Three Stretches to Loosen Up
Your Second Career Muscles

Are you thinking of moving to a second career? You can use the following article to make sure that you are ready before you move.

Three Stretches to Loosen Up Your Second Career Muscles

When I was a regular at aerobics class, we began and ended each session with long, relaxed stretches. Athletes make stretching a part of every practice.

Stretching creates strength, flexibility and power -- whether we're working on muscles or careers.

So when moving to a Second career, here are three ways to loosen up.

Stretch into a new job. Maybe it's your first new job in ten years. During your first few months, it's easy to feel, "I've made a mistake." Often that means you've jumped straight into high-impact action before your career muscles are ready.

When you're stressed, it's easy to sabotage your own goals. Think of long, slow moves that lengthen muscles and build staying power.

Stretch out of a career you've outgrown. You're thinking of starting a new business -- and your job gets in the way. Or you're frustrated enough to walk out the door.

You can use your current career as leverage to reach your next goal. It's a matter of learning to use your well-toned muscles to play a whole new game. Stay until you can leave on your own terms, holding your power.

Stretch your career into a business. When you've left a senior, high profile position, you may begin earning money faster from a business than from a no-win job search. And telling prospective employers, "I have a business" will bring you back to a one-up position. Stretch and grow straight.

Identify services and products that build on your expertise, as well as potential customers and clients. Create a plan to investigate options before you need to act.

Bottom Line: Career stretching makes a lot of sense, especially for midcareer, midlife clients. Stretching in the gym builds endurance and flexibility. These stretches acomplish similar goals as you take your first steps to a Second Career.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., author of Making the Big Move, helps midlife professionals navigate career and business transitions.

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