Need Answers on a Second Career? Ask the Right First Questions!

Matching a career dream to reality can be daunting. Monthly house payments, college tuition, and just the daily routine we’ve grown accustomed to — will they be hindered? Well, possibly. But we all know there can be little change without risk. However, career change can be achieved.

second careerWhether you’re exploring a second career by working, or becoming a Boomer Den apprentice, try taking a personal inventory of your risk tolerance. You can start by asking yourself a few key questions:

Q: How much time can I devote to changing my career or reentering the work force?

A: On average, it can take 18 months or more to make a career change, say industry experts. Even with a Boomer Den apprenticeship, you may choose to continue on with more training or certification. During those months, household income may decline as the “steady paycheck” takes a temporary back seat.  Can you and your family absorb the dip?

 Q: What is my tolerance for financial risk?

A: Says Kerry Hannon, author of “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+,” your current financial health can answer this question.  One survey finds that nearly a quarter of people in job transition earn no income for a period of time. Do you have a year’s worth of savings to cover daily living expenses? That’s an important question. Try your best to NOT tap into retirement savings to fund this transition. While the payoff may be great tomorrow, make sure you can absorb the risk today.

Q: Is there a market for the field I wish to pursue?

A: While a Boomer Den apprenticeship can help connect you to businesses eager to train you, you’ll still need a general picture of the job market. Do your research ahead of time. Is there a need out there for what you hope to become — a bicycle shop owner? A microbrewer? A pet masseuse?

Q: Will I need additional training or classroom instruction?

A: You may. A Boomer Den apprenticeship won’t replace the need for formal training, depending on the field. But it can tell you, realistically, if you wish to sign up for it. A “test drive” of the job in a real-world setting can help provide those answers.

Q: Does your family or social network support your decision?

A: It’s your career dream; not someone else’s. Still, it’s nice to have the support of loved ones. Explain your plans to pursue a second career; at the least, explain the role of a 3-month apprenticeship. Information is the first step towards gaining support from friends and family.

Q: Do you have the necessary “stick-to-itiveness” to see your dream through?

A:  Only you can truly answer that question. Any new endeavor – personal or professional – can be challenging, and even scary.  Just follow your gut.  It usually won’t steer you wrong.


On-The-Job Training or College? The Right Choice for Adult Workers?

On-The-Job TrainingI’m a college graduate, and a very proud one. Twice degreed at my alma mater, the University of Connecticut, Storrs. But that was years ago, and employer demands are changing – in no small part due to technical innovation.

What does the evolving market mean for jobs waiting to be filled in fields like manufacturing, cabinetry, plumbing and electric, and culinary? Where will the skilled workers come from in 2013?

Colleges and universities still have their place, and of course certain fields will always require formal, accredited degrees. But increasingly, we see 2-year and 4-year university programs that are overpriced, unaccredited, or without adequate job placement programs. A few new studies also say that college grads sometimes fare worse than their non-degreed peers relative to job placement and wages earned. That’s not a scenario that sits well for anyone, least of all adult returning students (45+).

What’s more, a recent CareerBuilder survey says a full 40 percent of employers have trouble finding skilled workers to fill their jobs. In fields like manufacturing, some employers now pursue foreign workers and veterans to fill open positions. But for those who can get guided hands-on training at little to no cost, the employment outlook can still be bright.

A program like Boomer Den Apprenticeship can ease the pain for adult job seekers, by suppling them with on-the-job training.

Check out a Boomer Den Apprenticeship. It’s risk-free, and it’s on-the-job training training you won’t find anywhere else. If not now… when?

Boomer Den LLC: Where adults explore new career passions; where employers gain help and know-how at a price they can afford. Join our subscriber list today!

Five Ways to Unleash Your Career Passion

photo11. Let’s start with the first, most important (and perhaps most obvious) question. What do you like to do? Some people have a hidden career passion or overwhelming desire to enter a particular field. Are you one of them? What’s your desire? Perhaps let your thoughts drift to that age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

2. What are you already good at, and/or have an aptitude for? What are your marketable skills going into the search? If applicable, pair your skills with your new interests. This step might mean asking yourself how big a departure you want from your previous career. Are you looking for a dramatic change, or a field that dovetails with your prior one, and uses similar skills?

