Encore Careers Bring a Fresh Outlook

More than ever, older workers are turning to second or “encore” careers to pursue new interests and continue earning income before retiring. If you aren’t ready to exit the working world, here are four things to consider for a second act. 

Reasons for encore careers

Reasons vary as to why some might continue to work rather than retire. Many Americans are not financially prepared for full retirement. The 2008 recession caused millions to be out of work for an extended time. Millions saw their retirement savings lose value in the stock market melt down.

Even if you haven’t suffered calamitous setbacks such as these, people are simply living longer, are healthier and more vibrant later in life. You may just want to stay relevant and active with an encore career. Here are four things to consider.

Begin close at hand

If you’ve worked for one company for many years, consider using your experience there to take on a different role. Are there departments where your expertise can have crossover application that you might enjoy? Is there community outreach in which you could serve to give back? Looking for fresh opportunities within your own company is especially important if you have company benefits that you don’t think you can replicate elsewhere. Give thought to what you would be leaving behind and what would be available (or not) elsewhere.

Think like an entrepreneur

The internet makes it easier than ever to start your own business. If you have years of experience in an industry, consider becoming a consultant. For example, if you have worked in medical insurance billing, consider offering your expertise consulting with families managing medical bills for elderly parents. Experience in finance can translate into personal financial management consulting. Pursue continuing education and certifications or licensing in fields where you already have a knowledge base to draw upon. For a small investment you can buy a domain name for a website, set up hosting on a server, and create a site for your business in one day. Yes, you can do it.

Serving a cause

There are many charitable organizations that can use your volunteer service to better the community. The Foster Grandparents program with The Corporation for National and Community Service needs seniors for mentoring of young people in crisis. If you want to help out elders who are house bound, Meals on Wheels always can use a hand delivering food and friendship. Search out what you feel passionately about, then present yourself as a ready volunteer. You will be greatly appreciated.