What’s your second career?

This is a theme that has dominated conversations for a few decades. Growing up, I was often told to create more than a single source of income. As I got older, the conversation on investing only got louder–buy a house (or two), invest in stocks, buy gold–the list of recommendations was endless. However, over the past few years, the conversation drifted from multiple sources of income to multiple careers; not over a period of time, but at the same time. I’ve had many debates on the topic, read articles on this and even had examples of Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon quoted multiple times. The dialog moved from financial stability to also turning us into creative ninjas, expanding social circles and happy campers.

For all these reasons, I decided I am finally at a stage in life to consider taking the advice seriously. Being stuck indoors as it rains cats and dogs outside definitely helps find time to consider life choices. As I began drawing my list of alternate careers, almost all of them ended up looping on my current profession. On top of my list featured professions like writing, podcasting (is this a profession) and serial book reader (does this exist). All three of them read as extensions of what I already do in the space of HR. Maybe instead of writing about HR, I now write about my experiences of living in a different country, opinions on life and economics; instead of releasing a podcast on HR, I release one on <draws blank>. My list was so empty, I found myself wallowing in sorrow. What skills did I possess that would allow an alternate career?

After a while of wallowing and a bag of crisps, I moved from looking at my current skills to skills I’d like to learn. I checked which had the potential to translate into some form of career, even if it paid nothing at this point. I ended up creating a list of ‘useless skills’ such as juggling, skateboarding and origami. While these have the potential to turn into a well-paying career for some, that’ll likely not be me.

I know colleagues who’ve become successful standup comedians, yoga instructors and beauty influencers in parallel to their day job. Yet, no matter which way I looked at it, I couldn’t find an answer. Through the morning, I realized a few things:

  1. For some (like me), finding a potential second career is a labour of love; not a question that can be answered in a single morning.
  2. It may take going back to school, ten years and more for it to translate into a source of income. The point is to begin in the pursuit of joy and growing the circle. Starting with a monetary goal will probably leave one as confused as I was.
  3. If skateboarding it is, then there will never be a better time to start than now. So let’s go buy that goddamn skateboard.
  4. And maybe it is all really only about grit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfF2e0vyGM4.  

The question today is not ‘if one has a second career’ but ‘what is the second career’? What would you pick? What would you add to my recommendation list?  


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