Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

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JamesSFO
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Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by JamesSFO » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:17 pm

Well indexing and the market have been good for me, started this month with investment accounts only finally in the $2M range. Remain tremendously appreciative of the many posters who are deeply knowledgable and deeply engaged on this site for all of the advice they provide. Onward and upward hopefully.

FWIW, I have ~99% on my funds in 3 fund portfolio across all of my accounts with bonds in 401K/tax deferred. I do have about 1% in a few individual stocks for fun and room credits when booking cruises (NCLH, RCL, CCL). Fully paid off home in HCOL area. Currently make mid/high 6 figures, with homeowners fees/property taxes/etc could live on more like $40-50K/year.

Starting to think more about the next phase(s) of my life, I turn 45 later this year and wondering whether I should be doing something different for the next ~20 or so working years...

To make the discussion actionable: Looking for inputs/personal stories/suggested reading on people who've made big career switches and how they went about it since I'm feeling somewhat done with practicing law the way I have been for the past ~20 years.

Beehave
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by Beehave » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:18 pm

JamesSFO wrote:Well indexing and the market have been good for me, started this month with investment accounts only finally in the $2M range. Remain tremendously appreciative of the many posters who are deeply knowledgable and deeply engaged on this site for all of the advice they provide. Onward and upward hopefully.

FWIW, I have ~99% on my funds in 3 fund portfolio across all of my accounts with bonds in 401K/tax deferred. I do have about 1% in a few individual stocks for fun and room credits when booking cruises (NCLH, RCL, CCL). Fully paid off home in HCOL area. Currently make mid/high 6 figures, with homeowners fees/property taxes/etc could live on more like $40-50K/year.

Starting to think more about the next phase(s) of my life, I turn 45 later this year and wondering whether I should be doing something different for the next ~20 or so working years...

To make the discussion actionable: Looking for inputs/personal stories/suggested reading on people who've made big career switches and how they went about it since I'm feeling somewhat done with practicing law the way I have been for the past ~20 years.
Two thoughts:

I have a friend who retired from IT mgmt and took a course or two to become certified as a mediator. He enjoys the work. He does lots of divorce mediation in which the couples have a chance to settle in binding agreement before going to court. He works with retired lawyers who handle not only that kind of mediation but also (or only) business/commercial-oriented mediation including fiduciary relationships gone astray, etc. The cases seem interesting from what I can gather, and I think the stress level for mediating is orders of magnitude lower than preparing briefs within time limits and the like. I think the work is regular once you're established but this is piece work with no benefits.

I'm pretty sure your law degree also qualifies you to teach at community colleges across the land. I retired from IT and teach this way. The pay is very low, but it enables the colleges to charge very low tuition, so you will be using your intelligence and skills to benefit the students and the community. You can probably teach ethics courses (philosophy dep't), business courses, and/or law enforcement courses. This path has frustrations and time commitment, but it keeps you in touch with younger people as you age and may make you feel good about your place in and ongoing contribution to society as a retiree. Maybe you could mediate and dip your toes into adjunct teaching and cobble together a living this way - - however, there are NO benefits, and at your age that might be a showstopper. So these two job-types might be something to think about when you're a decade or more older as part of your glide path.

Good luck. I know enough about practicing law to know how stressful it can be.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by JamesSFO » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:18 am

Thanks so much, appreciate some concrete suggestions!!!! :sharebeer

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janiebegood
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by janiebegood » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:44 am

I just posted about this in another thread, so it's on my mind this morning. I'm copying to keep it succinct:
My husband lives to work and attaches a lot of who he is to what he does. But when he was 44, he left a fly-on-the-company-jet level VP position and a 20-year career at a multinational corporation to take a more soul-satisfying passion job at less than half the pay. He left industry for academic administration, and we've spent the past 8 years living a completely different life. A simpler and in many ways richer life. He walks to work. Our daughter attends the school where he works, so he hasn't missed a play, orchestra performance, or cross-country meet... ever.
Academia can offer teaching, but there are also lots (in some cases lots and lots) of administrative positions. As a lawyer, your background and skills could lead you to become a dean, a college counselor, or an admissions director, for example. These are usually 12-month jobs with no teaching or grading, but you're still part of a campus and the lifestyle that offers.

retiredjg
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by retiredjg » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:53 am

I went into a new career at 36. It was completely different from my first career. I was "done" with the first one and getting dissatisfied with life in general. Doing something new was great!

