By Anne Evenson
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Albert Einstein, German Theoretical Physicist
Sometimes the catalyst for a career change can be unexpected, like the sudden loss of a job, or the illness of a spouse or parent. Other times it may result simply from a growing dissatisfaction with one’s career and the reluctance to maintain the status quo. And sometimes, career change is spurred by retirement concerns such as insufficient savings or fear of becoming disconnected and not having a clear purpose.
Find Your True Purpose While You Gain Independence
Thankfully, a new strategy has emerged to help professionals find more fulfilling employment. An encore career is defined as work in a new industry or area that is personally meaningful while still providing a reliable income. These new occupations are typically aligned with a person’s values and are often in fields with greater social significance like the environment, education, health care, nonprofits and other areas related to public service or the common interest.
People seeking an encore career are accomplished professionals who understand their worth and are unwilling to compromise their earning potential. They are usually in the second half of their lives and often yearn for more freedom and flexibility. Encore careers are a great way for individuals to leverage their maturity, expertise and network, while still earning a wage and remaining professionally and personally engaged. A new career can also ease the financial and emotional transition into retirement by allowing someone to work longer in a job that they value and enjoy.
The Simple Secrets to Finding Your Encore Career
Whether you’re looking for meaningful work, extra revenue or more autonomy, it’s important to find the right path for you. Think about the knowledge, skills and experience you have accumulated over the years. How can you apply these assets to find a new rewarding career driven by personal passion? Here’s a hint: begin with your dream job. If you’re not sure what that is, a career mind map can be a helpful brainstorming tool to help you discover your new direction. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s helpful to ask yourself if there are existing professions that provide those same benefits.
Once You Know What You Want Your Encore Career to Be, It’s Time to Find Your Niche
Nonprofit organizations are great springboards for encore careers because though they sometimes pay less, they provide substantial opportunity for community interaction, intellectual growth and emotional satisfaction. Nonprofits are eager to hire employees who have years of experience and a variety of skills and expertise in areas like leadership, management, accounting, development, marketing and event planning. Currently there are over 5,000 nonprofits serving Austin and the surrounding community.
Personal coaching and professional consulting offer several possibilities as encore careers and are great ways to leverage your professional and personal connections to help others. You can also gain more latitude and independence by working for yourself and choosing your own clients. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but that can also be a strong motivator for some people.
If you enjoy inspiring people to care for their bodies or their bank accounts, financial planning and personal training offer flexibility and freedom, while affording you the choice of working for yourself or for an organization. The need for financial and physical fitness will continue to grow and so will the demand for experts in these fields.
The Best Place to Launch Your Encore Career
With the Austin metropolitan area at an all-time high of 2 million people and the strongest job market in decades, there’s never been a better time to harness your potential for vocational growth in an encore career. Austin has very low unemployment, robust industry and strong economic growth. The Austin job market is extremely diverse and includes cutting edge technology, higher education, state government, real estate, nonprofits, science, health care, arts and culture, and so much more.
This adds up to a vast array of people to serve in a multitude of ways in a city that inspires and exhilarates. Encore careers are exciting opportunities for professionals to go after their dreams and live their best lives while still bringing in a steady paycheck. If you’re considering changing careers or returning to the job market for an encore career, Austin is the best place to be and now is a great time to start!
Anne Evenson is a marketing specialist and copy editor working in Austin, Texas. She holds a BFA in Fibers and Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute.
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