One the more popular questions I get asked when doing interviews about my book, Second-Act Careers is, “What is the best second-act career for people over 50?”
I’d love to have a ready answer to that question. But in truth, is that there is no one-size-fits-all “best.” Everyone needs to figure out the optimal solution for their unique set of circumstances, goals and experiences. One person’s delight might be another’s disappointment.
But that said, I do think entrepreneurial support services is one of the more promising second-act career options for boomers. We are fast becoming a nation of independent entrepreneurs and many of those entrepreneurs are people over 50. According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, a leading indicator of new business creation, the share of new businesses started by people ages 55 to 64 increased from 14.3% in 1996 to 23.4% in 2012.
For a long time, I’ve been wanting to post video interviews with both “second-acters” and entrepreneurs who offer high-quality services for boomers looking to create a lifestyle-friendly career. So I was thrilled when Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs, agreed to be my first test case.
“Selfish employment is when you have at least enough financial security and independence to be able to do whatever the heck you want to do for a living, regardless of how much you might, or might not, earn from doing it.” – Jeff Yeager
I’ve long maintained that having financial flexibility is now of the single most important factors impacting your second-act career choices.That’s why I took time this past weekend to read, How to Retire the Cheapskate way: The Ultimate Cheapskate Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager.
I’m glad I did.
For all too many people, career paths develop more as a result of “drift” – the decisions you make by not deciding – than as a result of planning. But I’d hate to see you fall into that trap as you prepare for your second-act. That’s why I wanted to share this video with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, where she discusses how she “drifted” into being a lawyer before finding her way to becoming an author.
Looking for a career that matters? Let me introduce you to Nicole.
Nicole is the daughter of a dear friend and former client of mine. As you can see from her photo, she is a true beauty with crystal clear blue eyes and a megawatt smile.
What you can’t see is that Nicole is being treated for a life-threatening illness. Last fall, this tri-varsity athlete and honors student started her junior year of high school anticipating a year filled with AP courses, SAT prep and college visits.
What she got instead was a diagnosis of leukemia. And more.