I am a technical writer who wants to continue to write into my retirement as a part time, low-stess job. I have always done a lot of personal writing for my own fulfillment and satisfaction. I actually started out writing for a free music newspaper. I have co-authored articles in the field of business process automation, a field I worked in for many years as a technical writer. Do you have any suggestions about an approach I might take to transition into a fun-filled retirement doing what I love, writing?
Ah, a question near and dear to my heart. Fortunately, I’ve got lots of resources that you might find helpful. But before doing so, I did want to share a note of caution.
As a specialist in second-act careers, I’m always on the lookout for new and novel second-act career ideas. And of course, as an author, I love anything having to do with books. So when these two book-related second-act ideas recently caught my attention, I just had to share:
1. Want to be a Bibliotherapist? MORE magazine, one of my favorite sources for second-act career ideas, recently ran a column about a bibliotherapy service offered by Noreen Tomassi, the Executive Director of the Center for Fiction in NYC called A Novel Approach. According to MORE, “Her well-structured interview will explore your reading history and, to a lesser degree, whatever ‘problem’ you may be facing – an affair, a career challenge, a move.” The article continues, “Will the books help? The therapeutic power of narrative is as old as Aristotle and it’s up to date as AA, so I think they may.” Following your “therapy” session, Tomassi handpicks 12 books for you, basing her choices on the topics you’ve discussed. The sessions are $125 and are held via a 45-minute phone call, an e-mail exchange or, a face-to-face session.
I’ve long maintained that a business built around a ” Help Me Now!” need is a good type of business to consider. You know, the “I’ll pay whatever, but please just help me get rid of this problem FAST!” types of needs: broken pipes, sick kids, smashed windows, clogged septic systems, etc.
Granted, they aren’t the world’s most glamorous types of businesses. But when people need them – they really, really need them.
So when I recently received a pitch about two New York women, Wendy Beck and Karen Sokoloff , who run a company called LiceDoctors, I wanted to learn more. (Okay, I’ll admit that my gut reaction upon first hearing about this business was “Ewww”! But after recovering from my initial shudder, my next thought was, “Genius!”).
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.
Did you know that Americans spent upward of $53 billion (yes, that is billion with a “B”) on services for their pets in 2012?
While food and vet care account for about two-thirds of the dollars spent, the remaining third (approximately $19 billion) was spent on alternative vet care (acupuncture, massage, etc.) grooming, boarding and pet-sitting services, and to a lesser degree, miscellaneous pet-related products and services.
Whoa doggie, that’s a lot of cash being spent on our four-legged friends!
Clearly there is plenty of opportunity here for people who want to turn their love of pets into a second-act career. If that sounds like you, I’ve put together a group of resources to help get you started exploring.