Encore Career Ideas

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If you are retired, but are still wanting to pursue a new career then encore careers are for you. Starting a new career later in life can be intimidating and scary, but it’s not impossible. In fact, there are many options to consider, such as healthcare, environmental justice, education and public service. These types of careers are not so much about making substantial salaries, but rather about having a fulfilling career that makes a difference in the world.  Keep reading to learn more about encore careers. 

Encore Career Ideas


Nonprofit organizations are desperately in need of those who are experienced in leadership positions. The wonderful thing about nonprofits is that you are working for a cause, such as helping the homeless or the poor, the illiterate and children. Or you may be raising awareness for domestic violence, pro-life or other causes. Perhaps you wish to support the arts or science. Nonprofits are a wonderful place to support a passion that you have. There are many to choose from. All of these types of organizations need professionals. With these types of positions, it is common to work part time or only be required to work 40 hour weeks, rather than 60 or 70. Therefore, you will have more time for life outside of work, such as developing hobbies or spending time with family and friends.   


Although a difficult profession, teaching is definitely a worthwhile career. Training children and young adults for a bright future is very rewarding and one where you can deeply impact your students. Even colleges look for retired professionals to teach classes. A degree in education is not always required. If you have previous experience in certain areas, such as business, marketing or design, you may be able to teach a college class. You may still need to take teaching courses beforehand, however, before stepping into a classroom.  Teachers are in desperate demand, but you can consider other options within education. Teacher’s aides are always needed to help give one on one attention needed for many students. Library aides and lunch aides are also needed.

Health Care

There is always a high demand for health care workers and it is one of the fastest job markets in the United States. It is also a highly rewarding profession, as well as an exhausting one. If you wish to become a nurse, physician’s assistant or work as a specialist (such as a speech therapist, chiropractor, podiatrist, etc.) you will need to seek further education. However, there are health care professions where you can receive on-the-job training. Home health care aides are in high demand, assisting the elderly with daily chores, bathing, dressing and feeding. This can take place in either the individual’s home or in a nursing facility. 

Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation

Bookkeeping and tax preparation will also always be in demand. If you were previously a full time accountant or bookkeeper, you may be able to work freelance for multiple companies with the flexibility of creating your own schedule. Tax preparation can also be a seasonal profession, yet there are opportunities to be found all year round. This type of career can be flexible in the sense that you can work for multiple companies.


Consulting is a great idea for an encore career if you really enjoy your profession, but maybe want less work or responsibility. If you do not want to leave your current company, but want to try something different, consider consulting. Certain companies will hire retirees as contract workers. Their position may be very similar to what it was before they retired, except that contract workers can work part time hours. This gives you the opportunity to continue to do what you enjoy but without having to work 40 or more hours a week.

Executive & Career Coaching

Coaching, much like consulting, is a way to share your years of experience with others in a career field that you are passionate about. If you have spent 40 years or more as an executive or in other high ranking positions, then you may wish to coach others who are less experienced. 


If you enjoy being around people and making conversation, or you are a good listener and problem solver, then you may make a good bartender. Bartending can be a fun job, especially if you have spent decades working behind a desk. Bartending usually requires some schooling to learn the proper way to mix alcoholic beverages. It is a job where you can let your hair down, so to speak. Make conversation with your customers, and you may make friends with regulars. A good bartender does not need to be college age. All you need is a friendly and fun personality and a listening ear.  Alternatively, working at a Winery as a Wine Tasting Associate is another great option.

Bloggers & Columnists

If you have always enjoyed writing but have never taken the time to write due to work schedules, family life and other pressing responsibilities, then consider making your retirement years as writing years. Blogging is a profession that can be done from home. All that you need is a computer with internet connection. In order to make money, you will need to learn about Affiliate marketing and advertising. If you’d rather work for a company, becoming a columnist is another writing option. Consider writing for publications (online or print) in areas that interest you. Keep in mind that it is much easier to write what you know. 


If you were once a lawyer, then you may have considered getting into politics at one point in your life. Many politicians were lawyers previously. Yet other politicians were oil barons and businessmen. Consider starting out on a smaller scale, such as serving on the school board or within your township or county. If you find that you really enjoy it, you may be able to work your way up. 

Franchise Owner

You are never too old to become an entrepreneur. If you have savings that you would like to invest, consider becoming a franchise owner. This can be a difficult career choice, as there is no guarantee that you will be successful. You could potentially lose money and even your business. If you wish to choose a safer option, you may wish to purchase an already existing franchise. There are perks to owning a franchise as you can be your own boss and potentially grow a business. 

Support for Encore Careers

If the idea of starting a new career at an older age sounds intimidating to you, know that you are not alone. There is support out there for you. AARP offers a program known as Life Reimagined which is designed to walk with you through your new journey. You still have a bright future ahead of you, and you should be excited about this new opportunity. You may also want to read Richard J. Leider and David Shapiro’s book, Work Reimagined: Uncover Your Calling. This book discusses the importance of finding a job that does more than just pay the bills and put food on the table. It’s about finding your purpose: your true calling. If you want more information on encore careers, purchase Marci Alboher’s book, The Encore Career Handbook, Second-Act Careers by Nancy Collamer or Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ by Kerry Hannon.

Why Are More Older Men and Women Considering Encore Careers? 

Many men and women in their 50s and 60s have realized that they are in need of a career change due to the fact that their current career no longer supports them. They have spent years working in a profession that may not interest them anymore or does not provide them financial stability. You may wonder how an encore career could possibly provide enough money to support yourself. Beginning a new career can be an exciting opportunity and the potential for you to grow professionally and even as an individual. Consider going into business for yourself, or take on a new career where you can make more money as well as experience deep fulfillment. 

Retirement does not have to be the end of the road. In fact, it can be just the beginning of a new journey. There are many different encore careers in which you can explore. In choosing a new career path, you may find that you have finally discovered what you want to be when you grow up!

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