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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Second and Third Careers: Continuing to Amaze

Traditionally in this country parents encourage their children to become educated in something, obtain employment and start a career. Years ago men and some ladies would start in a career whether it be on an assembly line at Scott's Plant in Eddystone or maybe as an entry level accountant or lawyer in a firm in Media. Over the years the expectation was a person would stay in this career and gradually move up to the next level being it supervisor, judge or whatever the next career move was in the field.

Today, most people do not work  in the field for which they trained or studied for. For example, Gloria a woman I know started her career as a journalist. Like most young people she trained and studied to write for newspapers and journals. As the years went by and technology took over, the jobs that she and many of her co-workers trained for were no longer there. They had to find other employment.

What does one do when the job you trained for is becoming obsolete? With our country being young at 200 years old this has not happened all that often. When you think about most of the folks who came to this country got jobs in local markets or in a factory somewhere. Many of them retired from the job they started at. It is not until recent say about 30-40 years ago when technology really took off and many of these jobs became obsolete. Now a days it is not uncommon to find a person in their 50's who has had two or three jobs some of which are not even in the field they started out in.

People like Gloria. A person who wondered what will I do when this career I trained for is obsolete? When the jobs are limited and the industry is not growing. I will have to find another way to earn money. Start again. Learn new skills. Be adaptable. Be flexible. Not so easy when you been on the earth for many years and you all of a sudden realize everything you trained for and worked for is no longer available.

This is why I have so much admiration for people who can switch careers. People who can start a new journey half way through life. Not only start a new journey but be very successful at it and make a difference in another person's life. People who once started in office jobs are now out among other people in the community making a difference in the life of a senior or the disabled. It is not uncommon for me to hear I never thought I would be doing a job like this, have to learn new skills or change careers but it is working for me and very gratifying.

Change is hard for everyone but sometimes it can result in the best thing that has ever happened to someone. If there is a job or profession you never thought you could do, maybe you can. It is never too late to start learning about new things. Just ask Gloria -

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