5 Good Second Careers to Consider

There are many reasons to think of opting for a second career—dissatisfaction with the present job or career you have; need to earn an extra income; to exercise your creative juices; for more money or you are not ready to retire yet and want an extra shot at the job market.

Whatever the reason, a second career option means that you have some experience, have acquired a skill set and are not a complete rookie going out on your first job.

The average American typically changes jobs 10 to 15 times in their lifetime. A Time article listed the top reasons why people change jobs. The reasons included: downsizing; improve work-life; poor work environment; disenchantment with present career growth; ineffective leadership or bad bosses.

Many people who went on to shine in their jobs or careers worked at a different job earlier in their career.

  • Walt Disney’s first career was as a newspaper editor. Allegedly he was fired because didn’t have any good ideas or imagination.
  • Julia Child worked for the United States as a spy before her starting her second career cooking French cuisine.

Good Second Careers Options

Second Career Options that Pay Off

We spoke to a handful of career experts to list out some of the best second career options for you to consider.


For the slightly older people who are looking to be gainfully engaged acting as a counsellor is rewarding.

Experienced workers can share their wisdom while helping others. It ranked as the second-most-enjoyable occupation, according to the Urban Institute survey. 

There are many short-term courses that one can take and gain certificates. Volunteering is another way that you can train at the job. Many counsellors provide emotional support to individuals and families dealing with a variety of personal issues.

If you are so inclined, you can specialize as a financial or business management counsellor, if you have experience in those areas.

Floral Designer

It is creative and a satisfying way to indulge your artistic tendencies. Many florists are happy to take in interns and you can learn the craft by acting as an understudy.

For the retired and seniors who are active, it is a good way to have social interactions. The best thing is you are surrounded by nature and color and are a part of a happy atmosphere and environment helping others celebrate a birthday, anniversaries and weddings etc.

“You’re meeting people who are smiling at you every day,” says a florist.


If you have the qualifications and want to be surrounded by inquisitive minds then becoming a teacher in your second career avatar is recommended.

Becky Frankiewicz, president of staffing firm ManpowerGroup North America says, “We’re seeing a lot of activity around providing opportunities and flexibility.” Retired teachers are often welcomed back as substitutes while postsecondary schools may look for experienced professionals to teach on a part-time basis. Online teaching has opened many more options. Professionals can work part-time as teachers in their area of expertise.


Customer interaction is another field that is welcoming to people wanting a second innings at a career. An outgoing personality, team player and good communication skills are the only requirements. The opportunities are vast with chances to learn on the job. Retail positions can be found in a variety of stores, making it possible to find a job that matches a person’s personal interests. 


We are using this in a wide sense. One can opt to work as a receptionist, in an office for certain hours doing book-keeping or become a paralegal. Another option is a business administrator in-charge of the whole office running seamlessly.

HR specialist: You can undertake a short-term course and start as an executive or specialize in some niche like— labor laws, insurance or something similar.

Hospital administration is another option but that requires specialization. Explore what courses you can undertake to make the move.

Medical Insurance and coding specialist: You can work at home or in a medical facility. You are responsible for health insurance claim forms and code and sort them.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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