If you can, get involved in something you are passionate about. That's what I did and that's why it was worth going back to school part time, moving across the country, etc. Don't limit yourself to only things that are related to law.

I think your challenge may be age discrimination. Many people may not hire a 45 year old "beginner". You may need to do something where you can be your own boss.

You might consider law in a different setting - say legal counsel for a charity or association you have an interest in. And there are government attorneys in agencies like the National Park Service, BLM, US Forest Service, and probably state equivalents.

Good luck!

btenny
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by btenny » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:53 am

I retired from big tech and my fortune 500 job at 52. I did engineering for part of my career and then moved to management and system design and new business generation. I was burned out from all the travel and long hours and politics and so forth. I planned to take a year off then go back to work. During my year off I took a job as a ski instructor for the winter. I liked it so well I never went back to engineering. I did ski instructing for 5 winters before I retired completely. I made very little $$ above my remote living expenses but I got into good physical shape and my mental attitude changed dramatically. I have many friends who did similar ski instructor things, one was a CPA, another was a builder, etc.. The key was it was a great transition job to full retirement and it was fun.

I have another lawyer acquaintance who quit big law in San Francisco at 55ish. He moved to Tahoe and retired. But he wanted some part time "fun work" so he started helping landlords with rental and tenant issues. His office is a cell phone and a laptop. He is now known all over town as the service and rental guru to the landlords. He really does not work much as he skis about 50 days a winter and sails all summer. He has a ball.

I have other friends who are "marshals" at the local golf course all summer. They retired from careers of all kinds. They work 1-2 days a week in exchange for free golf. They like the low key fun job and save a lot on golf fees. So there is life after long hard careers that let you slow down.

Good Luck.

Billionaire
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by Billionaire » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:04 pm

I can offer a personal story. I have a degree in Accounting. I spent approx. 8 years in various accounting jobs. I then sold new residential construction for about 4 years. I'm about to end my 28 year career in IT. I am hoping to get a job at a local accountants office during the 2018 tax season helping out with personal income taxes. I used this accountants office for my mothers trust 2017 return and got a good glimpse into the operation.

CppCoder
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by CppCoder » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:58 pm

This is not meant to be a political comment, but have you considered running for elected office? Obviously, many legislators have a law background. Maybe it's a way for you to make a difference, or at least try. I think working as a politician could be interesting. It's the running for office part that would kill me.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by JamesSFO » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:05 pm

Thanks for the additional examples and thoughts, it's very helpful.

stlutz
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by stlutz » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:12 pm

I hope this isn't a thread-jack, but for people who have made this type of change, did you:

a) figure out what you wanted to do as your "second act" before quitting the old job

b) Quit the old job and take some time off and figure out where you want to go from here?

Do you recommend the course you took?

Billionaire
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by Billionaire » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:47 pm

stlutz wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:12 pm
I hope this isn't a thread-jack, but for people who have made this type of change, did you:

a) figure out what you wanted to do as your "second act" before quitting the old job

b) Quit the old job and take some time off and figure out where you want to go from here?

Do you recommend the course you took?
In my case it was "a" both times. That is the course I would recommend, although I wasn't in a financial position to not have a plan. I left real estate in 1989. Remember October 1987. That was the beginning of the end of my real estate career. I didn't want to go back to accounting and had friends who transitioned from other careers to IT. That's what I did and it was the best decision of my life. Now I'm ready to get out of IT.

mckaydw
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by mckaydw » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:19 pm

I watched my Dad switch from a high stress to a low stress career in his mid 40's and although the pay was lower, he seems a lot happier and more fullfilled to me. 15 years later, he's still excited to go to work at his low stress job. It clear to me that he made the right decision.

He is a physical therapist. Spent the first 20 years working corporate nursing homes. Lots of stress, paperwork, money trumping patient needs, etc. He switched to being a physical therapist for a local school district where he helps handicapped children be able to function in the school environment. Non-invasive boss, low paperwork, freedom to help kids the best he knows how, etc. He works at nursing homes in the summer while school is off and enjoys that too now that he doesn't have to play the corporate politics game.

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janiebegood
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by janiebegood » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:10 pm

stlutz wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:12 pm
I hope this isn't a thread-jack, but for people who have made this type of change, did you:

a) figure out what you wanted to do as your "second act" before quitting the old job

b) Quit the old job and take some time off and figure out where you want to go from here?

