Now What? 7 Ways to Think About Your Second Act Options

What’s next for you? What are your 2nd act options? Do you want to do something different but don’t know what? Is a big promotion looming? Maybe you just want to end it all – stop working completely, I mean.

7 Ways to Think About Your Second ActOf course, you’re thinking about what’s next for you. You should be! Whether you have been working for the same company for 25 years, taking care of the family for the same 25 years, or moving in, out and around in your personal world of work, there is one thing linking us all. Women in their prime are thinking about what they will do next – what they want to do for their second act.

Daunting and Confusing

As an Executive Coach, I work with senior executives around the globe during times of major change in their work lives. Over the years I’ve personally talked with thousands of people who are contemplating the next stage of their work lives. This next stage is often called a “second act.”  I know this to be a daunting and confusing time for many because the options are unknown to most.

Defining 2nd Act Options ©

There is a way out of the confusion. I have developed a way to think about 2nd Act Options© for my clients. It’s a way to clarify the seven pathways forward for almost everyone. If you see the different paths, you can rule some in and some out based upon your own circumstances. This method works for them, and it can work for you. Voila! Confusion diminished.

There are seven 2nd Act Options ©:

  1. Continue doing what you are doing and where you are doing it. It’s been working for you, so enjoy your work longer. It doesn’t matter that you are the oldest in the office. They’ll get over it, and so should you.
  2. Continue and change yourself. Change how you are approaching your current situation. Up the stakes, be bolder, ask for what you want, take on different projects and expand your inner circle. Sometimes the most important thing to change is you.
  3. Continue but do it someplace else. The same ole work looks and feels different when you’re standing in a new place. If you love the work you do but something’s not satisfying about the environment, change companies, not occupations.
  4. Continue but do it differently. Change the terms. Work from home, work as a contractor or work virtually. Corporate warrior today, migrate your expertise and become an entrepreneur tomorrow. Look for different channels, boundaries and environments that make the work fresher and more relevant for your current life. If you’re seeking flexibility, this is your place to start.
  5. Change what you do. A deep-seated interest waiting to be unleashed? Engineers become artists, CEO’s become Foundation executives. Exercising a different career muscle is right for some.
  6. Create a portfolio of activities that interest you. They don’t have to connect to each other – just to you. Volunteer opportunities, consulting and board work combine to make an example of this pathway.
  7. Retire from the world of work. Stepping away from the world of paid work is the dream for some and a viable choice for many.

So what are you waiting for? Pick an option and put your second act in motion!



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