Are you ready to alter the trajectory of your future? You aren’t done with your career aspirations yet. A second act can feel like a fresh start; a new beginning. Imagine the joy of excelling, not just in one career during your lifetime, but two. Of course, finding a second act isn’t as straightforward as it may appear. It needs to be something that encompasses your innate abilities, challenges you to learn new things, yet works with your existing lifestyle or desired lifestyle. It’s simpler to find a second act if you get some help along the way. Here’s why.
You’ll need a blueprint for your second act just as you did for your first career. The blueprint will act like a map, taking you from here to where you want to go. But first, you have to do some introspection and figure out what do you want in a second act? This is where some outside guidance really comes in handy. Someone such as a trusted therapist or life coach can act as an objective sounding board to help you identify what you really desire in a second act. This will help you to avoid investing time and money into a second act that doesn’t end up fulfilling what you set out to do.
Unfortunately, the people closest to you often have biased opinions about you. They have preconceived notions about who you are and what you’re capable of. They probably even have presumptions about how you see yourself. Even though they’re well-meaning, your closest friends and loved ones may give you advice that really doesn’t align with your true goals. Ironically, they almost know too much about your past to help you with your future.
If you’ve ever done any kind of self-help work on yourself, you’ve probably learned that your past can be limiting. When working toward a second act, it’s helpful to let go of past beliefs about yourself. Envision a whole new you; one that isn’t encumbered by outside perceptions about you that are no longer true.
What you really need is to seek outside guidance from someone who can see you in a fresh new light, with boundless possibilities. That person won’t say things to you, like “Oh, you know how you hate speaking in public,” or “Face it. You’ve never been good with deadlines.” Let yourself be seen in a new perspective from an objective person. You’ll be amazed at how you can reinvent yourself and do things you never could before.
Over the course of your existing career you likely built up a network of people whom you relied upon to help you succeed. But in your second act, there is no such network. The people you need to be conversing with are in an entirely different network, and you aren’t in that network yet. Therefore, you need to start making connections in that other industry. You may have a slow start, beginning with just a handful of connections. But if you spend a couple times a week focusing on networking, you’ll quickly build a new network that will help you gain momentum in your second act.
Start reaching out to people in that other industry. Utilize social media at its best by joining professional Facebook groups where your target network congregates. Reach out to people on LinkedIn. Attend networking events and seminars in person. Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for advice in these networks. Be sure to ask thoughtful questions and make insightful comments.
You don’t want to come across as someone entirely inexperienced; after all, you’ve already built a career that most of the other people would probably envy. You want to get guidance, but you also want to impress. It’s a thin line to walk, granted. But, with just a little guidance from the people in this new network, you’ll probably perform leaps and bounds ahead of them in a very short time.
The world you live in now is completely different than the one in which you grew up. Every decade or so, the world undergoes a transformation that, if you were to just drop in on with no context, would be startling. Instead, you grow as the world changes subtly around you. The changes aren’t as jarring. You’ve learned to adjust to using a smart phone. It doesn’t surprise you that Google knows where you are when you’re signed in. But it isn’t just about new technology, either. People change. Culture changes. In the mid-1850s, a woman would hardly dare reveal her leg in public. Now it’s perfectly normal for a woman to walk around Venice Beach in a thong.
So how does this relate to why you need guidance in helping you find a second act? Because businesses change, too. There are more opportunities—different opportunities—than there were even a decade ago. There are things you could do with your second act that you aren’t even aware of. There are job titles in the technology sector that you may not have even heard of before, yet you may be a perfect fit for one of them. Someone else could help you with this. An objective guidance person could help match you up with a job in a field that didn’t even exist five years ago. Without guidance, you could be missing out on working a second act in a way you never dreamed imaginable.
You’re a strong, capable woman. If you want to embark on a second act all by yourself, you certainly can. But as an intelligent decision maker, you probably see a lot of benefits to seeking guidance to help you find a second act. That is why Prime Women launched a Second Acts program to help women explore the opportunities available to them in a safe environment. You would join a small group of your peers online, for five sessions over several weeks. These 90 minute sessions will help you build a plan, create a strong personal brand for new activities, and give you practical steps for networking – maximizing existing networks and creating new ones. You are not alone. Take the journey to your second act with other Prime Women.
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