Second careers

Women tend to have more careers than men.  It goes with the territory.  Women bear children men do not.  Nothing will change that.  Although there are men who are partners and sometimes one of them decides to stay home so although the times have changed, there is generally one person who bears the major responsibility of the children and home. Some women continue to work and raise children at the same time, others go for the part time gig, others just stay home and never go back to work again while others stay home and then come up with second careers or just return to their original career. 

I have gone through a variety of careers.  Some I have been paid for, others I have not.  I’d say the majority of my careers have been interesting opportunities that have worked for me at that time. 

I am intrigued with people who start second careers, or third careers.  The majority of entrepreneurs I know have many careers but at the heart of the manner they are entrepreneurs just with different ideas they are executing on at the moment. 

I have two friends who have done an incredible job at second careers.  I give them huge kudos.  Funny enough, they are married. 

They are two incredibly smart people who have solid street sense which to me, accounts for the most smarts.  She started a clothing store on the Upper East Side which was very successful and sold it once they moved their family to the burbs.  For years she stayed home and did the Mom thing but she always had a serious passion for the theater.  She got involved in creating a theater program, after school, in the middle school and the in the High School.  Eventually she produced her own play locally.  This past year, her play was picked up by Fringe Festival to bring to New York City.  That is a huge accomplishment.  She is loving what she does, more than anything she has probably ever done.  She was able to follow her heart on the second time around.

Her husband, one of my all time favorite people, owned a chain of stores with his family.  He worked like a dog.  He has always dabbled in real estate, successfully I might add.  So many of his stores were in the buildings that he owned.  He sold the stores, kept the real estate and retired.  He is a pacer.  I can’t imagine him retired and neither could he.  He became a fireman.  Every young boys dream, right?  He loves it.  He loves the people, the camaraderie and the life style.  His first year, he won Firefighter of the Year in his district.  Gotta love it. 

When I think of a second career ( or for me maybe it is my 5th ), I think about my two friends.  They are loving what they do.  Balancing their lives.  To me, it is no surprise the success they have found in their second careers because they are driven people who always reach for the top no matter what they do.  I give them huge credit for figuring it out.  On some level they are always trying to figure it out because I just think that is human nature. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Karen E

    Hello GG – I was going to write to you on this topic even before I saw today’s post. Why? Because of VC’s recent post describing your agony deciding what to do career-wise. It seems like you still have some child-rearing responsibilities even though they are older now, so you can’t really go to work full-time. It seems like your experience in fashion and in blogging sets you up so well for a home-based business in e-retail. I think you’ll find it, it’s just a matter of time. Maybe the right partner will come your way with a good project. Or maybe you just need one more good dose of introspection to find the true passion. Good luck!

  2. bonny

    I was torn between my career in medicine and being with my young family. The solution was that I began a successful career as a medical writer. I can work as little or as much as I want, often from the beach or my favorite european destination! You have a great writing talent and I would suggest you take that passion and create your next professional adventure 😉

  3. Anderman

    You are a writer. You are published. Buy Writer’s Market. You are done. And I am certain it will be famously so.

  4. Laura

    The second career is something I have agonized with for so long.

    Long story short – started out in Finance for 10 years, stayed at home with kids…did many part-time jobs at first, finally stopped working completely….found home life to be incredibly fun and took up horseback riding and running – I really love my life…. but….that feeling of that second career is always right there…it’s on the tip of my tongue….but I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to be yet…or when.

    I have so many ideas….but I still don’t want to let go of my family time as it exists right now. I’m so happy….this is the good time…I enjoy my kids more now than ever…I don’t think I really want to change the freedom that I have right now.

    Although sometimes the urge to work, to be creative outside of the home, to get paid for work, to work with men, to use all of these other skills I have, to be challenged in a different way…sometimes that calls very very deeply. Especially, as I have watched my husband’s career blossom and have watched him gain recognition for his work, and seen the opportunities he has had internationally…..I have been jealous of that at times.

    I know what kind of worker I am – I’m insane… only a few more years… the kids will be out of the house…I can wait, I think…..which is why my ideas never come to the surface fully.

    It is very difficult to let my ideas take second place…..will the opportunities still be there 3 to 5 years from now? Should I be pushing it now? I know I could if I wanted to. But, I’m happy…..except for those times when I’m feeling it under the surface again….something is coming up…which way will I go? which idea should I really pursue? Shhh….can’t stir it up now….push-it-down…the marketplace is going to be there…I will always have new ideas….my kids come to me now, they want to be with me now, they are still talking to me now, I am available. I know how I am when I work – I may be physically present but mentally, I am often not available. Right now I am totally available and it feels so good.

    The urge to work, to produce outside the home is an enormous pull on me. What will I be next?