Retirement

An encore career? 5 Tips for a Second Career in Retirement

For many retirees today, the secret to a successful retirement is an oxymoron. A successful retirement means work.

But this kind of work looks different from the career you’ve had for 40 years. Instead, there are a number of other careers that today’s retirees are pursuing.

“People today are saying, ‘I don’t want to be sitting on my porch when I retire,'” says Chicago, Ill.-based Judy Lenski, president and founder of Lenski Career Consultants.

Many people are choosing to pursue a second, or “encore” career in retirement, and not because they’re strapped for cash. They are looking for meaning. “They want to do something that’s interesting, challenging, and brings them out with other people,” she says.

Although the lure of a new career keeps many Americans engaged in the workforce, there are important considerations for retirees to make before embarking on another career, Lansky suggests.

If you’re one of the many Americans approaching retirement age – and eager to start the next chapter of life with a new career – here are three tips.

1. Know what you want from another career.

A successful second career can challenge your identity. Ideally, you get a job that:

  • Offers the hours (part-time or full-time) and flexibility you want, plus the pay and benefits you want
  • Puts you around people you want to spend time with.
  • This includes doing things that make you happy.

So, where do you start figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life? Many older people say that thinking about a retirement job actually reminds them of being in high school or college and trying to determine who they are and what they want to be.

If this is you, you may want to consider using some of these resources to determine what you want from another career.

gave Professional Outlook Handbook It is an excellent and comprehensive resource for learning about different careers. You can learn about the work environment, salary, job outlook, education requirements and more.

There are also several books that can help you identify how you want to spend the rest of your life. Options include:

2. Be honest about your time commitment to your second career.

Starting a new second career takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s important to be honest about how much time you’re willing to commit to a new professional endeavor.

“It’s the difference between a hobby and a career,” Lansky says. “Some people may realize they’re really looking for something part-time. Maybe they want to spend Tuesdays and Thursdays with the grandkids. Working 40 to 50 hours a week may not be realistic.

Part of the time needed to transition to a new career can be spent learning new skills, she says, adding that you may need to take classes or other types of training to get started in a new field. .

“Sometimes skills transfer to the next field, but it’s not always that easy,” she says.

Taking a required training course while still at your current job can help make the transition to a new career much easier and faster, she says.

3. Know your next career outcomes and results after retirement.

Lenski advises that the grass is always greener on the other side, and it’s important to do your homework before jumping into a new role.

Sometimes, people who enter a new field find that their desired role is not what they thought.

“Talking to people in your newly chosen field, and even shadowing someone, can be a great thing,” she says. “You want to know about it, but also see if you really like it.”

For those who know the switch is right for them, start building a network in this new field now before taking on a new role.

“You’ll need that network to make a career change,” she says, noting that an established professional network will also make the transition easier.

4. Embrace your inner youth to succeed in your second career.

You may work with Millennials in your new career, and it’s important to show a new employer that you can get along with them.

Older workers have a lot of expertise and experience to contribute to any organization, says Lenski, and keeping up with the latest trends and technology is an important way to ensure your strengths are highlighted. Don’t be fooled.

5. Update or build your retirement plan with another career in mind

Working in retirement can affect many details of your overall retirement plan: your retirement income, health benefits, taxes, how you should invest and more.

It is important for you to understand the implications (mostly positive) of your overall plan. The best retirement calculators—like the New Retirement Retirement Planner—will let you enter information about retirement jobs and show you how it affects your finances now and in the future.

Pursuing a second career can be very rewarding, but it is not without challenges. Being prepared for a new role will make your later years more enjoyable, says Lenski.


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