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Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 06:24 AM   #1
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Second career?

Has any one given any serious thoughts about a second carreer? I thought about it and decided the it was not worthwhile in view of the amount of additional education (3 years) and the potential rewards (e.g., self satisfaction).
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 07:10 AM   #2
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Re: Second career?

I have. It would probably not take a whole lot of effort for me to jump into the financial planner world. Right now, there is no way I would bother, since I am still working on my first career. A few things give me pause:

- Liability. I would have absiolutely no interest in being sued and losing my pile.

- Marketing: I am not a salesman. No way, no how. I am a pretty sophisticated investor and no slouch at financial planning, but actually bringing in clients would be a challenge.

- Starting over: Very likely, I would have to start at the bottom. This is not all that appealing.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 07:29 AM   #3
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Re: Second career?

Quote:
I have. It would probably not take a whole lot of effort for me to jump into the financial planner world. Right now, there is no way I would bother, since I am still working on my first career. A few things give me pause:

- Liability. I would have absiolutely no interest in being sued and losing my pile.

- Marketing: I am not a salesman. No way, no how. I am a pretty sophisticated investor and no slouch at financial planning, but actually bringing in clients would be a challenge.

- Starting over: Very likely, I would have to start at the bottom. This is not all that appealing.

brewer12345,

I went through a similar process. After I retired from NASA as a financial manager I considered becoming a CFP. I worked one day a week for a friend who was a CFP to see what it really was like. I enjoyed the analytical aspects but I did not like the marketing chores.

I had always done my own financial planning and investment using low cost, no load funds and I could not get comfortable with the recommendations to clients that were being made.

I was suprised by the amount of regulatory oversight and the amount of CYA that had to be done.

I decided that the requirement for three years of employment in the financial planning industry in addition to the CFP course work was too much.

I am now fully retired and loviing it.

Grumpy
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 08:10 AM   #4
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Re: Second career?

Grumpy, I would have a pretty low barrier to entry since I will hopefully be getting my CFA charter after the test this year. CFA charterholders have "special privileges" if they wish to become CFPs. If I really wanted to do the CFP thing, I would probably sign up with somebody like AYCO for a few years and then think about striking out on my own.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 08:51 AM   #5
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Re: Second career?

Spanky,

I am in the process now. I am primarily investigating MBA programs, law school, and the related careers.

The biggest problem I have now is that nothing for me just jumps right out at me and says, "Be an <X>!" where X is a firefighter, architect, or what have you. I've been an engineer for a Fortune 500 company for 10 years, and that's been OK so far, but I'm not the kind of person who just thrills at learning the finer points of embedded COM or whatever.

So it's a series of tradeoffs between trying something else I might like more (but not have it be the "love of my life" career-wise) versus time to retirement. I did a rough analysis that said going to law school would have an opportunity cost of about a million dollars in terms of lost wages and tuition compounded over the rest of my working career. Maybe I would make that up in terms of higher salary or not; maybe the increased job satisfaction would be worth it. Or maybe I'd find out being a lawyer would be just as bad or worse than what I do now.

B-school has other issues that I won't go into here. Overall it's a lower-risk, lower-reward choice.

If I could get paid really well for helping others with their financial problems, I'd consider that, whatever "that" is. I don't want to be an investment "salesman" of any kind, and I want whatever I do to be ethically compatible with what I do with my own money. So far the only options I see here are to work for Vanguard in their IT/programming area, or to become a Scott Burns-like financial writer (and I don't like writing too terribly much). Or an estate planning attorney, which sounds interesting.

I personally am taking a lot of time and asking a lot of questions and plan to ask a bunch more. With a family relatively rooted where we are, it's a big decision and I feel I owe it to them.

malakito
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 11:00 AM   #6
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Re: Second career?

Malakito, I think this is a fairly accurate list of the the types of characteristics a person should have to be a good lawyer:

* the physical and emotional stamina required to cope with periods of stress
* a sense of public responsibility and a strong code of ethics
* the ability to communicate persuasively and promote your services
* the ability to think logically and analytically and respond quickly
* organizational skills and the ability to balance career demands and outside interests
* a high tolerance for confrontation and conflict
* tact and patience in dealing with clients
* an excellent memory.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: Second career?

