Being dissatisfied with your job isn't unusual, but few people have what it takes to actually do a complete career 180 — especially when the new job you want requires going back to school. Not only do you have to leave the comfort of a steady job (and the paycheck that comes with it), but you also need to feel confident that the new path you’re carving out for yourself will be better than the one you’re leaving behind.
So when DeBorah Boyd quit her job in sales at the age of 45, she had a plan: She left her office and hopped on a bus directly to a local college where she took the entrance exam for nursing school. “Sales burned me out a lot,” says Boyd. “That’s why I decided to enter college again later in life.” But this wasn’t a random career switch. Boyd had been a nursing assistant in her early 20s and had always looked back wistfully on her time working in the profession.
Learning a whole new set of skills takes patience, diligence, and grit… especially when you’re confronted with additional challenges along the way. “I was actually closer to the age of most of the instructors than the other students,” says Boyd. “And after discovering I was diabetic, my whole lifestyle had to change. But this was my passion, so I thought to myself, Yes, I can. And I did! But boy, was it tough.”
Boyd’s relentless positivity was a big part of her success story, but she also proudly recognizes the hard work it took to graduate from nursing school while overcoming obstacles along the way. And when she discovered Revlon’s #ICanSoIDid movement, which they teamed up with Bustle on to celebrate, she knew she had to be part of it.
“I liked the play on the words,” says Boyd. “I can, so I did. That hit me right at home, because I did it. I went back to school at the age of 45.” Boyd entered the #ICanSoIDid sweepstakes by posting snapshots of her own #ICanSoIDid moments on social media — things like pursuing a nursing career and maintaining a work-life balance by practicing yoga and cooking healthy meals. And (spoiler alert) she won!
Revlon flew Boyd and her husband to New York City for a whirlwind trip. The couple visited Times Square, caught the sold-out Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, and toured the Revlon headquarters. But Boyd’s favorite part of the trip was getting to participate in her very own photo shoot.
“The theme of the photo shoot was built around a quote from Shirley Chisholm that says, ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,’” says Boyd. “So they had a lot of folding chairs in different shades. I felt like I wanted to assign a special chair to each person in my life who has inspired me, like my mother. She was a very colorful woman, which is why I was so happy when Revlon picked me.”
In the future, Boyd plans to continue helping her patients regain their health and confidence as a nurse, as well as inspiring others to be their best selves. And when she needs a little inspiration of her own, she knows where to find it.
“If you click the hashtag #ICanSoIDid on Instagram, you can scroll down and see all of these women accomplishing amazing things,” says Boyd. “It just goes to show that it’s never too late to go back to school or pursue your passion.”
This post is sponsored by Revlon.
Photography: Colette Aboussouan; Makeup: Ashley Victoria; Hair: Akihisa Yamaguchi; Wardrobe Styling: Annebet Duvall; Prop Styling: Erin Lark Gray; Manicure: Leanne Woodley; Art Direction and Design: Diana Weisman/BDG; Branded Beauty Leads: Lexi Novak & Irma Elezovic/BDG; Production: Kat Fry/BDG