A sad statistic I have heard repeated for some time now is that in the United States more than 80% of working adults don’t like their jobs/careers. That is a staggering number to me, yet if you understand the educational system that has been in place for nearly 100 years, it isn’t as surprising as it seems. (That’s a topic for another time.)
With this statistic being what it is, those of us who are thinking about or embarking on a second career ought to take some time and ask some questions first! I have talked with may soon-to-be retirees who want to have a second career, but aren’t sure where to start. Others think that they have an idea about what they want to do, but don’t have any ideas about how to begin.
Here are some questions to ask before launching a second career:
1. What gets you up in the morning? I personally think that this question is the most important of any that could be asked. This question speaks to the “essence” of you. Who you are at the core and how that person wants to express themselves in business. I don’t know anyone who wants to start a second career that doesn’t excite them every single day.
I know a “car guy” who can’t wait to get to his used car lot everyday. I know a 72 year old man who started his “dream business” just over 2 years ago. I know school teachers who have retired to become productive and excited Realtors and Home business entrepreneurs. These are people excited about life and passionate about what they do. Their second careers are an expression of their essence.
2. How hard do you want to work? Buying a franchise requires a lot more time and effort than a small home-based consulting firm. Only you can decide what hours you are willing to spend at work, but its something you should have thought through before you take the leap.
3. Where do you want to work? Are you going to set up a brick and mortar business? Are you going to work from a home office? Do you want to be able to work from “cyber-space?” All of these options have pros and cons, so you need to decide what best fits your retirement plans.
4. What value do you have to offer? If you don’t really understand the value that you can bring to your potential clients/customers it will be difficult to make any business grow.
5. What new things are you willing to learn? In any new business venture there are things that you must learn to be successful. Are you willing to learn new things, do things that are uncomfortable, or change direction in your new career? Remember you are not doing what you did before and everything new has new challenges and new rules!
Now, I know that these are relatively simple questions, but as I have worked with boomers, I am surprised how many haven’t thought to ask them. Don’t get caught with no well thought out answers to these questions. A successful launching of your second career lies in the balance.