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.
No matter what our age or position in life, we all face challenging moments and trying transitions. In the emails I receive from readers, I hear stories from people dealing with job loss, the death of loved ones, illness and divorce. Some react to their difficulties with relative ease, while others are paralyzed by sadness and fear.
These emails are a useful reminder to me that no matter how much career advice I share here, there are times when resources alone are not enough to help move people forward.
Given my profession, it should come as no surprise that my husband and I spend a lot of time discussing our plans for retirement. Poor guy just can’t escape my constant fascination with this topic!
So recently, while enjoying a long, leisurely drive through the countryside, we once again chatted about his second act. Over the years, I’ve asked him all the obvious questions: What do you think you might like to do? What do you see as your strongest skills? Which of your hobbies might serve as the basis of a business?
But his time around I asked just one simple question:
This is a quick read but it includes two very cool tools if you’re interested in freelancing during semi-retirement:
1. How To Design A Great Ebook Without Design Skills (+ 10 Ebook Page Templates For Your Book). This priceless post on Fizzle.com is loaded with helpful tips and resources for anyone interested in putting together an e-book (or even a book-book for that matter). I can’t believe how much useful info is in this post – this is now at the top of my bookmark file.
2. Freelancer.com has put together a special e-book showcasing some of their users’ personal stories and experiences. Among the people featured are a senior citizen and former professor from Kolkata battling post-retirement blues, an architect from Manila challenging gender stereotypes, a Stanford graduate teaching English to the developing world, and an advocate of Pakistani descent empowering non-profit organizations with technology. It’s a fun read that could give you some great ideas of how to profit from being a freelance worker during retirement.
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.