellness industry after 30. Read on to discover that it’s always possible to pursue your dreams, no matter your life stage.

#1 Kerry Mellin – Creator of the First Ready-Made Reusable Universal Cuff

Pivoted at 58 from designing costumes for Hollywood to producing Class 1 medical devices for people with disabilities.

Kerry Mellin

“I invented a product that in just 3 years became one of Amazon’s top 6 women-owned small businesses of 2019.

Located in greater LA, I’ve been a motion picture costumer for 35 years. 6 years ago, at 58, I realized that the fast pace, long hours, and highly physical work were becoming too challenging for me.

I always had a ranch and lots of physical hobbies. So, my hands got a lot of use 24/7 (coupled with arthritis in my family). I could feel my grip was not what it used to be.

One day while cleaning the barn, I went to sweep it out. My thumbs were so sore from a previous injury that I made a loop of duct tape over the broom handle and slipped my hand in.

Surprisingly it was effortless to use: no pain and grip-free. While sweeping, I thought about all the other boomers who want to stay active at work and with their hobbies.

I wanted to create a product to help people hold daily living objects and told this idea to my sisters Merrily and Wendy. The next day we got to work.

A week later, we had made a thousand prototypes of all shapes, sizes, and colors in our kitchen, ready for trial. That’s how we started EazyHold – a low-tech adaptive eating and drinking aid for the elderly, disabled, and special needs communities.

To invent and market a new device from A to Z is not an easy task for 3 women with no engineering or medical device degrees.

Embarking on the EazyHold journey

We interviewed 5 patent law firms in my area. I wanted to use locals and all lawyers (who happened to be males).

Each one told us the same thing. None were excited or very interested. The device was too simple; they were unsure how usable it was and couldn’t see it getting a patent.

Time ticked by. I decided to look a little further and specifically searched for a female lawyer (which constituted only 20%). I located her an hour away. The moment we showed her our prototype, she was on board.

She could picture the benefit, see it in the marketplace, and how it could enhance lives. She even had a special needs daughter and was sensitive to the need for special technology.

Within 18 months, we had not one but two patents and a design and utility.

Looking for silicone manufacturer

Design files in hand, my sister Merrily sent off file after file for quotes to mold a limited amount of products for trial. We sent email after email and got no response.

4 months later, her husband suggested he put his name on the letters. The quotes started streaming in for “Jeff.” This was an interesting lesson we learned and used a few times again.

Getting the product in front of doctors and therapists

There was no protocol to fit us in for appointments. So we hid in the hallways of hospitals. When doctors left their offices for lunch, we would ambush them with prototypes, including a fork, a toothbrush, and a marker.

I’m not exaggerating when I say every single one of them wanted a set for testing because they had patients who could use them now.

Would EazyHolds interest the general public? We decided to test them at the Ventura County flea market.

We put EazyHolds on everything we could think of. From a computer stylus to a baby bottle, hammer, boat oars – anything we found in our kitchens, bathrooms, and garages.

At the day’s end, we scheduled a trial with a school director of special education. A newspaper requested to interview us. Hundreds of people took our cards for their elderly parents.

EasyHold
Health Reporter edit

The sweet rewards of dedication

Our product is the first and only ready-made reusable universal cuff. It is sanitary, adaptable to objects, and can be distributed in schools and care facilities. And this is the only cuff made small enough for tiny children’s hands.

EazyHold, distributed through partnerships with Amazon, Lowe’s, Walmart, and 26 global distributors, has reached over 15,000 schools and care facilities worldwide. It is cited in university textbooks as a best practice in Occupational Therapy.

25% of people have a physical disability that makes it difficult to do the most basic things independently. Many of them are children who simply need to hold a baby bottle to drink or a toy to play with – it’s what drives us.

Our late-in-life career was born not despite, but because of the acceptance of our vulnerabilities.”

Kerry’s journey is an example of the many health and wellness professionals who successfully switched careers after their 30s. Here are a few more inspiring stories of people who did just that.

#2 Daria Seelin – Health and Wellness Coach

Daria Seelin

“I worked in the hospitality field for hotels in Spain, Dominican Republic, and the US. I started as a front desk agent and grew to a Four Seasons corporate office job.

Yet, I was not sure I wanted to stay in hospitality. This field was not the best fit for people who prioritize their families. It is always a high-stress environment.

