I recently heard from a reader who wrote to tell me how much he enjoyed reading Second-Act Careers (made my day)! Thanks to the book, he had clearly identified his interests, strengths, motivations, etc., and is now into the next phase of selecting options and evaluating them for fit. He closed his note with this request:
“I‘m curious if you have any suggestions to help ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’ when considering one’s list of options?”
It’s a smart question. After all, lots of ideas sound great, but may not hold your interest over the long haul. Knowing that he can’t possibly be the only one wondering about this, I thought it best to share my response with all of you here.
So with thanks to my reader, here are 5 key steps to take when evaluating options for “fit”:
You know those bogus headlines that scream, “All you need to succeed in life is 5 minutes a day!!” or “Lose 10 pounds in just 3 weeks – GUARANTEED!!”
Well I promise you this isn’t one of those. Because what I am about to suggest really does take three seconds and it really could create more luck in your life.
So I hope you’ll stick with me to the end. I’ll share the “fix” in a few, but first a story (and a bit of a rant) about why I’m writing this.
When I speak about second acts, I often ask people what they might like to do after leaving their full-time jobs. Inevitably, I get a variety of responses:
I’d like to paint
I’d like to be a photographer
I’d like to write a book
I’d like to do something with baking.
It’s always fun to hear about people’s plans and dreams. But what I really love is when people tell me how they actually turned their dreams into reality:
I sold my first painting
I photographed a wedding
I self-published my memoirs
I’m selling my key lime pies at our local farmer’s market
It’s always exciting to see their dreams take flight. Of course, the gap between dreaming and doing is a big one. And when you’re just starting the transition into retirement, that leap can feel insurmountable.
What activities make you lose track of time?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this question since returning from a visit with old college friends. I’ll explain why I think it’s an important question in just a moment, but first a bit of background.
This is a photo of me, my sister Ruth and brother David, taken by our dad sometime back in the mid-1960′s as part of our annual family photo shoot series. A pain at the time (Do we have to do this again???) but a priceless treasure now.
As I look at our fresh young faces, it’s hard for me to believe that within the next few weeks, both of my siblings will be retiring - while I continue to write about retirement.
Holy moly, where did the time go?