3. What would you LIKE to be good at? What possible new job gets you excited? Do an honest self-inventory here. What field(s) makes you feel wistful? When you daydream about a new career for yourself, where do those fantasies lead you?

4. Set realistic goals.

a. How much time can you devote to a new career?
b. How much energy?
c. Can you afford to apprentice your time in exchange for learning a new skill?
d. What are your logistical challenges? Location? Transportation?
e. What are your earning requirements for a new career?
f. Do you want a field that allows for flexible or part-time hours?

5. Remove the Naysayers. No single factor can bring down your search process more than negative energy from those around you. Life is hard enough, and full of everyday challenges. Don’t let the voices who say “you can’t” drown out the voices who say “you can.”

Finally… also stay one of those voices that says “you can.”

Check out a Boomer Den Apprenticeship. It’s risk-free, and it’s hands-on training you won’t find anywhere else. If not now… when?
Boomer Den LLC: Where adults explore new career passions; where employers gain help and know-how at a price they can afford. Join our subscriber list today!

Apprenticeship Programs

As more boomers Apprenticeship Programsembrace adult apprenticeships – in all kinds of fields such as electrical, carpentry, culinary, and more — let’s take a look at the roots of this concept. Where did the idea for apprenticeships come from?

The term has been around since the late Middle Ages, and the concept began to take hold by the 13th century. Untrained workers throughout Europe flocked to learn new trades under the tutelage of skilled master craftsmen. In exchange, they supplied structured time and labor. Once these “protégés” had achieved a level of competency, they ventured out to set up their own shops and businesses. Apprentices, or “prentices” as they were once called, were employed not only in the trades, but also by government, farming, and even healthcare industries.

In modern day, apprenticeships still serve as a viable form of training for new professions. For adults, they also provide a chance to bring back excitement and passion to a vocation.

Agencies such as Boomer Den LLC ensure that apprentices demonstrate an aptitude going in, and measurable competencies on the way out. For many, this hands-on, real-world training works hand in hand with formal classroom instruction or government workforce training programs.

Today in the U.S.,  apprenticeship programs are in more than 200 professions. Though still more common in Europe and Australia, apprenticeship programs are catching on like wildfire in the U.S. — not only in the trades, but in almost every field imaginable.

Here are additional resources if you’d like to explore the topic further:

The National Association of State and Territorial Apprenticeship Directors (NASTAD)
Office of Apprenticeship Training, Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council 
See this link for a list of careers with apprenticeship programs in the U.S. 

Check out a Boomer Den Apprenticeship today. It’s risk-free, and it’s hands-on training you won’t find anywhere else. If not now… when?

Boomer Den LLC: Where adults explore new career passions; where employers gain help and know-how at a price they can afford. Join our subscriber list today!

What is a Second Career?

Second CareerSecond careers are a chance to dust off those dreams of yesterday – the ones that got pushed aside when the “9-5 job” moved in and stayed there. Second careers are pursued by, for example, the accountant who’s always wanted to give guitar lessons; the office manager who’s dreamed of becoming a make-up artist; or the long-time sales agent with a knack for building cabinetry. In short? They’re whatever you want them to be.

Now for those born into wealth – or those who achieved wealth through years of hard work – a mid-life career change embraces all the fun with little of the fright. But for so many Boomers without financial freedom, returning to school for a formal degree or re-training can be downright risky. There are bills to pay, and promises to keep. And time? There’s never quite enough.

That’s one reason Boomer Den Apprenticeships make so much sense. These short-term intern-style arrangements give you, an adult 45+, a chance to actually work in your new field of choice. See whether the new career is all it’s cracked up to be – while your money is still in your wallet and no tuition has been paid yet. Does the fantasy match the reality of the job? Why not find out?

Check out a Boomer Den Apprenticeship today. It’s risk free, and it’s hands-on training you just won’t find anywhere else.
If not now… when?

Boomer Den LLC: Where adults explore new career passions; where employers gain help and know-how at a price they can afford. Join Boomer Den’s subscriber list today, to learn about our exciting Apprenticeship Program!

Fran Trelease

Adult Apprenticeships — the Best Career Training Out There.

Adult ApprenticeshipsWho’s an Apprentice? You and Me. It’s Career Training at Its Best.

