3 Answers for the Second Half of Life

So, what exactly is “the second half of life?” Is it something we experience as a result of our age, our experience, our career or is it a mindset shift that we experience somewhere along the way?

In both my personal and professional experiences, I have observed that it is something that happens to most of us anywhere between the ages of 40 and somewhere around 55.

However you choose to define it, J. D. Meier offers three ways to help us navigate it. 


“The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education.”

– Mark Twain

How do you prepare for the second half of your life?

Like a fine wine you can get better with age.

Maybe you can answer your calling.

Maybe you can give back in some way that you never expected or dreamed possible.

Or maybe, you just want to follow the little path least traveled.

In The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management, Peter F. Drucker writes about 3 potential paths for the second half of your life.

3 Answers for the Second Half of Your Life

Drucker provides 3 answers for the second half of your life:

  1. Start a Second Career 
  2. Develop a Parallel Career
  3. Become a “social entrepreneur”

Start a Second Career

According to Drucker, one path is to start a different career.

Via The Essential Drucker:

“The first is actually to start  a second and different career.  Often this means only moving from one kind of organization to another.

Typical are the middle-level American business executives who in substantial numbers move to a hospital or university, or some other nonprofit organization, around age forty-five or forty-eight, when the children are grown and the retirement pension is vested.

In many cases they stay in the same kind of work.  The divisional controller in the big corporation becomes, for instance, controller in a medium-sized hospital.  But there are also a growing number of people who actually move into a different line of work.” 

Develop a Parallel Career

Drucker writes that another path is a parallel career. 

Via The Essential Drucker:

“A large and growing number of people – especially people who are very successful in their first careers – stay in the work they have been doing for twenty or twenty-five years.  Many keep on working forty or fifty hours a week in their main and paid job.

Continue reading the full article.

Check out the Essential Drucker


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