A Second Career:
Starting from the Bottom
To do what you’re passionate about sometimes means starting at the bottom and working you’re way up from the ground up all over again. In my case, I spent 20 years in the military and retired as a Master Sergeant at the age of 39. Yes, I could have stayed in for another six years, made the next pay-grade, and retired comfortably, but that was not where my heart was. I made the decision to retire, finished my undergrad, and made the leap.
Let’s face it; we are obligated to support our lifestyles and our families. It is probably the main reason people do not change careers. For those of us that do, feel that we are of more value to the company than we actually are. That was a tough lesson for me to learn when I applied to Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club. Many of the skills that the military paid millions of dollars to develop me are not applicable to work performed on a golf course. Think about it! A musicians ability to play a melody will not make him a great IT technician, nor does a chefs ability take flavors from various ingredients and turn them into a mouthwatering dish make them a mechanic. It just doesn’t work that way! We have to keep that in mind when we are determining our value to a company.
We have to be realistic and manage our expectations. I chosen not to do what many of my peers have done after their retirement, and submit applications to jobs that they were not qualified for or hold out for salaries that were unrealistic. They just didn’t want to start back at the bottom to get the job that they wanted or were passionate about. As a result, they went into government contracting or sales. The ones that did take the entry level ones are farther ahead than those that took the high road.
There is a bright side. Most of us have intangibles that are very hard to quantify on a resume such as grit, self-awareness, discipline, resourcefulness, or purpose. The intangible skills that we developed in our previous careers will propel us once we learn the skills that we need for our new career and give the opportunity for the company to observe these intangibles in practice. So why not take an entry-level position to get your foot in the door. I think that act in and of it, speaks volumes about you.
If you are interested in starting a second career in the future, start planning now. Arm yourself with the resources, education, training, and certifications that you need before you make the transition. Even though you may not have experienced and started off entry- level you have intangible skills that the company may need and will prove to be of value. Don’t sell yourself short and don’t be afraid.
Doesn’t it make sense to just get your foot in the door to give you an opportunity to prove yourself? I am not going to say that the grass is not always greener on the other side. In my case it is. Lol. But if you are truly passionate about a change in profession go for it. Don’t hesitate to start the planning process. If you need any advice please feel free to post on the blog or to contact me, and I will be happy to help you with any questions you have.
I can’t wait to hear from you