A Meaningful Second Act

A Meaningful Second Act

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Just because you’re good at your job doesn’t mean it is the only job you will ever have or want. As people age, their interests and skills change and what was a fulfilling career in your 20s and 30s may no longer get you out of bed in the morning.

There is good news out there for people who aren’t so much retiring as transitioning. The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) states that, “Most older workers who seek career changes are successful.”

A survey by the AIER found that 82% of people 47 years of age and older successfully transitioned into new careers. While 31% did experience a change in pay, 87% reported they were happy with the change and 65% felt less stress in their new job or career.

If you’re 55 years and older, you may have a lot of company as you choose a new path in life as statistics show this labor force has grown more than 40% in the past 23 years. Baby boomers are one reason that we are seeing a bubble of workers who don’t want to retire yet. With the number of people aged 55 years and older up 26 percent as of 2013, there are simply more older workers than before. Plus, retirement plans have drastically changed and people may need to work longer to increase the amount of savings to live on.

This population has many advantages as they reassess their future, and they tend to have established professional networks they can rely on as they navigate new waters. They can also rely on family and friends to be supportive as they strike out with a new endeavor.

What’s It All Mean?

Regardless of the level of success achieved in a career, individuals may crave a new kind of reward— more flexibility, the possibility to earn more, to make a difference, or to reach some other personal goal. Making these changes can re-energize people looking to transfer their skills to a new cause or purpose.

Connecting with people or helping other to connect to improve their lives can bring more meaning to a job. In senior care, this can be matching a client in need of companionship and help with daily activities in the home with a caregiver who has had a similar background or interests. Or, it could be seeing the relief on the face of a family caregiver who has needed a break when you provide their loved one with a quality caregiver.

“I felt good that day,” said Byrian Matienzo, owner of Homewatch CareGivers serving Southwest Austin, Texas. Mr. Matienzo was referring to the day that he introduced a new caregiver to a 97-year old client only discover that they both had spent time in the military and “hit it off like peas in a pod.”

When individuals can take their skills—whether from a career in marketing, sales, management or another field—and apply them to a new vocation that brings them fulfillment and joy, it can be a successful second act story.

Find the Need

Filling a niche with a new start-up business can be a terrific new career, but others may prefer to take a step back and see where their skills are needed. Rather than reinvent the wheel—or be the first—they might see where there is a growing market that they can be part of too.

Senior care or long-term care is one such area where services are being increasingly desired. The AIER study points out that longer life expectancy is coinciding with rising health care costs. Citing a 2011 Society of Actuaries report, they note that men have a 40% chance of reaching the age of 85 and women have a 53% chance of reaching age 85. Meanwhile, health care costs are estimated to increase to 38% by 2030. One survey of “The 25 Most Meaningful Jobs That Pay Well” found that 17 of those jobs were in a health care field.

A report by the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) found that in home care can help to reduce health care costs while also increasing workforce productivity as family caregivers miss less work.

Many people who become senior care franchisees are combining a specific professional background with recent experience providing some level of care for their elderly parents. Not only can they apply their job skills, but their own life lessons and interest to help those in similar circumstances.

Maybe you will be one of 82% satisfied with changing careers too. Learn more about our franchising opportunities here.

For more information on franchise ownership, visit our franchise website.

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