Friday, July 13, 2007

A Second Career - Is Now The Time?

I've been reading a lot about "career switching" and "second careers" and I've found some great resources and articles in BusinessWeek.

The first article I found was this one by Emily Keller titled, "Real Life Career-Changers". It gives a couple of great examples of how Eric Green, a Navy veteran, and Karen Tuttle, a retired 2nd grade school teacher, make this transition.

Here is a great quote from Eric Green as he talks about his transition from a Navy vet to co-managing a $50 million hedge fund. Although many of his skills carried over, Green says it has been difficult learning "how to filter the signal from the noise" when it comes to using market data to develop business strategies and pinpoint opportunities for growth. "I don't know if I will ever overcome this problem," says Green, who combats the obstacle by focusing on value-investing news rather than popular business information sources. "Most of my time is trying to hone the investment process, rather than worry about the hot headline."

The second resource I found was this great took kit that BusinessWeek put together - a Special Report on "second careers" and included are many resources, articles, and tips on how to take the jump into this new phase and chapter in your life. Take a deep dive into the links and information included there and you'll find youself bettere educated and prepared when thinking about all the factors that you will need to consider when making this change.

Here are some factors I'd recommend you consider before taking this leap...

1. Can you afford it? This may be an obvious question but you'll need to look at your financial situation and where you want to be when you "officially retire". If you've done your homework and prepared over the years you may already be there. If you are not where you need to be take how ever much time is needed to get you there. This may take some time, sacrifice and commitment but if you really want to transition out of what you are doing and into something you truly have a passion for, you've got to do it.

2. Find something your passionate about. You've been in your current career for a while and have had plenty of time to think about what you wish you would have done. You've also had experiences and learning opportunities in your life that have introduced you to ideas and careers that you had never would of dreamed of back when you were 18 and trying to choose your major in college.

3. Find something that gives you the work/life balance you want and need. You will need to select a career that gives you the work/life balance you want at this stage in your life. You may have a passion and always dreamed of becoming a jet pilot or a wilderness guide in the Amazon - but are these really going to give you the work/life balance you need? Probably not. But, there may be something you can do locally that is closely related to these passions that will still give you the satisfaction you are looking for.

These questions and factors are a great starting point for this new chapter in your life so continue to plan, set goals, and make that transition well into that new career.


JoeDaddy said...

You all might also find this link helpful -- it's a video from Retirement Living TV on older folks who've found satisfying second careers: