Tuesday, June 04, 2013

5 Effective Ways to Find Your Best Second Career

I recently had a conversation with a former hair stylist who’d been forced to make a career change after developing a severe allergy to hair care products. Once her workman’s compensation ended she returned to school to earn a degree in marketing. Since graduating, the only work this woman has been able to procure is as a retail clerk. She tells me employers won’t hire her because she‘s too old (over 50) and that her skills aren’t strong enough. After rejecting my ideas to improve her skills, I began to wonder if perhaps marketing was not the best choice for this woman. There has to be a more effective way to choose a second career. To answer this question I’ve turned to Ruth Richards a writer for All The Top Bananas.

With the job market being more turbulent than ever before, many people are looking towards ‘second careers’ to bolster their incomes or see them through retirement. A change of direction can be interesting and exciting, though it’s not always easy to know where to start.

Here, we look at five effective ways to find the best second career for you.

Work out your skills and strengths

It should go without saying, but it’s important that you know what you’re good at and make choices accordingly. If you hate talking to large groups of people, for example, you probably shouldn’t be a lecturer. On the other hand, it could be the perfect choice if you’re good at coaching and have a patient manner. Identify what you’re good at and work through your options from there.

Look for something you have a true passion for

We spend an awful lot of time in the workplace, so it makes sense to choose something that you love. If you have a creative streak, you might enjoy a role that deals with the arts. If you enjoy cooking, you may consider a job in catering. Work doesn’t have to be dull and boring, and you can take immense personal satisfaction from it if you choose something you truly care about.

Find out what training is available to you

If you’re looking at a totally new field, you may need some training to get your skills up to scratch. Many local communities offer free or reduced priced courses to their residents, so look out for what’s available close to you. Of course, trainee roles are quite often available, and this could be a viable option for you.

Make a list of what your priorities are

The world of work is sometimes about making sacrifices and working out what you really want. If pay is your main goal, you might have to be willing to work long hours and deal with pressure. On the other hand, if doing something you love is your priority, you may have to travel further to your place of work. Establish what’s important to you and think about how you’ll balance the various aspects.

Can you go it alone?

If you’ve never considered entrepreneurship, now could be the time. After all, what could be better than working for yourself on your own terms? With advances in the World Wide Web, pretty much anyone can start their own venture from the comfort of their own home. Freelancing is a popular route, and you could do anything from writing to web development.

Are you currently considering a change in career direction? Do you think you’ve found the best option for you?

This article was brought to you by Ruth Richards on behalf of All The Top Bananas. All The Top Bananas helps job seekers find new opportunities with their online job search facilities.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:
How To Find Work When You Don't Have Experience?
Can Passion Exist Without Mastery?
Job Disillusionment


  1. Great tips everyone I know has a side hustle of some kind I think its needed in this economy I just think you need something that will make you stand out from the rest in a big way.

  2. Anonymous7:37 AM

    those are great tips, thanks for sharing. It's always great to be prepared for anything.

    Happy Saturday Sharefest.

  3. Stopping by from SITs. One of the interesting things about being a woman is our ability to wear so many different hats. A second career has never struck me as a being strange or a "waste of my degree" (that degree served me well for 30 years). Great tips for me to think about as I move into the next season of my life!

  4. Marketing can be rough as some positions rely solely on appearance, so unfortunately, the younger the better. I'm in the midst of switching careers and I need all the tips that I can get. Visiting from SITS.

  5. Midnight Cowgirl,
    Thanks for stopping in.

  6. Darlene,
    So true and thanks for the pin.

  7. Kita,
    You are so right and your comment inspired my latest post:


  8. Dino,
    The days of working at one career your entire life are long gone. Many of us may need a second career whether we want one or not.

  9. Lydia,
    So happy to hear your degree served you well. An ideal 2nd career would be to use your original degree in a new more rewarding fashion. If only it was that easy.

  10. Be-quoted,
    My thoughts exactly.

  11. These are great tips. I made the change from personal finance to communications at 32 years old. I found my passion, went back to school and used my blogging skills to land my dream job. Great post!