In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, many of the people aged 50 and over asked themselves this question: “Is it time for my second act?” They were reminded by the attacks that life was fleeting. One second you’re entering your office building and the next, you’re gone without so much as a chance to say your goodbyes. And so they switched careers and founded their own businesses. They got to spend more time with their families. They started valuing the moments that could have otherwise been taken from them by the 9/11 horrors.
This is the same question that people need to ask themselves now. Should you take an online naturopathic nutrition diploma course and become a naturopathic doctor? Should you start your own online retail business? Should you begin a vlog about your amazing culinary skills?
The United States is seeing an unprecedented rise in its unemployment rate. The latest figures said that it is now almost at 15%, up 3.5% from February 2020. That’s despite the $2 trillion stimulus package that the government approved and implemented. This rate is more than the peak of 10% during the 2008 financial crunch and nearing the 25% mark during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
So, yes, it is time to think about switching to a new career. Although this is easier said than done, you have a momentum to shift to a new job now that you’re quarantined in your home. This is probably the best time to consider your second act.
Figure out What You Want to Do
You should be realistic at a time like this. Figure out what you have always dreamed of doing. But at the same time, you should be realistic about what you can still learn at this stage of your life. Sure, web designers and developers are in demand today, but do you have the skills and the interest to learn it? How much time should you spend learning or re-learning a skill before you can switch careers?
Get Financially Fit
Although you are entering a more financially viable industry, you will earn less financially at first. Starting a business, for example, will require capital until you get some traction. Look at your budget. Can you survive for the next three to six months on the small profit that you are bound to make from your business idea? Your finances need to be stable before you can switch to a new and untested business venture.
Learn New Skills
You don’t have to take stock of the skills you learned in college or at work. If these do not work anymore at this time, it’s wiser to look at your soft skills. You have learned so much caring for your family, cooking dinners, and maybe volunteering in the school’s parent-teacher organization. What soft skills have you learned from these? If you’re a great communicator, you can become a primary school teacher. You can start a caregiving hospice or training center if you have experience in caring for an aging relative.
It might be hard to face the reality that the world as you know it has forever changed. But look at the bright side. You’re at home and safe. Hopefully, your family and friends are all safe, too. This is the best time to reassess yourself and consider what you want to do once the pandemic is over.