By Sara Waskow, Owner FranNet of Dallas-Fort Worth~
As we reach mid-life years, it’s quite common to think about the future in much longer terms.
Many of our early “First Act” careers were all-consuming affairs: Whirlwinds of meetings, presentations, and social engagements that left little time to contemplate much else besides work. The instinct to plan for the intersection of one’s career and future likely only surfaces during annual reviews. Even then, you may be so keyed up to ask for a well-deserved raise that you don’t consider all your circumstances.
Many of us over the age of 50 are using this time as a period of reflection. When the spotlight shines on your career so far, what comes to mind? Have you been successful? Probably. Have you enjoyed it? Only you can choose whether to continue your “First Act” career path or transition to a “Second Act.”
Each year, thousands of people decide it’s time to pursue an alternative path. But many of us aren’t interested in taking a risk if it means working for someone else. Thus, entrepreneurial second careers after 50 are increasingly common.
The “First Act” of a career has the potential to benefit a more entrepreneurial “Second Act.” Many use their transferrable skills and knowledge to find similar outlets for their expertise. Others use “Second Act” career transitions to go in the opposite direction — often providing much more satisfaction, less stress, and a more flexible lifestyle. Regardless of your preference, either path can be advantageous.
At this stage in life, you’ve likely garnered enough accomplishments and experience to consider an alternative career. But it begins with that all-important contemplation exercise: Evaluating the “First Act” of your career so far. Are you happy? Is the work you do meaningful to you? Would you be happier doing something else? If so, what might your “Second Act” career look like?
Let’s face facts. We are getting older, but, for many of us in the 50 plus crowd, retirement is still a way off. We still have time and choices, and it could be worth pondering how your career experience might help you transition to a second act. Can the knowledge and skills you’ve learned so far help you succeed on a completely new path?
There’s only one way to find out!