Quote:
Malakito, I think this is a fairly accurate list of the the types of characteristics a person should have to be a good lawyer:

* ** the physical and emotional stamina required to cope with periods of stress
* ** a sense of public responsibility and a strong code of ethics
* ** the ability to communicate persuasively and promote your *services
* ** the ability to think logically and analytically and respond quickly
* ** organizational skills and the ability to balance career demands and outside interests
* ** a high tolerance for confrontation and conflict
* ** tact and patience in dealing with clients
* ** an excellent memory.
To this excellent list I would like to add:
* A high tolerance for or even love of absurdity.

Mikey
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: Second career?

Sounds like a description of TH.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 12:46 PM   #9
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Re: Second career?



Just that last part about absurdity I presume...

Anyone up for a photo of a kayak wearing a kilt while William Shatners "lucy in the sky with diamonds" plays in the background?
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 01:52 PM   #10
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Re: Second career?

Quote:
Anyone up for a photo of a kayak wearing a kilt while William Shatners "lucy in the sky with diamonds" plays in the background?
If we get a choice I would prefer "Mr. Tambourine Man".

As for the second career no not really. *I have considered some "fallback" options if the bottom drops out of the computer industry and I haven't got quite enough to fully retire. *I've also considered that some of my wife's or my hobbies might lead to some income in retirement. *If I want to play music in retirement it might very well lead to occasional or even semi-regular playing in clubs or other paying gigs. Unlikely to play weddings or such though.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 02:00 PM   #11
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Re: Second career?

I went fishing today. Nice! If I could make money as a fishing guide, I would seriously consider returning to
the world of commerce. I am lazy as sin so it would have to be something that I do anyway, or that comes
so naturally that no feelings of this is "work"
would ever enter my brain.

JG
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 02:17 PM   #12
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Re: Second career?

Quote:
Malakito, I think this is a fairly accurate list of the the types of characteristics a person should have to be a good lawyer:

* ** the physical and emotional stamina required to cope with periods of stress
* ** a sense of public responsibility and a strong code of ethics
* ** the ability to communicate persuasively and promote your *services
* ** the ability to think logically and analytically and respond quickly
* ** organizational skills and the ability to balance career demands and outside interests
* ** a high tolerance for confrontation and conflict
* ** tact and patience in dealing with clients
* ** an excellent memory.
Martha,

Does this apply to all fields of practice or just yours? I ask because I don't think I fit half of this list.

Mikey,

Are you an attorney? If so, what kind?

malakito
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 04:27 PM   #13
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Re: Second career?

Malakito,

I believe that Martha's list for the traits required for an attorney is excellent. I practice in a different area than Martha (employee benefits), but these traits are still required. In fact, I've been an attorney in a large firm, medium firm, corporation, and I'm now self-employed. The emphasis on one trait over another may have changed, but the need to have all has not.

This is not to say that I always feel that I have a sufficient quantity of each of these traits. That may be why I question at times my desire to continue practicing law. The stress can be overwhelming, as can the workload and the frustration. The stress comes from the high demands placed on me professionally, and the need to balance those with the demands placed on me as a wife and mother of two young children.

Being an attorney can be a great profession for those with the traits on Martha's list. There can be many rewards, financial and otherwise. However, there are significant trade-offs for those rewards, so I'd really be sure that you know what you are getting into before enrolling in law school.

Just my two cents.

LawGirl
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 04:53 PM   #14
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Re: Second career?

I retooled in tax prep [state registration & local license]. Profitable but requires too much marketing and I really do not feel like working this hard. I tried volunteering in catering at the local synagogue one day a week .... but now they want a paid person and it is not me! My choice to bow out. Again, I do not want to be tied down 1 day a week all year or 5 days a week 10 weeks a year. *I reached a point where anything tied to a schedule can be too much. Maybe I'll work for someone else one day a week 10 weeks a year next year .... I'm already too booked this year... and by then, that schedule might be too much as well ... :

I enjoy both activities, cooking and taxation, but I don't want schedules any more.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 04:57 PM   #15
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Re: Second career?

Quote:
Mikey,

Are you an attorney? *If so, what kind?malakito
No Malakito, I am not. Strictly an observation from the outside.

