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Ready for Your Second, Third or Fourth Act?

By Mary Foley

Are you ready for a career change, dream of starting your own business, or desire to launch a non-profit?  For previous generations it was common to do one type of career for several decades and then retire for your Second Act.  

Ready for 2nd 3rd 4th act

Today we are all part of Generation Flux that's not defined by when you were born, but by the reality that the average tenure of a U.S. worker in a position is 4.4 years and the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 11.4 for men and 10.7 for women.  Not sure what a .4 or .7 job looks like.  Perhaps it's part-time or the job you almost got?

There are plenty of personal next acts as well.  Recently, a 62 year old friend completed her first ever Ironman competition.  Another wrote her first book.  And yet another changed her lifestyle to lose weight and feel healthy.  Personally or professionally, awillingness to stay flexible,togrow, to create your second, third, fourth act and beyondistoday'snorm.

Personally, I'm a “Gen X Senior Citizen” with three acts so far and lots of scenes.  Act One was 10 years in Corporate America with five scenes for each position I held.  Act Two involved going to graduate school, so it was more like a dress rehearsal.  Now in Act Three as an entrepreneur I'm at six scenes and counting.  Perhaps Act Four will tap into my love of wine and wine culture.  After so many acts and scenes, I'm sure I'm not the only one who couldn't use a time for some “sittin' and sippin'” as my Louisiana friend says.

But how do you transition and get started on your next act?  Unfortunately, there's isn't a one-size-fits-all road map.  However, you can get started in creating your own map by asking yourself these simple, but powerful questions:

What's your next personal or professional act that you would love to come true and why?

Clarity is power.  You have to be clear on where you want to go before you can get there.  Write down as much detail as possible what your next act looks like, feels like, and why it's so dang important to you.  Then, have the courage to say it out loud to a trusted friend, colleague or loved one.  Sharing your dream next act with others makes your dream more real.

What's the biggest thing holding you back from your next act?

Common responses to this question include not having the right experience or education, or not having enough time or money.  Go deeper and the real reason you are holding yourself back is that your next act might not work out.  You might just fail.  Instead of thinking of change as a crash and burn experience, reframe failure as simply “not trying.”  If you try and it's not a fit, it doesn't pan out, good for you. 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did” said Mark Twain. Or, as one of my friends tweeted: “Failure means I don’t have to do it that way again!”  Then again, you may find out your next act is as fabulous as you imagined.

What's 1 step you can take towards your next act?

Contrary to having a full-blown, detailed plan for your next act, determine one step you can make right now.  Maybe you need to reach out to three people who are doing now what you hope to achieve to learn how they made it happen.  Maybe your next step is to do more online research about education, experience and compensation of the position you would really like to get.  No step is too small.  The point is to get moving and get started.

Question:  What's your next personal or professional act that you would love to come true and why?  Make it real and share it in the Comments below!

[Gotta Quick Question] Can I trust my feelings?

Have you ever felt something was too good to be true?  That's how Issy felt when she asked me:

Can I trust my good and bad feelings in a dream-come-true scenario?

Isn't a dream come true scenario what we all want and work so hard for?  Sounds wonderful!  But, maybe, just maybe, it will all fall apart and then you're hurt and disappointed...again

Instead of a dream, it's a nightmare!   Maybe it's better to not trust your feelings after all.

Before you jump to that conclusion, consider these ideas...

What YOUR question?  Ask me now here and I may use it for an upcoming video!

The Perfect Setup for Influencing, Impacting and Moving Others

 By Mary Foley

Chances are you hate the idea of selling. So used car salesman.  But, what if you realized you are already in sales and that, as a woman, you have the perfect setup to be very, very good at it – for all the right reasons?

I realized this myself when I recently read the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink, a book I highly recommend every aspiring woman read for her career (as well as personal life).  Here's a quick 2-minute video on the book that's worth watching:


Pink shares research that 1 out of 9 Americans are in a traditional sales role.  The real kicker is that the other 8 – that would be you and me – are also in sales.  We're spending 40% or more of our time trying to influence, convince, or otherwise “move” others to approve an idea, allocate resources, or join in a special effort.  Can you relate?

Sometimes, it's not so fun.  People resist, they question your intent, or they don't believe you. 

But here's the real hope and what I was most excited about:  After listening to the characteristics and skills of effective “sales” people, something was very, very obvious to me that he didn't include:

Women are amazing movers!

Our natural focus on relationships and helping orientation to others is the PERFECT setup for influencing, impacting, and moving others. 

If you are already...

  • Seeking common ground with the others
  • Asking questions and talking less
  • Being a good listener
  • Sharing helpful information
  • Being positive and upbeat
  • Wanting the best for others

 ...then you are doing what it takes to be good at “moving” others...for your career, with your family, for causes you care about, and more.

You not only need to realize this, you need to focus on enhancing these abilities and start doing them even more deliberately.  So you can make the most impact and navigate your career the way you want it to go!

Who can help?  Well, Daniel Pink, of course.  As I said, I highly recommend his book. 

You can also watch my video on how to sell your skills and abilities without feeling selfish, foolish or irritating by going here:  Free video “Muster Your Mojo, Market Your Value.” 


Question:  What skills have helped you influence and move others?  Add them to the Comments below!

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