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Level up and test the waters: The first two steps toward success in any encore career

Published October 20, 2022

There is a lot of pressure on high school and college students to choose their careers. But what happens when a few years — or decades — into the working world, that initial choice no longer feels like the right fit?

If you’ve been considering a career change, no matter your age, you’re not alone.

A Pew Research Center survey of workers who quit a job in the Great Resignation of 2021 found that 53% changed their industry, field of work or occupation. And while workers under 30 were the most likely to report a career change, Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) and baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) also embarked on new ventures or “encore careers.”

Kerry Hannon, a workplace futurist and author of the new book In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work, has spent a lot of time interviewing people who have made career shifts or embraced entrepreneurship later in life.

“I want people to know nothing is forever,” Hannon said. “So many people don’t want to start something new because they think it will be embarrassing if it doesn’t work out. Forget about that. You have to let that stuff go and take that first step.”

With that in mind, Hannon, in partnership with VSP Individual Vision Plans, shared these tips for anyone considering an encore career can use to get started with confidence and set themselves on a path to success.



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