At the same time, I wanted to get pregnant, but I couldn’t. After a tough year of different treatments, I started looking into a more holistic approach. And it helped: shortly after, I got pregnant with my first at 28 and quit my job.

I dug deeper into nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and how it affects one’s health. I was very inspired, and I started a healthy recipe blog. Shortly after I had my 2nd child, I decided to finally switch my career and went to study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And yes, I was already 30 years old.

Of course, this journey has been challenging. Psychologically it was super hard to realize that I went the wrong way the first time. At 30, you imagine having a well-established career and plenty of experience. The support of my husband and close people helped me not to focus on this.

Now I am a National Board certified health and wellness coach specializing in integrative nutrition and hormone health. The main obstacle I still face is that some people doubt my expertise if one hasn’t started a medical career at 18. Although I have valuable credentials, I still can get questionable.

But people keep getting more open-minded! I have more and more satisfied customers with excellent results. And most importantly, I am incredibly happy to do what I am passionate about.”

#3 Joy Moy – Chinese Medicine Doctor and Skincare Brand Owner

Joy Moy

“A car accident altered my personal and professional life in 2011. I was skeptical at first but had no choice but to receive acupuncture treatments as part of my recovery.

It was then I became a firm believer in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2012, I retook biology and chemistry classes as prerequisites to attend Acupuncture school. Then, I participated in Acupuncture school full-time for almost 6 years and eventually obtained my Doctorate.

My children were toddlers when I returned to school to change careers. Caring for them while studying for exams, writing papers, attending a clinic, and preparing for Board exams was extremely difficult.

Despite facing challenges, I persevered and remained committed to my goal. Now I am a Dr. of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine in NY with my clinic and brand of organic skincare products. I’ve also obtained 346k+ followers on TikTok.

My skincare brand, Joy Moy Skincare, has been featured at NY Fashion Week, Hamptons Fashion Week, and international film festivals.”

#4 Jae Pak – Medical Hair Restoration Doctor

Jae Pak

“I had a career as an engineer before I transitioned into the medical field. I earned a Bachelor of Science in aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Later, I designed fiber optic illuminators and lighting systems. My designs can be seen worldwide, including on the skyline of Las Vegas and on stealth ships operated by the US navy.

Being in my 30s, I realized I wanted to change my career. Today, I am a M.D. with over 15 years of hair restoration experience. People worldwide seek my help to solve their hair problems.

Also, I hold 8 patents in the field of medical hair restoration, and I love being able to bring all my gifts together in my work. So, having varied experiences in different areas can get even more benefits to your career.”

#5 Katie Tomaschko Tout – Registered Dietitian

Katie Tomaschko Tou

“In my 20s, I worked as a lifeguard, babysitter, and swim instructor. Yet, right after turning 30, I started my career as a dietitian (I actually graduated from D’Youville College the day before my 30th birthday!)

Ironically, living an unhealthy life led to my passion for nutrition and wellness. One day I decided that I could not continue living the way I was.

I started exercising and researching nutrition and was astounded at what I was learning. I lost 35 pounds and completely changed my habits and outlook on life. And I knew I had to spread the word about the incredible healing powers of nutrition.

However, I did not expect how complex nutrition science was. Moreover, I did not expect the schooling and testing to become a dietitian to be so tedious, lengthy, and expensive.

I began working in corporate wellness in August 2022 at 31 years old. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the transformation in my clients that also happened to me. It is truly the most rewarding experience.

If you have found a true passion for something, go for it! Keep pursuing your dreams and aspirations. Despite mini “failures” that you may experience – it is worth it!

Life is far too short to just work for a paycheck – finding work that fuels your soul is priceless.”

Conclusion

These 5 stories of career journeys in health and wellness after 30s prove that success knows no age limit. With determination, hard work, and an unwavering commitment to your goals, it’s possible to achieve fulfillment, even if you start later in life.

Embrace the power of growth. Instead of seeking stability, channel your strength into acquiring new knowledge and skills. Don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back because you can pave a path to an exciting future with dedication and a willingness to learn.

Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Nadzeya Sankovich is the Vice President of Communications at Health Reporter. Previously a professional journalist, she continues to write scientific articles and conduct research. With a background in sociology and medicine, she has worked with various healthcare organizations, from charities to telemedicine platforms.

Nadzeya is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a volunteer for a non-profit organization that helps underserved communities. Through her work, she empowers people to take charge of their health and well-being.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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