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It's Never Too Late to Make a Career Change

Kumon franchisee shares his journey from the corporate world to small business ownership and offers advice for others looking to make a career change.

Less than half of all Americans (49.6 percent) are satisfied with their jobs. That’s according to The Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey, an annual report conducted by the New York-based nonprofit research group since 1987.Overall, job satisfaction is at its highest since 2005, but there are still many concerns for employees of all ages. 

While younger workers may be quick to make a change, a common misconception exists that after a certain age it’s “too late.” However, with the average age of retirement rising, this couldn’t be any more false.Seasoned employees are in a unique position to have plenty of workforce experience to take to a new career.

After more than a decade of working as a sales manager and quota analyst for Verizon, Greg Derrick wanted a career that involved more than sitting behind a desk. He wanted to pursue a passion that would truly make a difference in his community. During this time, he learned about the franchise opportunity with Kumon, the world’s largest after-school math and reading program. 

Nearly seven years later, Greg has gone from crunching numbers on a computer to helping children unlock their potential as the franchise owner of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Fort Worth-North. As a business owner and integral part of his community, he’s enjoying the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children.


Why did you decide to make a career change?

I found myself sitting behind a desk having little to no interaction with people and felt as if, I wasn’t making a true difference impacting lives. I was providing for my family and making a decent living, but there was something that was still missing on the inside.

What interested you in the franchise business and why did you choose Kumon?

My oldest child started Kumon at the age of five and I witnessed the impact it had on him. When the opportunity arose to start a franchise, Kumon was at the top of the list because I had seen first-hand what Kumon can do for a student. On top of that, Kumon has national brand awareness. 

How has Kumon helped you with the career change?

Kumon helps all prospective franchisees through the entire process of opening a center, from developing a solid business plan to extensive professional training to ongoing support with marketing campaigns.Once your center is open, your local branch supports you on a regular basis. There are also monthly meetings that take place where best practices are shared. I am currently going on eight years of being a Kumon owner and instructor. I’m fortunate enough to keep learning from other franchisees.  

What advice do you have for others who may be considering a career change later in life?

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a career they are passionate about. Unlike the day-to-day grind of a 9-to-5, I have the opportunity to reap the benefits of my work each day through the progress of my students. I was 40 years old when I decided to take the leap of faith and make Kumon my final career change.  It is never too late to start! Looking back, my only regret is that I didn’t make the decision sooner. 

How has your life changed since opening a Kumon franchise?

The biggest change is getting up each day actually looking forward to going to work.Currently, I get to see around 150 children from ages three through high school flourish in the classroom. I get to build relationships with these students and become extensions of their families. Walking alongside students as they progress through elementary school into secondary school and then on through high school gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I am amazed at what a student can do and what they can achieve given the right opportunity. 

It’s never too late to take control of your career. For those individuals with a passion for education and an entrepreneurial spirit, learn more about joining the number one education franchise

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