A good friend of mine was disbarred or suspended(I never exactly understood). When he got back in, he was on his own. Unlike a lot of fields, you can make your own way if you are tough enough. *1-800-DUI-xxxx.

From outside, the field has always appealed to me in that it appears that if you stay cool, and keep on good terms with judges, you can be a real pain in the ass and get away with it.

My favorite law story is the judge in Arkansas who set up an apparatus to stimulate his penis during long boring days on the bench. A career path that leads to this can't be all bad!

But I'm not sure about giving up $1 million to get there. That would buy a lot of more conventional stimulation.

Mikey
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-17-2005, 06:45 PM   #16
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Re: Second career?

Quote:
I am in the process now. I am primarily investigating MBA programs, law school, and the related careers.

I've been an engineer for a Fortune 500 company for 10 years ...
Your background is very similar to mine. I worked as an electrical engineer for over 20 years. I received my MBA from the University of Minnesota 7 years ago and became a product marketing manager for a disk drive controller manufacturer. The experience was brutal. I was a target of ridicule. R&D constantly rejected my product ideas and insisted they required more data before making any committment. The sales orgranization complained that we did not have the right product mix, promotional materials, pricing, features, etc. to make them rich. Manufacturing wanted accurate sales forecast so that they could plan accordingly. Customer Service complained about the product return policy, various pricing structure for different customers, and so on. In other words, it was no fun. After 2 years of product mangement, I decided to go back to engineering.

Quote:
I did a rough analysis that said going to law school would have an opportunity cost of about a million dollars in terms of lost wages and tuition compounded over the rest of my working career.
I also considered law school to become an intellectural property (or patent) lawyer and decided that it was too expensive since you had to give up 3 years of engineering salary and pay for 3 years of tuition. The breakeven point was not bad. It would take about 6 years if you could land a job with a major law firm. The chance of that seems distant if you are not a graduate of certain elite schools.

The thought of a law career happened a year ago. Now it is back since a friend just receives a full scholarship to attend a local law school. This changes my perspective about the cost.

I have most of characteristics identified in the list (provided by Martha). The one that I do have (desire to confront) may be the most critical element to become a sucessful lawyer.

Needless to say, I have not decided on anything.

Good luck!

Spanky
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-18-2005, 05:07 AM   #17
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Re: Second career?

Somehow the idea of learning a new skill set, getting the credentials in order, and possibly becoming the "new guy" seems more exhausting than just schlubbing it to work in the morning. Then again, operating a snow plow truck or one of those zippy lawn mowers for a couple of hundred hours a year might hold some appeal...

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-18-2005, 05:31 AM   #18
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Re: Second career?

HI Chris! If I was younger, cutting grass or plowing snow might have appeal (well, maybe not plowing
snow) . Anyway, something that got me outside,
didn't require much brain power and thus wouldn't
tmept me to do any more than was required.................
that might have worked. My one try at PT work just after I semiretired was not pleasant. Did NOT enjoy the
work and did NOT like having a boss (even a benign one).
It only lasted about 5 months. The income produced was not worth the trouble.

JG
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-18-2005, 05:36 AM   #19
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Re: Second career?

Quote:

Martha,

Does this apply to all fields of practice or just yours? I ask because I don't think I fit half of this list.

Mikey,

Are you an attorney? If so, what kind?

malakito

I am in a firm of 28 lawyers and formerly was managing partner. It seemed to me that the lawyers I know here who are the most successful, and by that I mean the most happy in their work, not necessarily the highest earners though they usually are that as well, are those who fit these characteristics. And they simply like what they do for a living.

I am now part time and probably won't practice law much longer. I have found I have lost my taste confrontation and conflict.

I don't practice estate planning, but the planners I know are very organized, have good analytical skills because after all most estate planning is tax planning, enjoy reading tome after tome on planning issues and tax, are able to retain and apply what they read, are very good at communicating with clients (there is a lot of hand holding) are good salesmen, and are good at dealing with conflict. Estate planning is for people and their families, as soon as their is a family, there is opportunity for conflict.
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Re: Second career?
Old 03-18-2005, 05:55 AM   #20
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Re: Second career?

HI Martha! I too have kind of lost my taste for conflict and confrontation. However, when a younger man
I kind of enjoyed a good fight. Too much testosterone maybe?

JG
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