Retirees are constantly returning to the workforce and looking for second careers (Photo courtesy of

Following a Passion and Not a Job the Second Time Around



            Ever wonder what you would do if you had a second career in a field that you really liked?  Too often people stay at jobs not because they want to, but because they have to in order to make a living and support their families.

          However, once the children are grown or you have retired and have time to pursue a passion, what would it be?

          Jennifer Merritt, Carolyn Bigda and Donna Rosato highlighted some of the “Best Jobs In America” on, particularly for people over 50, who have retired and now want to work in a career that they have an interest in. 

          Based on research conducted by Money Magazine and, the top second careers represent a cross section of interests and opportunities.  Here are the top five choices.

          On the top of the list is nonprofit executive where someone seeking a second career in community service can “find meaning working for an organization dedicated to a personal passion or making the world a better place.”  Having a financial and management background is very useful is this arena, but not mandatory. Also, with a wide range of causes, there are more than enough options to decide which best fits the bill for a second career and allows you to “give back.”

          Next, the emphasis on health care and the need for more patient advocates has created opportunities for patient representatives who serve as the liaison between patients and the hospital. Healthcare, as a second career, tops the AARP’s list of best industries for workers over the age of 50.  Being a “people person” with good communications skills is very important in this area.

          From the halls of medicine to religious centers, those seeking a second career and looking for more spiritual meaning are becoming celebrants or religious leaders, according to the study to “tend to the spiritual needs of others.”

          This second career choice provides variety and includes performing traditional religious education and ministerial functions as a leader, but also a “celebrant” who helps worshippers to celebrate special occasions with customized ceremonies.

          Since it takes money to hold these ceremonies and people always can use advice on how to manage their money, financial advisers are in demand as second careers.

          Research shows that it takes time to build a practice, but the work is rewarding for someone looking to help others to prepare for their future or making expenditures.  Almost 50 percent of financial advisers are self-employed so they can call their own shots and work a schedule that is comfortable for them.

          Finally, with the increased need for STEM education in the school system, there is a huge demand for seasoned professionals to become teachers. 

          Public school teachers, especially those well versed in science and math, are rounding out the top five second career list as school districts are gearing up their certification programs to accommodate older workers with the time and resources to speed up the process to become a teacher.  

          Helping to prepare the next generation is a worthy second career and having the summer months off along with holidays are great incentives for retirees still looking to be useful and wanting time to travel. 

          Whether the aspiration is to help others through leading nonprofit efforts, providing health care resources, assisting with financial planning advice, administering spiritual guidance or teaching young people, there are second career choices that one can pursue to help follow your passion.

Mereday is a contributing writer for Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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