One of the takeaways I’ve tried to stress in this series about encore careers is that it is a path or process that takes time.
- In part one, we discussed what encore careers are and why you might want to consider one. Making the decision to have a second career later in life takes time.
- In part two, we talked about taking inventory of your work experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities to hone in on the encore career you might like to pursue.
- And in part three, we outlined how volunteerism might lead you to that perfect encore career. But it takes research and keeping your job search skills current.
Whenever I’m working on a long-term process, I like to think about journaling as a way to keep track of my thoughts. Consider creating an encore career journal to help you document your decisions, skills, and future plans. Here are five things about journals to keep in mind:
- Pick a format that suits you. The great thing about journals today is that they can be paper or electronic. Use whatever works best for you. Personally, I love paper and like the idea of rereading my comments. It can help me make decisions. A Bullet Journal might be perfect for the task.
- Dedicate it to a single idea. If you already journal, then you might want to create a separate journal focused on unretirement or encore careers. That way all of your thoughts and ideas are in a single place. For a few years, I kept a secret board on Pinterest focused on “unretirement”.
- Stuff articles and reminders in them. This is kinda related to the last point. Whether you read an article online or via a paper magazine, you can cut/paste them into your journal. If you’re a visual person, you could create a vision board focused on your unretirement journey or encore career.
- Be flexible with your schedule. Because I suspect developing your encore career plan is going to take some time, a journal allows you to set it to the side when life gets busy and pick it up later. The important part is not to forget about it. That might be one advantage to a paper journal, it could stare back at you.
- Allow it to help you. What I mean by that is give yourself permission to not know everything. Your unretirement and encore career is a journey. Write down your thoughts and let them sit there. You don’t have to take action right away. At some point, you might want to share your journal with a family member or a retirement coach.
Journals are an effective way to document your ideas, thoughts, and feelings about a subject. They give you time to think things through and organize information. Your retirement is one of the most important things you will do. It deserves a little planning. You’re never too young to start.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm in Maui, HI