The 411 on Encore Careers
Six truths about choosing the second career of your dreams
Posted May 16, 2011
You’re leaving your current career behind, either because it’s time to move on or you’ve been retired before you’re ready. You want to (or have to) continue to work. You can’t imagine spending the next decade or more doing more of what you’ve been doing. You like the idea of an encore career, but you’re not sure exactly what an encore career is. Here’s the 411 on encore careers. They:
1. Are Not the Same Old Same Old. Tell the truth. How many times in your current career have you chosen the next logical step or the path of least resistance whether it felt right or not? How long has it been since you felt truly challenged and exhilarated by your work? Have you ever?
Think of your encore career as a giant step away from what you’ve been doing, especially if what you’ve been doing no longer pulls you out of bed each morning. Let go of the way you’ve always gone about finding what’s next, and come at it from a brand new angle. An encore career should be fresh, exhilarating, and engaging.
2. Require You to Think (Way) Outside the Box. Don’t just take the lid off the box you’re in, actually step out of—and then get rid of—it altogether. This is the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself in a way that (maybe for the first time in your life) is a purest expression of your authentic self. You can’t do that if you’re trapped inside a box that no longer fits who you are, where you want to be, and what you want to be doing. Be bold in your approach, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
3. Are Fulfilling. Have you ever been so fully engaged in an activity (for me it’s working on a mosaic project) that you completely lose track of time? Remember how much fun you were having; how filled to overflowing you felt? That’s the feeling you’re going for in an encore career.
You will be fulfilled in your encore career because it will satisfy your deepest desires and be aligned with what you value most at this time of your life. You know what it’s like to be unfulfilled in your work. You don’t need to go there again.
4. Are Meaningful. What’s the purpose of an encore career? It’s simple: to give you a purpose, a reason for living. An encore career should move your soul and touch your heart because you’re living the life you’re meant to be living. Only then will you find the meaning you’re yearning for.
5. Make a Contribution. This is a vital part of an encore career. It’s not about working for the sake of working. It’s not even about working for the sake of making money (although you may need to). It’s about making a difference on the planet. And, since you’ve gotten rid of the box and are thinking bigger and bolder than ever before, you’ll discover that there are lots of different ways to make a difference.
Of course, you could use your abundance of talent to help solve one of the abundance of problems we face in the 21st century. You could also start a business that employs people in your community, while providing a product or service that improves people’s lives. You might write books that inform or create works of art that inspire. Expand your thinking to explore all the different ways you can make a contribution.
6. Can Be Lucrative. If you’re set financially and want to volunteer your time and your talent to a worthy cause, great. If your retirement nest egg has taken a hit, or wasn’t that big to begin with, and it’s important to make good money—get creative. There are lots of ways to make money, make a difference, have a purpose and live your values. You’ll have to let go of your dinky thinking and those stinky old limiting beliefs that will only hold you back. But, it’ll be worth it.
Getting a different picture of what an encore career really is? Excited about the possibilities? Give yourself permission to retire the part of your life—your work—that no longer fits, and embark on the encore career of your dreams!
Lin Schreiber, PCC, is a Retirement Revolutionary who loves helping self-reliant women reinvent themselves in the next stage of life, formerly known as “retirement.” Lin is featured on the PBS series Boomers: Redefining Life After Fifty, and is the author of The ABC’s of Retiring Retirement. A Professional Certified Coach, Certified Retirement Coach, and founder of Revolutionize Retirement, Lin combines her contagious enthusiasm, nonstop energy, and passion for her subject to create a fun, dynamic learning environment that energizes and inspires her audiences.