Guest AuthorSreekanth K Arimanithaya

Building a career without boundaries

By | Sreekanth K Arimanithaya | Global Talent and Enablement Services Leader, EY Global Delivery Services

Recently I shared a post on my new social venture. I am touched to see the support and affection that came my way. Many of you spoke to me about how I would manage pro bono commitments with my current work and my vision for it. In an era of start-ups driven by young minds, it surprised many that this brainchild took shape when I was less than a decade away from a classic retirement. But that brings us to an important question: When do we retire? 

This is a more relevant question considering that we are living longer as a society. The current life expectancy in India is 69 years in states like Kerala; it is closer to 80! Globally the story is similar, with an average of 73 years. I attended a global wellness connect where they predict that at least 50% of the people reading this post have a real chance at crossing 100, provided you commit to health. Now, are you wondering where your career fits into this conversation?

We have traditionally retired by the age of 58 or 60. Even when I look at my personal and professional network, I have people crossing this milestone, yet they are filled with so many ideas and are backed by a rich depth of skill and experience. Thus, they come back into the workforce for a second career. 

How to plan a career after the career

There are several reasons why someone may choose to embark on a second career. Some individuals may feel a desire for new challenges, personal growth, or a change of pace. Others may have specific passions or interests that they want to pursue in a professional capacity. Additionally, financial considerations may play a role, as a second career can provide additional income or security in retirement.

When considering a second career, it’s important to assess your skills, interests, and values. Reflect on what you enjoyed most about your previous career and identify areas where you may want to explore new opportunities. Conduct research on industries or fields that align with your passions and consider acquiring any necessary education or training to make a successful transition. Networking is also crucial when embarking on a second career. Reach out to professionals in your desired field, attend industry events or conferences, and utilize online platforms to connect with others who can offer advice or potential job opportunities. Building a strong professional network. 

Furthermore, maintaining a positive mindset and being open to learning is key. Recognize that transitioning to a second career may come with challenges and setbacks, but with perseverance and adaptability, you can overcome them. Take the opportunity to acquire new skills and expand your knowledge base. Ultimately, longevity and a second career can provide a fulfilling and meaningful path for individuals seeking new opportunities. By carefully considering your goals, leveraging your skills and experiences, and remaining open to new possibilities, you can find success and satisfaction in your second career journey. 

How do we navigate the challenges of a second inning?

  1. Lack of experience: Switching to a new career often means starting from scratch and lacking experience in the new field. To overcome this challenge, consider taking courses or obtaining certifications relevant to the desired career path. This will help you gain knowledge and demonstrate your commitment and competency to potential employers.
  2. Financial considerations: Starting a new career may involve a pay cut or a period of unemployment, which can be financially challenging. To mitigate this, plan and save money before making the transition. Creating a financial cushion can provide peace of mind during the career switch and allow you to focus on learning and building your new career.
  3. Limited professional network: Building connections and networking is crucial in any career transition. If you do not have a strong network affiliation yet, actively seek opportunities to expand your network. Attend industry events, join professional associations or online communities related to your new career, and reach out to professionals for informational interviews. 
  4. Fear of failure or rejection: Acknowledge the fears but do not let them hold you back. Cultivate a growth mindset in your learning process. Remember that setbacks and rejections are part of the journey and offer opportunities for growth. Seek support from friends, family, or mentors who can provide encouragement and guidance throughout the transition.
  5. Readjusting to a new work culture: Each industry or profession has its own work culture, norms, and expectations. Adapting to a new work culture can take time and effort. Engage in active observation and learning about the new work environment. Actively seek feedback and guidance from colleagues to ensure you understand the expectations and can integrate smoothly.
  6. Wellness is the key: A career is nothing but a commitment to a cause. It requires your energy and attention. So, it is important to be invested in your health – physical and mental. Stay fit, stay active. 

While our careers, as I have said many times in the past, begin as jobs and evolve into careers. The best part of a second career is that you are already on top of your game, so you can contribute more meaning to your purpose, profession, and community. Many professions like medicine, education, and legal have gone this path. But it is about time we open up the conversation across the board. 

Finally, factoring in the developments in healthcare, we will live longer. But how you live those years is the key to happiness. 

Republished with permission and originally published at Sreekanth K Arimanithaya’s LinkedIn

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