One morning over the holidays I got up with a question on my mind:
“What’s your ‘Second Act?'”
I think every creative professional at some point ponders on this same question. If you’re as fortunate as I’ve been, you’ve been getting paid to be creative for some time now. Even the most creative types though reach a point in their career where things just aren’t doing it for you like they used to. You’re not completely unhappy, no, but you’re not at all satisfied. You want more. You want to get excited again about going to work, you want to leap onto a project with glee rather than gloom, you want to feel like you’re going somewhere with your career and talents rather than spinning your wheels doing the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Guess what? It’s ok! You should want to grow and tackle new things as you progress in your career.
So that brings me back to the question: what’s your second act? Have you ever given thought to what’s coming next for you? If you’re classically-trained artist fearing that your talents are more a hobby than a real profession, what can you do to change that? If you enjoy blogging, how can you turn that passion for writing into a profitable business venture? If you like making stuff in general, what can you do to turn that fun activity into a job you’ll enjoy? The answer to this question is what will become your second act.
Second Acts in your career are hard work. Sometimes it means slamming the breaks on what you’re used to and feel is safe to venture into new territory. For example, when I first entered the job market back in 2006 I was all about print design. While I had some knowledge of html coding, by no means did I consider myself to be a web designer. Fast forward to present day 2013. What’s happened to this area of my career that I once dreaded and resisted? Well, I’ve gone on to learn a great deal about WordPress. It started off as a hobby and once I saw that the company I worked for suffered from hard-to-manage websites, I convinced them to convert their sites over into easy-to-use WordPress CMS (content management systems.) After graduating from college in 2006 I was really opposed to doing anything that felt like school. As of today, I’ve taken 3 courses in web design, furthering my knowledge and experience with XHTML, CSS and Dreamweaver. Point is, what I used to resist I’ve now learn to embrace and turn into the “second act” of my career.
Everyone has something they can do for a ‘Second Act.’ Perhaps it’s something that scares you, or something you think is boring or too complex for you to learn or try to break into at this point in your career. But really, these days and in today’s economy, who has the time to be complacent? Few people are going to be able to stick with one job for their entire lifetime as you may have seen or heard from your parents, grandparents and old television shows. Things change; technology evolves; your professions and jobs change and those who don’t stay ahead of that curve will find themselves wishing they had a ‘second act’ to fall back on.