Obviously to be able to retire early and often means you need to have a second career. One to eventually retire from again. Starting an Encore Career in Early Retirement will come easier if you follow a few steps. Steps to pick a new career aligned with your passions but also a career that is in demand. The whole point of retiring early and often is finding that sweet spot. The spot where you love what you will be doing. So that even though you are working in retirement you are doing exactly what you want to be doing.
It isn’t unusual for people who have spent many years in a career to think there must be something that would be more enjoyable. Something closer aligned with their passions of which they could do and still get paid doing it.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of seeking less hours or more flexibility. Maybe it is having full job satisfaction. Whatever it is that motivates you to take the “retire early and often” lifestyle plunge and seek an encore career. The goal is to be happier by taking control of your life through financial independence. All courtesy of retirement number one. Here are some keys to identifying your best encore career targets and Starting an Encore Career in Early Retirement.
Starting an Encore Career- What to do
Know thy self by doing a little self-assessment.
What is it that you enjoy doing? Not just what you did in your career or work. But also your hobbies, recreation, and when you were a child. Also, what is it that you are best at doing? Where do you really shine? What do you do that you may be considered an expert? Also ask those who are close to you what they think because they will have a different perspective. They can tell you things that you are awesome at. Things that you may be overlooking. Any of your mastered skills are valuable. But focus on the ones that you really enjoy doing. The other skills may also be needed as you target an in-demand career for opportunities. But keep them as secondary because the point here is finding a great happiness and passion fit.
Your History holds the key to unlock your future.
If your encore career goal is to work in an entirely new industry or field then look at your skills and decide which of them would be transferable. I spent over 30 years in a regulated traditional telecommunications company almost exclusively in Network Operations and for a large time of that as a Lead Engineer. I used my skills of network event alarming to first go into the Wireless industry of which I enjoyed but then eventually leveraged my skills associated to requirements and process documentation to start an encore career in IT as a Systems Analyst in the Cable Video industry. What I ultimately did was transfer years of old-time telephony dial-tone network experience into a new, relevant, exciting and lucrative career path doing the parts of my earlier career that I enjoyed doing.
Leverage your current employer before you retire.
Try to have the foresight to know what you want to do for an encore career before you pull the plug especially if you need to earn certifications and/or minimum educational requirements to be considered in your encore career target field. Doing so early while still in career number one may mean that you have education benefits to help you get there. Even if that isn’t so, you will be able to hit the ground running if you meet all the requirements for your new field before you retire and you will have the benefit of receiving a paycheck while you complete your training or education. Of course if you plan on taking some time off and using it to get the credentials you need then that is great too.
Don’t let your passion for your dream trash your budget.
Before signing on to an expensive degree, certification, or business start-up, try going to free workshops, volunteering, apprenticeships, or working part-time in your targeted encore career field before diving in head first. You have your list of skills that you love doing, make sure what you have targeted as an encore career actually uses them as you think they will either by trying it out first or at the very least running your expectations by someone who is actually in the targeted industry or position to see if your dream-plan is realistic and is really something you want to pursue.
Use the Power of your Financial Independence.
Being able to retire early due to your Financial Independence means that even if in starting out your new encore career you find it doesn’t pay well you have the finances to carry you through. You are not working in an encore career because you have to but because you want to. Think about the power of “OPTIONS” that your Financial Independence provides and be picky about your future encore career.
Hit the trails, bicycle, and gym.
You want to be in the best shape you can be in. If you are over age 50 you want to be seen as an energetic contender for the work you pursue to overcome ageism. Aside from that there may be some stress experienced while you are in your career transition so being healthy will help you get through it.
Unleash the power of your Network.
Most people have worked with many mentor worthy co-workers over the course of their first career. Reach out and explain to them your goals and try to get introductions and recommendations from them. Use LinkedIn to connect to others in your first field and those that you can find in your encore career field. My jump from network operations to IT was all done through LinkedIn. Without it I would have never had the opportunity to accomplish my retire early and often encore career goals. If you are not using LinkedIn really consider doing so.
Starting an Encore Career still requires a Résumé and Interviews
As to my own plans going forward. It’s never over. At this time I just have no idea where I will go next but that is the fun of it all.
It is an adventure.