7 Great Second Career Ideas for Women 50 and Over

second act career ideas

A second career may be in the cards for you if you are planning on retiring soon or are simply interested in seeing how far you can go in another career direction. If you are interested in making a change, consider if you are suited for one of these great second career ideas for women 50 and over.

1. Real Estate Agent

If you’ve spent your first career building a vast network of connections, you might consider becoming a real estate agent. Real estate agents who work 60 plus hours a week stand to make a median gross income of $100K or more. If fewer hours is your style, you can still expect to make a median income of around $50K for a standard time commitment of 40 hours a week. Of course, since real estate is largely a referral business, your personal gains as a well-connected career woman could be substantially higher. If you went on to become a real estate broker, where you get commissions from other agents in your office, the sky is the limit.

2. Small Business Coach

After acquiring years of business acumen, it would be a shame not to make use of all that knowledge in your second career. As a small business coach, you would help entrepreneurs navigate the difficult path of starting out in their own new business. You could offer your services independently, or partner with an organization such as the Small Business Association. To turn this into a lucrative career, you could offer ancillary services, such as grant writing or business plan writing.

3. Interior Decorator

As a successful career woman, you’ve likely had the resources to decorate your own home in style. If you feel you have an eye for design and your friends are always asking you for decorating advice, it would be fairly natural to transition into interior decorating as a second career. You could build off those friend requests for decorating help, and create a real business out of it. To build your business even more, consider offering your services to other busy executives in your old network. You’ll want to become certified and may wish to join an organization to take advantage of resources and business development services. With the proper business credentials, you receive trade discounts of 40% to 50% (and occasionally as much as 75%) off of retail – to allow for profitability.

4. Motivational Speaker

Another of our great second career ideas involves imparting your vast knowledge to others by becoming a paid motivational speaker. Motivate younger women who are on a career trajectory by sharing your own stories of obstacles, tactics and success. Paid speakers get thousands of dollars to travel the country and speak at business conventions. To help build this new career and increase your authority, consider publishing a book outlining some of your motivational ideas. One way to get started in this second career is to hire a publicist who can help to get your name on the speaker circuit. You or your publicist can reach out to agencies and corporations and apprise them of your availability. It will also pay to enroll in a few speaking courses. This will help you to fine tune your speaking ability, and also enable you to better get your message across to your audiences.

5. Fundraiser

At this point in your career, you’ve probably developed even more valuable contacts than you realize. Non-profits, educational institutions, hospitals and the like are looking for someone who can bring in donations. A background in sales or marketing will help prepare for this position. You may not be lucky enough to find a paid opportunity immediately, but you can get your foot in the door by volunteering and proving your worth. Professional certifications are available in fundraising, the standard being a certified fundraising executive. That certification is not a requirement, but can certainly help prove your value and competence to potential employers. Bonus: This is a great way to give back to a cause you believe in. Middle ground salary can range from $65-$75k.

6. Mediator

Employment of arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators is expected to increase 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. This was selected as one of our great second career ideas because of its potential for being either a full time or part-time profession. If you have been an attorney, or are simply talented at negotiation, this may be the option for you. You’ll need to investigate the training requirements in your state, as they vary from place to place. You can speak with other mediators and dip your toe in, so to speak, by attending a mediator conference in your state or take online seminars from an organization like the American Association of Mediators to gauge your interest. You can also try your hand by volunteering as a community mediator. You can earn from around $60,000 to over $100, 000 depending on your field of interest and specialization.

7. Wine and Travel Guide

If you’re a wine aficionado with an intimate knowledge of a certain region of France, Italy, or another wine area, you could become a professional wine and travel guide. Individuals and groups will pay handsomely for personal tours of exotic locales, paired with some personal tutoring on the local wine offerings. You could start off with an intimate group of your closest friends, arranging their transportation, accommodation, meals and any tourist fees for a lump sum. At the location, you could bring them to local wineries, arrange private tastings and some behind the scenes tours. Local wineries are often eager to cooperate with such tour groups, as they can profit by selling cases of wine to your guests and having them freighted back to the states. Once your first one or two trips go well, your friends will recommend you to others, and so on, until you have a bustling business as a wine and travel guide.

If you are in your 50s or beyond and looking for great second career ideas or even part-time opportunities, consider these options. They are especially perfect for women like you who have cultivated a network of connections, accumulated vast knowledge and already achieved a high level of success. Let us know what ideas you have, too!




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