You’ve had your nose to the grindstone so long all that’s left is a stub. And if you are going to be honest, you are sick of it. It’s time for you to merge purpose and paycheck into an encore career.
Encore career: “An encore career is work in the second half of life that combines continued income, greater personal meaning, and social impact.”
Face it. Too often, in your younger days, employment was all about the paycheck. Yes, you hoped to find work in an area of your training and interest but if not at least you made enough to pay the bills. And month after month, year after year, you hung on because the mountain of bills never diminished. You could not afford to do meaningful work.
Tragically your purpose in life became tied to a weekly paycheck.
But you are realizing you need to do something different. Deep on the inside you want to make a difference in this world. You want to find meaning and purpose but still need to pay the bills. It’s time for you to consider a way to merge purpose and paycheck into an encore career.
An encore career is something you would do for free. But hey! You still need to make money. So why not do something which fulfills your need for purpose and get a paycheck at the same time?
Here’s a few clues to help you find your dream encore career which will combine purpose and paycheck.
- Make a list of your hobbies. When you create this list, your passions and interests start to emerge. Don’t edit the list. Let it flow naturally. Have you dabbled in breeding dogs? Do you spend hours on your family genealogy? Is a bad day fishing better than a good day at work? Have you designed your own website? Is your idea of a good time found in designing a Facebook banner for your friends?
- Make a list of your current skills. Don’t be modest. Are you good at talking to people? When you draw something do you get positive comments? When people ask for your advice in what area do they seek your input? Do you have skills in design? Are you able to navigate around the internet like a ninja?
- Look closely at your two lists. Find places where your interests and skills intersect. For example if you are good at computer navigation and love genealogy begin to explore a way to turn the intersection of interests and skills into a paycheck. Or, if you like to design and know how to create Facebook banners you might be on the cusp of finding a way to make money.
- Most of this you’ve heard before. Here’s the twist. Dream, explore, investigate and create your list of possible ways to get a paycheck. Now look at the list and ask one final question: “Of these options which one will provide the greatest sense of personal meaning?” Don’t ask which one will make you the most money. You’ve already asked that question. An encore career searches for meaning and purpose.
Imagine the pure rush of doing meaningful work which merges purpose with paycheck. And when you find it, you’ve discovered the Holy Grail of life after 55.
What is the one action step you will take today to help you discover the place where purpose and paycheck intersect?
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Excellent as usual Randy!
I’d like to add, though, that my concern has too frequently been who would hire me at 55+? And after going back to school will I be able to get hired? Now, it’s true that you’re not focusing so much on getting “hired” as you are pointing out one’s skills and their alignment with purpose, as well as brainstorming ways to apply it.
Volunteering has helped get me in the right direction (while trying to be as indispensable as possible). Also, doing what’s purposeful as a side-gig can get one going in the right direction. Yet, I still struggle with fears that surround age discrimination.
Nonetheless, we’re moving forward, boldly. So … my action step for today? Call Financial Aid (again!)
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I know what you mean about age discrimination. In the world of being a pastor it is rare to find a church who will even interview a guy over 55. I think the trick is to move forward knowing your strengths and where your passions are located. And there are times when people my age need to just make our own way and stop waiting to be chosen. This means, in part, some of us need to start our own gig. There lots of opportunities for people who are serious about an encore career. I applaud you for moving forward with your dream. And, I’ll say it one more time, you are an incredible artist. Good grief. You are a Rembrandt waiting to happen! (BTW, have you ever thought of writing your own drawing course and selling it online? That’s the kind of thing I’m thinking of when I say sometimes we need to choose ourselves.)
I love the concept of choosing yourself! And “Stop waiting to be chosen!
Thank you Randy, I appreciate it. I’m considering ways to monetize, but I really need a greater selection of work. And then ways to apply it. Many artists that I watch use YouTube. Definitely a channel to explore. Will keep it in mind! Thanks again for being such an indispensable “cheerleader.”
There are those of us watching and rooting for you Garry! Hang tough!
It’s absolutely true you can have an encore. While I probably make 1/2 of what I made before, I love my job. I’m excited to go to work everyday. Randy, you knew me through some of the hardest transition of my adult life, and by God’s grace and answered prayer, I’m working in a field I never considered. Your blogs have been an encouragement to me. I always look forward to what you’ll write next.
Thanks Tracy! It’s terrific how you made those transitions and ended up doing work you love. I appreciate the encouragement.