Do you recommend the course you took?
Answering for my husband, who's the one who made the leap. He did a). In fact, the new place is the only thing that could have gotten him to leave his old company. That company was good to him (and us), and he had a satisfying, successful career there. The new job, though, gives him a sense of working for the greater good that the corporation couldn't provide. He took a week off between jobs, and in that week, we moved 550 miles. He hit the ground running the following Monday.

In our case, part of the reason for the leap was that we had already moved four times with the company and knew it would only be a matter of time before we moved again. We had learned that moves were particularly difficult for our introvert daughter. When we moved to the new place 8 years ago, we hoped to stay put until she finished high school. She'll be a sophomore this year, so we're getting there. And the old company closed down the whole division where my husband worked, merged with its largest competitor and moved the HQ 600 miles further south. Either we would have moved there the summer before our daughter started 8th grade or to a different location with the same company, or he'd have had to find another job to stay where we were. As it is, we avoided that upheaval (and yet another interstate move), and we unloaded a house albatross at the same time.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by JamesSFO » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:28 pm

stlutz wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:12 pm
I hope this isn't a thread-jack, but for people who have made this type of change, did you:

a) figure out what you wanted to do as your "second act" before quitting the old job

b) Quit the old job and take some time off and figure out where you want to go from here?

Do you recommend the course you took?
appreciate the follow on question!!! It's helpful additional thoughts.

retiredjg
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by retiredjg » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:42 pm

I went back to school part time to get qualified for the second job. When the second job was offered, I left the first job. It took 3 years.

gretah
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by gretah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:38 pm

There's a tool at CareerInfoNet.org where you answer questions to provide a skills assessment. The program then suggests careers. You might use this tool to learn about careers you might not have considered otherwise.

Additional free resources -
ONetOnline.org
MyNextMove.org

Good luck!

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JamesSFO
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by JamesSFO » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:47 pm

gretah wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:38 pm
There's a tool at CareerInfoNet.org where you answer questions to provide a skills assessment. The program then suggests careers. You might use this tool to learn about careers you might not have considered otherwise.

Additional free resources -
ONetOnline.org
MyNextMove.org

Good luck!
Thanks!

ThankYouJack
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:53 pm

What do you enjoy and what are you passionate about? What is important to you and what do you want your legacy to be?

How many hours a week are you looking to work?

Does it matter how much you make - say if you made $10/hour as a teacher / coach or would you rather make $100+ / hour part-time and volunteer as a ______?

I'm not FI yet, but switched to a part-time consulting role with a bunch of flexibility and love it. I have a ton more time for my family, hobbies, getting involved in my community, and less work stress and boredom. Congrats on your success! :sharebeer

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JamesSFO
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by JamesSFO » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:46 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:53 pm
What do you enjoy and what are you passionate about? What is important to you and what do you want your legacy to be?

How many hours a week are you looking to work?

Does it matter how much you make - say if you made $10/hour as a teacher / coach or would you rather make $100+ / hour part-time and volunteer as a ______?

I'm not FI yet, but switched to a part-time consulting role with a bunch of flexibility and love it. I have a ton more time for my family, hobbies, getting involved in my community, and less work stress and boredom. Congrats on your success! :sharebeer
Thanks, I will confess I struggle to answer those types of questions. But they are the right ones to ask!!!

ThankYouJack
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:07 am

JamesSFO wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:46 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:53 pm
What do you enjoy and what are you passionate about? What is important to you and what do you want your legacy to be?

How many hours a week are you looking to work?

Does it matter how much you make - say if you made $10/hour as a teacher / coach or would you rather make $100+ / hour part-time and volunteer as a ______?

I'm not FI yet, but switched to a part-time consulting role with a bunch of flexibility and love it. I have a ton more time for my family, hobbies, getting involved in my community, and less work stress and boredom. Congrats on your success! :sharebeer
Thanks, I will confess I struggle to answer those types of questions. But they are the right ones to ask!!!
You could focus on what makes you truly happiest throughout each day. If you have a string on melancholy days, start trying new things. And once you determine what days bring the most joy, work on recreating those days. It sounds simple enough, but is easy to coast through each day and get into a rut

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Jazztonight
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Re: Progress, thanks, and seeking advice on 2nd careers

Post by Jazztonight » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:40 pm

It's not for everyone (actually, it's for hardly anyone), but when I semi-retired early (from health care), I became a professional musician.

If you love one of the arts, have enough income from investments to support yourself, and would like to go in a different direction, consider it!

You are young enough to do pretty much anything. Good luck!
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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