Second Act: Do You Want Money or Influence?

Okay, you enjoyed a high powered career, but stepped away from the work world for a while.  Maybe you focused time on family, travel — or just taking a break.

But now you’re feeling unsettled. Itching to dig into something new and satisfying in your second act. Considering a return to work. Maybe it’s time to drill down to the core of your second act need. Is it money or influence?

If you are seeking money, here are some options and realities:

1. Full-Time/Traditional Position In An Organization

  • Accelerated 24/7 work pace
  • Today’s job search involves more high-tech, less high-touch
  • More on-line/Skype; less in-person
  • Requiring more than updated resume
  • LinkedIn profile + network
  • Contacts who can help open doors for you
  • Skills update?
  • Professional references + background check

2. Part-Time/Traditional Role In An Organization

  • Expect similar process as full-time
  • Possibilities via temporary staffing agencies

3. Selling Your Services As a Consultant

  • Requires business development skills/passion
  • Being adept at social media
  • Experience in packaging qualifications, proposals, pricing, etc.
  • Need previous success stories, case studies, references, referrals

4. Starting a Business or Buying One

  • See #3

If you have sufficient financial resources to provide the life you enjoy, maybe what you really miss is having influence. Look at the definition. It’s what makes a Type A Alpha girl tick.

def. affect, have an impact on.

synonyms: impact, determine, guide, shape, govern, decide; change, alter, transform.

Influence contributes to one’s identity, satisfaction and fulfillment. It can provide recognition. It is a path to sharing your expertise in a way that benefits others. It should involve an activity you truly love doing — out of choice, not obligation. In some cases, it can lead to money, if you are a serious player in the social media world with mega-followings on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others.

Take inventory of how you spend your time. The goal is to re-allocate your discretionary commitments to high-value initiatives that deliver a sense of satisfaction and influence.

Some possibilities:

  • Woman Teaching ClassTake up a new sport or leisure activity. Gain some mastery and you will be in demand — with like-minded people.
  • Re-visit a sport or leisure activity you enjoyed in the past.
  • Pursue a passion you set aside in favor of a more financially-lucrative career path.
  • Join an organization that interests you. Take on a leadership role.
  • Start your own special interest group and recruit other participants.
  • Volunteer in a community, non-profit or educational organization.
  • Mentor students.
  • Channel your philanthropic contributions in a way that can lead to a Board position.
  • Treat your investment portfolio as a business. Get more involved in researching and taking a more active role in oversight of those who are managing your assets.
  • Leverage a credential you used in an active career to a new audience.
  • Take a class to explore an interest or skill.
  • Teach a class in your area of expertise.
  • Get a new certification.
  • Reactivate a past certification.
  • Volunteer for a political campaign.
  • Run for office!
  • Begin blogging or posting on a particular topic in social media.
  • Don’t just attend a noteworthy speech or author presentation. Take notes, Google some of the salient points. Write up the comments. It will force you to remember the specifics. Now you have something meaty to share at dinner parties and other gatherings.
  • Entertain! Have people into your home! Cook or cater! Soon you will be known as a wonderful hostess — flooded with reciprocating invitations.
  • Convene networks of old friends, clients and colleagues — via conference calls, events, trips.

The key is to spend your discretionary time on what is meaningful to you. And most importantly, something you enjoy.

String together a few new areas of activity. Voila! You will have created a new platform of influence — maybe even one that can lead you to money in your second act.


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