Starting Second Career Can Spur Development, Growth

Article excerpt

If careers other than the one in which you are actively involved interest you and you still have energy at the end of the day, consider having two careers.

An increasing number of people in the United States work two jobs simultaneously. This differs from moonlighting in that, typically, moonlighting is working part time in order to financially supplement a full-time job and often represents just a way to make ends meet. Working at two full-time jobs often provides an individual with a parallel professional development and personal growth.

What types of careers have been combined by dual career individuals? Some examples include lawyers who teach, doctors who paint or illustrate, researchers who open retail outlets, computer programmers who invent things in their garage, and salesmen who race stock cars. Many people involved in dual careers are simply interested in different fields, have plenty of energy and are successful at juggling their interests and responsibilities. Some people take on an additional career initially because they are interested in changing careers and they want to facilitate the transition. This is an especially good idea for people approaching retirement.

If you are scheduled to retire from your job and know that your current standard of living will not be possible with your retirement pay alone, or if you want to stay intellectually and physically engaged in an occupation, then you should consider starting another career in a field which interests you in preparation for retirement.

When considering two simultaneous careers, it is a good idea to select two fields that are far removed from each other so that you do not generate a conflict of interest by pursuing both careers.

For example, a banker probably should not be an insurance agent in his off hours because he may encounter some of the same clients. Then the banker would have an ethical dilemma because he would then have to choose what services are in the best interest of his client.

If you have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and have spent most of your life working for a large corporation, having a second career may be the way to start your own business. Another area to investigate when deciding about a second career is your hobbies. Is there something you enjoy doing as a hobby that you can turn into a full-time position?

Without question, career opportunities are found in market niches. Any unmet need in society represents a good opportunity for a business to offer a service for which people are willing to pay.

QUESTION: Everyday I get an advertisement about professional degrees where the student can earn "life experience" credits. It would be much easier for me to obtain one of these degrees than to enroll in the local university and grind out a degree the old-fashioned way. I could use the added qualifications to advance my career. What do you think?

ANSWER: Many accredited colleges and universities offer non-traditional degrees. Often the curriculum has a life-work experience component. Course work is often offered on the weekend on in large blocks of time which can be scheduled during vacations. Check with colleges and universities in your area and find out what they offer _ you'll be surprised.

If a degree or a course of study which is offered primarily through correspondence continues to appeal to you, make sure the school is accredited and that a degree from that institution is marketable. …