It was three years ago today (January 4, 2017) when I set in motion the start of my third quarter transition – only I didn’t see it as that at the time. I’ve told the story many times so bear with me if you already know the details. My wife, Brenda and I had owned a local weekly community newspaper for almost ten years by then. Business was slowly decreasing and I was trying to find something Brenda could do on slow days in the office.
We knew someone in our community who was working ‘remotely’ doing medical transcriptions and was apparently making a decent living doing that. This was where I started on my search for a part-time gig of some kind for Brenda. In my weeks of off-and-on online searches the word ‘freelance’ popped into one query. It was at that point the results coming up in the searches started to reveal opportunities related to freelance writing.
This was where I started to get pretty interested in a potential part-time gig for myself and joined an online community to learn more. What I discovered was literally hundreds of different kinds of freelance opportunities ranging from virtual assistants to IT work to social media work to freelance writing and many, many other off-site job options. I quickly launched a home-based business under the name Looseink Freelance Ninja and starting bidding on jobs.
It didn’t take long before I was picking up work from several different clients and decided I would focus my attention on article and blog writing as my ‘specialty’ and things went from there. Exactly two-and-a-half years later we chose to close our newspaper and two months after that I started writing freelance full-time as I had enough regular clients – and added a few more – to carry me into the shift to a new career.
As I stated before, this really was not planned in any way. The opportunity presented itself, I was curious and looked into it further. Had I not stumbled upon freelance writing choices it would be fair to say that none of this would have happened and both Brenda and I would be following a very different path once we decided to close our newspaper business. I don’t even want to speculate as to what that would have looked like at all.
So what is my point?
We were in our mid-50’s when it was becoming obvious that our career path was either coming to a dead end or needed a serious left turn. It’s not the best time in anyone’s life to have to face starting over in another career but – as it turns out – it is far more common than you may think. The term for it is third quarter transition. Some call it a midlife career change. It happens more and more these days thanks to many different workplace factors.
Downsizing, computerization and the need to do something different all play a role in why someone who has worked in the same business or company for a dozen or so years decides to make a change. It has been going on for so long that it is now recognized as a trend. As many Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age and discovering they can’t afford to retire, they decide to keep working later in life.
For me it was a change in the industry I had been working in for 16 years. So I found an option that made sense and followed it without knowing it would open a door for me I needed to enter. It opened up as a result of my interest in a hobby that turned into something greater than that. You may be able to do the same kind of transition. All it takes is looking at what interests you have and once you identify a passion, following it.
If you need some extra help in making that transition actually happen, I can help. I wrote and published an eBook aimed primarily at mature workers looking for ways to leave their present job situation and move on to doing something they enjoy. The eBook is titled, “Surviving Midlife Career Changes” and is available for just $1.99 USD at Amazon. I promise that it will encourage you to explore your options and get you on your way.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.