Does the thought of another Monday working in your current career have your ready to call in sick?

What about the thought of spending the next 20 plus years of your career doing the same work?

If you don’t enjoy your current career and are already considering how to escape it, then maybe it’s time for a career reinvention.

Gone are the days when you must spend your entire working life in the one career. Especially if you don’t enjoy your career! It is never too late to find a career you are passionate about and fills you with purpose.

With people living longer and the economic strain on the cost of living, working longer in life is now simply reality for most of us. So, if you find yourself dreaming of a different career or wanting to fulfill your passion, then it’s time to reinvent your career and have an encore career.

Woman at work in front of a laptop looking unhappy

What is an encore career?

What is an encore career? The term was first offered by Marc Freedman. Marc is an author and social entrepreneur who wrote the book, “Encore: Finding work that matters in the second half of life”. The encore career is described by Freedman as ‘purpose-driven work’. That is, doing work that matters or makes a difference. Freedman offers a perspective which is transforms traditional views shifting from, the freedom from work to the freedom to work. This element of choice enables workers to contribute their skills and knowledge in different ways.

What is an encore career? Purpose-driven work

Reinventing your career through starting a new vocation later in life and having a second career path, enables people to continue their careers whilst contributing to the overall well-being of self and community.  

How do you go about having an encore career?

So how do you go about having an encore career? One of the most important parts of the process is ensuring you have the mindset that is open to changing careers. You are never too old to start a new career and embracing this way of thinking is essential to your success. With your mindset supporting your journey, work out what is motivating you?

You are never too old to start a new career!

1. Passion or Profit

It’s important to work out what is motivating you to have an encore career. Everyone’s situation will be different, so understanding whether you are financially motivated or simply driven by passion or interest, will go a long way to helping you get started on your next career phase. If you still need an income, then take some time to work out how much you need? If it’s passion that is driving you, then think about what really interests you or what activities you enjoy? What causes are close to your heart?

2. Skills and Career Options

When you have had 15, 20, 30 or even 40 years career experience, you generally have a good idea of where your strengths lie and what skills you have obtained over your career journey. You have acquired a wealth of skills over the course of your career, so it’s important to take some time, and do a skills inventory. Think back over all your career experience, do a deep dive on your skills and list them down.

When assessing your skills, it can be helpful to think about your accomplishments. Your accomplishments will be an indicator of one or several of your skills in action. If you are thinking of changing careers altogether then your skills inventory will be essential to understand what skills can be transferred to the new career. It is particularly useful to work with a career coach on this phase as they can help to draw out your skills and assist you with capturing them.

Once you’ve completed your skills inventory, it’s time to explore new career options. Identify potential career options and research them to understand what is entailed for each one. Many of your skills will be transferable however it is also possible additional education could be required. Understand what the new career will entail and be realistic about whether it is viable for you or not.

Lettering on the ground that says, ‘Fulfill your destiny.’

3. Network

Networking is an essential part of your encore career. Creating connections with people in a specific industry or career focus area to find out more about what they do and opportunities available, is an important part of your encore career strategy.

In these days of social media, it is tempting to sit behind your computer or phone and use this to secure your encore career. However, you still need to have a mix of online AND offline (in-person) networking strategies. It is vital to meet key people face-to-face, so they put a face to a name. Creating in-person connections helps you to be known. It also helps to connect with others in the career of interest and learn how they got their start and any wisdom they could share with you.

A great example of networking is Kaley Chu who created connections by having 100 lunches with 100 strangers. The idea originally started after she failed to utter a word in a client meeting, despite being fully prepared. She leveraged the power of LinkedIn and reached out to people by offering to take them to lunch. The process also helped her try different activities and realise her passions.

Think about who you can reach out to and connect with? Invite them for a coffee where you can pick their brains about your encore career and invite their feedback on how you can discover opportunities?

Four women working in a business meeting in a cafe coffee shop

Taking some time to work out what you want from your second career and working through the steps above will assist you to having a successful encore career. There’s no reason why you can’t continue on contributing to the community and deriving fulfillment from your work.

Age is simply a number. It’s important to remember the wisdom and experience that age brings with it. These assets are underestimated in the value they bring to the workplace. You have a great deal to offer so I encourage you to explore and build an encore career that keeps you inspired.

It can be overwhelming reinventing your career so having a supportive career coach to guide you on the journey can make the process that much easier. Email hello@womenscareercoaching.com to set up a 30-minute encore career chat.


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