By Christopher J. Miller, Entrepreneur and Consultant
The Fifty+ audience has one incredible gift; experience. There’s no other time in your life when you can combine experience modules from different aspects of your life into a new and eventful career. After all, by the time you have reached 50+ you’ve managed to accrue record work hours in a variety of different industries.
When I was in my early twenties, I discovered an excellent book to help me discover my first career, marketing. “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles, is an incredible book that’s been republished for years and even has a 2019 edition. If you’re struggling with identifying what’s next in your life; I recommend purchasing a copy.
It contains a great exercise that helps a person identify their skills. Write down 7-10 success stories from your life and review common traits demonstrated. By combining these traits, you can discover your talents and devise the perfect career.
For example, I spent 25 years in marketing and advertising and have success stories to prove it. But after turning 50, and watching my father pass away, I decided that I wanted something different; I wanted to provide a social service to my community. But that’s not all, I am also a successful artist and believe in culture and art and it’s demonstrated contribution to society. But how could I combine marketing, social service and art into one career?
By combining my success stories, I developed the Urban Artist Market. This bi-annual event held in Addison, Texas, helps local artists sell and promote their wares while giving back to the community. How you ask? I combined my conference marketing experience with fundraising, and developed a one-of-a-kind art show that uses an opening reception to raise funds for a local charity. For example, our October 2018 show raised $3,500 for Metrocrest Services; a vital social services organization in Farmers Branch. For more information, visit metrocrestservices.com.
So you’re 50+ and don’t know what to do next? That’s fantastic! Take out a sheet of paper and write 7-10 success stories from your life. Raised 3 children successfully? Chaired the PTA fundraiser? Built a successful garden in your backyard? Don’t EVER edit your successes. No talent is too small or insignificant. Your success story can be as small as building a sturdy chicken coop by hand in your backyard and demonstrating a passion for carpentry, or baking delicious cupcakes for the senior prom.
After writing your success stories down, put them aside and review them the following day. Circle repetitive actions or common elements that demonstrate your talents. Combine these stories with your career skills and discover your Second Act!