Reinvention can sound like a luxury for the wealthy and secure. There’s a misconception that reinventors are the chosen few who can take lots of time to dream up jobs that will make them happy– whether or not the compensation “pays the rent”. Many reinventors, though, are frustrated job seekers forced to think out of the box to ward off dire financial straits.
Far too many people in the Baby Boomer generation can’t even think about a work-free retirement. Nest eggs are cracking from the strain of current financial needs. The job market is tight, and it’s often difficult to stay in an industry or a job function that was booming or relevant in a decade of the past.
If this is your story and you need to keep working out of financial necessity, focus your reinvention ideas on employment areas of growth. Take a look at this Boston.com and Monster list of fast-growing jobs, and you’ll see some interesting possibilities—many that require bachelor’s degrees or additional schooling for two years.
You’ll see that with the aging population there’s a great focus on health care related jobs, and I was surprised to find that a job like Physician Assistant pays a median of $75,000 and requires only a two-year program certificate. Medical assistants, physical therapy assistants, mental health counselors, and substance abuse social workers also can practice after completing fairly brief certificate or master’s programs.
Though further education can lead to more opportunities, not all job seekers can foot the bill. If you must find a job within your current skill set, it’s still a good idea to see how your specific expertise can fit into a growing industry. You might not want to, for example, be a “hands-on” health care worker, but all high demand hospitals and medical offices have other hiring needs such as administrators, and financial pros, too. Reinvention can mean an entirely new job function, or a move to an industry using skills in your usual realm.
Many women who need a reinvention for long-term financial security are in the 50+ demographic, and for this group a strategy tweak can be necessary to find a job. Kerry Hannon wrote a great article for Forbes: “Six Ways to Land A Job When You Are Over 50”. She lists very practical and useful advice that lays a great foundation for a reinvention of any type.
In Kerry’s article there is also a link to a life expectancy calculator, www.livingto100.com that helps you project the income and savings you’ll need over the long term. According to this calculator, I’ll live to the ripe old age of 93…which means decades of possibility to reinvent. —KAS
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