Tips for Starting a Second Career & Second Career Options

Posted: 06.03.2022
Do you feel like you are stuck in a career that you don’t enjoy? Sometimes this is something that can happen, whether it’s early on in your career or even later in life, and here are a few reasons why:
  • If you find that you aren’t enjoying your chosen profession early in your career, it could be because at the time you chose your major, you didn’t realize what the job exactly entails, regardless of volunteer/internship opportunities.
  • If this is happening to you later on in life, it could be because you stayed in a job you didn’t like for too long and now you may be feeling drained. It could also be because in your current field you feel unchallenged or unmotivated.
Regardless of what the reason is, there are options to help you move past this – a second career.

A second career is just how it sounds – a second career. It’s when someone chooses to change their profession to another one. It could be something that’s related to your first career choice, or it could be something completely different.

So in this article, we are going to discuss how you can start exploring the idea of a second career and some second career options.

Tips for Starting a Second Career

1. What are you interested in?
The first step in exploring second career options is to assess your interests. What are you interested in? What do you think about doing when you are working at your current job that has gotten you disinterested? Start making a list with anything and everything that you can think of.

2. Analyze your interests.
Once you’re done creating a list, take some time to analyze everything that you have listed. Are there certain interests you can clump together? What are some career paths that represent your list of interests? Do you currently have transferrable skills that can help support your interests? By doing this you can start to narrow down some career options you can think about perusing.

Let’s say you are in journalism, but you feel that the job isn’t what you expected and it’s no longer something you are interested in doing. So you start to make a list of interests, you still enjoy writing and researching, so you put that down on the list, but you also realize that instead of reporting the news, you’d rather be more creative. You want to still help people, but not in the same way as telling someone’s story. With this in mind, you could explore career options like:
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Graphic Design
  • Content Creator
  • Social Media Manager… and so on.
Within each field, you can take it even further. For example, in marketing, you can specialize in market research, search engine marketing, event marketing, product marketing, and so on.

So you can start to see how you can start formulating other ideas for a second career.

3. Do you need to learn anything new?
Sometimes when pursuing another career, you may need to learn a new set of skills set. If that’s the case, there are many options available for you to do that, whether it’d be taking a class, obtaining a certification, or going fully back to school.

Along with this, you’ll also have to look at your budget. This could mean a bunch of things, it could be that you may have to work on a course slowly over time, maybe you save up so you can quit your job while you pursue your second career, etc.

4. Ask for help.
If you still feel like you are little stuck, you could always ask for some help. Whether it’d be a trusted friend, family member, or a career coach – asking for some assistance can help you think of your situation from different perspectives, which can help you be more productive and make better decisions when taking on a second career.

Second Career Options

Consultant: Let’s say you are in marketing and you like your job, but you realize it’s time for you to move on to something more independent. You could become a consultant to other companies or people to help them with their marketing needs.

Coach:  This is similar to becoming a consultant, for example, from your career as an HR professional, you start your own business to focus on career coaching.

Trades: These industries are always looking for more people and a lot of times companies will pay for your training or schooling.

Photographer: If you love taking pictures and you're savvy with programs like Photoshop, you could start your own photography business.

Translator/Tutor: If you love reading and writing and can speak another language, perhaps freelancing translating and tutoring gigs is the answer.

Real Estate Agent: Are you good at closing sales? You could get your real estate licence and work in the business of selling properties, which requires a lot of qualities of a salesperson like being persistent, creative, and a great communicator.

Final Tip
If you’re feeling a little bit discouraged – don’t be. People change their careers all the time and it’s nothing to feel upset or embarrassed about. Just because you went to school for something, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you can pursue. Your major or work experience isn’t concrete, if you look closely, it’s very fluid, and it can sometimes take you to companies and positions you never even dreamed of obtaining.

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