Approaching retirement age but have no interest in retiring? You’re not alone. Nine million Americans between the ages of 44 and 70 have started “encore careers” to combine personal meaning and social impact with continued income. An additional 31 million people report that they hope to find their encore careers at some point in retirement. These tips can help you find the second career that is right for you.

Define your passions

For most people, a second career in retirement is about generating income and doing something they enjoy. So you owe it to yourself to consider your passions and how they may translate into a potential career. Start by brainstorming answers to these questions:

  • What activities make you feel most energized?
  • What do you enjoy doing so much that you lose track of time?
  • If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your days?
  • Do you have any talents or things you create that you share with loved ones?
  • Do you have a unique or unusual idea you could turn into a money maker?

Next, create a list of your skills and talents, as well as hobbies and experiences that make you feel fulfilled. Any of these could be a starting point for your next act. After you define and narrow your areas of focus, research jobs, volunteer work, or entrepreneurial opportunities that could set you on the path to your new calling.

Realize the value in a second career

If you decide to embark on a second career, realize that moving into a new kind of work can take time and patience — as it does at any stage of life. Transformations require persistence and creativity. Ultimately, the payoff goes beyond dollars and cents.’s Marc Freedman believes the encore movement is evidence of a new life stage: “What many people want from work changes after midlife. In the new, encore stage of life, many want work that has deeper personal meaning and that connects them to something larger than themselves.”

Access resources

Plenty of help is available for second-career seekers. Start with these sites for suggestions and resources:

  • highlights companies suited to older workers and helps match potential workers with jobs.
  • focuses on topics such as personal fulfillment, social impact, and continued income.
  • pairs veteran-level experts with food, consumer product, and life sciences companies that have research and development challenges.

As you start your journey, remember that flexibility and patience are key. Not all first plans will be instantly successful; keep adjusting your strategy with the insights gained and lessons learned. Eventually this knowledge — and some patience — will lead to the second act you seek.

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