With technology changing as quickly – and seemingly just as randomly – as the weather, it makes more sense than ever to take part in adult apprenticeships for a new career before deciding on costly re-education. Sure, formal degrees deserve our respect; but we live in a time when the most prestigious degree runs the risk of becoming obsolete because of changing environmental forces.

Apprenticing as a way to “test drive” a new career or field provides a great safety net. It’s real-time, hands-on training in the way a job is practiced today. In 2013. Guided by a mentor, an apprentice learns only those methods that are employed in the job market now. With that information, he or she can decide whether or not to pursue more formal training.

We see it all around us—the M.B.A. or counseling degree from the 1980s, or even the technical or vocational degree in fields like plumbing or HVAC from the mid-1990s. No one can take that away. And they shouldn’t. But for adult learners looking to try out a new field, transition from an old one, or just re-enter the work force after a lay-off or time raising kids, nothing can beat a structured apprentice program. It’s how Continuing Education was meant to be.

Join Boomer Den’s subscriber list today, to learn about our Apprenticeship Program and get updates as they occur!

Fran Trelease
Boomer Den LLC
Where adults go to explore new career passions; where employers gain help and know-how at a price they can afford.</>

Selling Crafts By Setting Them Apart

Looking for ideas to make money? Look no further than the process of selling crafts you make in your spare time. But also know that it’s not always easy to sell your wares, no matter how recognized your talents.

Selling Crafts

For one thing, you’ll need to differentiate your item – ceramics, woodwork, sculpture – from mass produced knock-offs. We live in a Wal-Mart society where anything can be purchased for a price; often at a low price, in exchange for low quality.

So you, as an artisan, want to make clear to your customers that your work is original, and hand-crafted. Face time is often the best venue to communicate your value. But with the holidays fast approaching, look for other channels to get your artwork viewed. Here are some suggestions:

-Craft and holiday fairs

-Online craft-themed sites such as Etsy and Artfire.

Amazon Services

-Social Media sites including a Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Stay tuned at Boomer Den for more suggestions on how to sell your work as a craft artisan, and make money. In an upcoming blog I’ll review, an online tool designed to help you track your sales income and expenses.

Homemade Crafts

Not everyone is a Rembrandt, a Picasso or an Andy Warhol. And that’s okay;  none of us have to be. If you enjoy making handmade crafts, if you have a passion for it, that alone can take you far. In most cases, passion brings with it an inherent talent – as you enjoy what you do, you unleash your stored creativity.

You’ve nurtured your talent for making homemade crafts — homemade cards, jewelry, drawings, photography. Friends buy your items from time to time, and some advise you to consider a career in crafts. So that’s great; now what?

homemade crafts

You have different roads open to you. You can pursue this passion for your own enjoyment, as holiday gifts for friends and family, or as a way to market a new business. Whatever the case, let help you get the rewards you seek from your talent. Check in regularly for free tips, blogs and advice.

Our regular features will offer guidance on things like: how to price your products and services, where to sell them, how to take an idea and patent it online, how to brand yourself, and more. Check back often!

Battlefield to Workshop; Healing Crafts for Disabled Veterans

Healing CraftsCraft work is healing. So says Patrick Mooney, of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, who feels that our nation’s disabled war veterans “…can help rebuild themselves at the same time” through hobbies and crafts. Perhaps that’s why the U.S. hobby industry supports groups such as the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment, which help care for disabled and recovering veterans by providing free model building kits.

According to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the median age of a male war veteran in the  U.S. is 61; for a female it’s 47. That’s a lot of boomers, in a U.S. veteran population that’s 22 million strong.
BBut what can hobbies and healing crafts do for this particular group of people, particularly disabled veterans? Plenty. Besides providing a needed outlet for creativity and talent, a pursuit of hobbies can lower depression, reignite forgotten passions, and increase manual dexterity in fingers, hands and wrists.

And for those so inclined, numerous avenues exist to promote and sell handmade craft items, including online sites such as, and, just to name two. Visit this URL for a great list of similar sites to get you started: Finally, there’s the San Francisco-based Combat Paper Project,, which helps veterans cut, grind and reshape uniforms they wore in combat to create original, cathartic works of art.

If you’re one of our nation’s proud war heroes, and you have an arts or crafts skill to share, give yourself the green light to move forward. You’ll be glad you did.