Helpful information and advice from
America's favorite workplace columnist
Thursday, February 14, 2013
How to Launch a New Career After 50
It’s estimated that more than one in four Americans are tapping into their retirement savings accounts such as 401(k)s to meet non-retirement needs, but such a strategy can mean it may require people to work longer, especially since company-provided pensions are now provided to only one-in-five workers.
That could explain why twice as many people in their late 50s and early 60s are starting a business or becoming freelancers compared to a year ago, finds a PeoplePerHour survey. Some 38% of respondents admit that while running their own show is a challenge, more than two-thirds report it wasn’t likely that they’d ever want to work for someone else again.
AB: First, let’s begin with what you mean by a “second-act career.”
NC: A second-act career involves more than just landing a new job or shifting into a different industry. It refers to a distinct move into a new line of work, and for people in semi-retirement, it typically also implies a more flexible lifestyle.
AB: How do you decide what you want to do in these second-act careers? Does it have to be what you’ve always done in your professional life or can you start something completely new?
NC: By all means you can start something new! After all, if you don’t do it now, what are you waiting for? Just be aware that it can take considerable time, energy and expense to start anew (not to mention that it also can require a bit of an ego adjustment) so be realistic about your expectations.
All things being equal, it is always easiest to transition into a new career that is related in some way, shape or form to what you did before. For example, perhaps you enjoyed facilitating meetings– a skill that could be transferred over to working as a director for a non-profit. Or maybe you loved mentoring younger employees – an experience that could be a springboard into a second-act as an executive coach. Take the time to assess your background and then consider (read the rest here)