The Courage to ReLaunch: Recreate Your Career on Your Terms.
So, what are we to do now that we’re living longer? Well, for many, one solution is to work longer. Fifty years old might be midlife, but now it’s mid-career, as more and more people are working into their 70s and 80s.
So, what are your options? Yep, you could keep doing what you’ve done all these years or try something entirely new. Based on what we’ve witnessed at MEA, here are four of the most common paths we see for midlife career renewal:
1. Same Seed, Different Soil. Throughout our careers, we’ve built some skills, many transferrable to other arenas. I applied my hospitality entrepreneurship resume to a tech company, Airbnb, disrupting the travel industry. Many Encore Fellows take their tech backgrounds and apply those skills to non-profit management.
2. Interim Management. Your mastery is more valuable than you think. Given how much turnover we see in the senior ranks of organizations these days, you could be a “hired gun” who is an interim CFO or CMO for six months or a year. Mix it up. Alternatively, there are more and more companies hiring fractional leaders who share their time between two or three companies. This is especially popular with small, fast-growing companies that can’t hire a full-time seasoned leader yet.
3. Budding Entrepreneur. A 2019 study by the Kauffman Foundation found that nearly 25 percent of new American entrepreneurs were between fifty-five and sixty-four, almost double from twenty years prior. These seasoned entrepreneurs are more than twice as likely to be successful as those in their 20s and 30s. Maybe that inspired business idea of yours deserves to move past the pondering and procrastinating stages.
4. The Portfolio Life. A portfolio career is based upon the premise that you may have multiple sources of income. Ditch the corporate ladder and welcome the jungle gym that gives you much more freedom. Maybe you’re an Airbnb host, a consultant to your former company, a paid appointee in a part-time city commissioner role, and a mentor to young entrepreneurs earning no cash but just stock. Variety is the spice of life, and some of us take a liking to heavy seasoning later in our careers.
By any definition, you have more options than you think. Our expert on encore careers, Marci Alboher, will lead her annual Baja workshop May 14-21 (titled the same as today’s blog post). Based upon MEA’s premise that wisdom is not taught, it’s shared, this is an excellent opportunity to learn from all kinds of other folks who are similarly considering their career options in midlife and beyond.