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How Do I Choose the Best Second Career Opportunities?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

When embarking on a new career later in life, it is often a good idea to discuss second career opportunities with an experienced career counselor. It is also wise to thoroughly investigate the job prospects in the trade or profession that you are considering and to find out what type of education or training you will need to enter this career. When possible, speak to people who are already working in the profession that you are considering to find out how they enjoy their work and whether they believe it will be easy for you to transition into that profession. Ideally, any second career opportunities that you consider should be in areas that you find interesting and in which you believe you would find professional satisfaction and be able to meet your financial goals.

If you are frustrated with your current career or have recently lost your job and believe it would be better to retrain in another field, speak to a career counselor. A career counselor may be able to provide you with concrete guidance in developing your career plan and can steer you away from unrealistic second career opportunities. A good career counselor may be able to provide you with testing services that can help identify your strengths and weaknesses. The counselor may also have up-to-date information on prospects for particular careers and may be able to point you toward some second career opportunities that you may have never thought of. Career counselors can be found in private practice as well as through community counseling and government employment agencies.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Before beginning training for a new career, it is important to research that career thoroughly. You should check to see whether there are any job opportunities within that career in your area; if not, you may need to consider relocating. Another thing to consider is whether you have the time and the money to retrain for a new career, particularly if it requires extensive education or training. In some cases, if you already have a university degree or extensive career experience, you may be able to complete a shorter training program in order to qualify to work in a profession. Talk to a school admissions counselor to find out what types of courses you will need to take before you can enter your new career.

In most cases, you should consider only second career opportunities that genuinely appeal to you and that will allow you to work in a profession that you find interesting. Financial goals should also be a consideration, however, and you should be cautious about entering a second career that may leave you financially insecure. If you are drawn to a different career but are concerned about financial remuneration, you may wish to proceed cautiously before leaving your current position and making a major career switch.

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