We recently received a question from a reader about encore (or second) careers. Regardless of your age, it’s good to start thinking about what a career change might look like.
My husband is over 50 and looking to change careers and industries from entertainment publicity to something totally different. Do you have any recommendations? We recently relocated to Colorado, but I don’t think location matters.
First of all, thank you so much for this note. I must admit, this is the first reader note we’ve received. I love answering reader questions, so I hope I’ll get some more.
I’ve written about changing careers a couple of times over on HR Bartender. I don’t want to republish those posts here, so I hope you’ll check these out.
Regarding the reader note, I recently listened to a LinkedIn Learning session from Marci Alboher, vice president of Encore.org and author of “The Encore Career Handbook” about (you guessed it) encore careers. The session is less than an hour long and provides a high-level overview of considerations for finding encore careers. If someone is looking for a place to start, Alboher’s session might be the way to go. In addition to her session, here are five other steps to consider:
- Check out Encore.org and join their LinkedIn group. This was one of my big takeaways from Alboher’s session – that there’s an organization and group we can explore and learn from. I didn’t know they existed. But I’m paying attention to them now.
- Get your resume and LinkedIn profile in order. Whether you decide to change professions, industries, or go out on your own, you’ll want to do this. And the process takes time. I recently wrote a post on “5 Tips for Age Proofing Your Resume”. Check it out when you have a moment. Use the same philosophy for your LinkedIn profile.
- Start developing your social media platforms. Speaking of LinkedIn, we’ve published a couple of posts about working your LinkedIn and Facebook networks. Many organizations post openings online, so you’ll want to know these platforms.
- Think about what you want to do. And where you want to do it. I can’t tell anyone what job to take. You have to figure that out on your own. Which means spending some time thinking about what interests you, how much money to you need to make, etc.
There’s one other thing (#5) that I want to address when it comes to second careers. Or first careers for that matter. I’ve always felt that the person getting the job needs to want the job. And part of wanting the job is showing interest. Now it’s possible that the “my husband” reference in this note is because the reader was legitimately asked to write the note. But at some point, “my husband” has to take over this research. Otherwise, this situation will probably not turn out well. I’m dishing out this tough love from the standpoint of a recruiter who has seen moms, dads, husbands, wives, and partners get involved in their loved one’s job search.
An encore career is definitely something to consider when it comes to your retirement strategy. And this person is doing the right thing by starting the conversation early.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the MBTI Users Conference in San Francisco, CA