For senior executive women, the first part of their career is determined by the natural forces in the workplace, the second by the choices they make.
We find again and agin that it is their second career that is critical to a woman’s employability, security and wellbeing over the long term.
The average retirement age for senior executives is 57.9 years; this is in spite of the average intended age of retirement being 63. Clearly many retirements are unexpected.
Given that only half of senior executives are prepared for retirement, a second career is a great way to prolong your income-earning life and help provide for the lifestyle you want now and into retirement.
A second career is not, however, an accident and does require careful consideration and planning. It is also highly unlikely to be in a corporate environment.
Second career tips:
Build and nurture your networks. The networks you built in your first career are where you have come from. The networks for your second career will be new – focused on the value you will create for future clients.
Find something you are passionate about and create an income from it. You will want to enjoy it as creating something new takes effort.
If necessary retrain, develop new skills and get a coach.
Creating something new is not a quick fix – allow time for the transition. Yet it is never too early to start the transition. Many people take 12 months out to consider their future and rarely get back on track. The latter part of their career is inevitably a disappointment.
There are also key practical considerations including:
Having enough liquidity to fund the transition – potentially up to 24 months.
Having financial independence from your employer – not constrained by share options and long-term incentive programs.
We are all for working as long as you can at something that you enjoy. The default option – relying on government handouts or running down your savings – is pretty ordinary.
Re-invent yourself, re-educate, and work in some capacity at something that you enjoy.
In my experience the better planned and prepared you are to create your second career, the more successful you will be.
The Gravitas Project