Comment from Donna: I've been trying to start my own catering business out of my home, but the town I live in has restrictions. I want to change the laws regarding cottage industry food production. Do you have any suggestions?
Pauley: Donna, ever thought your second career could be politics? Just asking.
Comment from VS: Thank you! These stories give me hope and guidance, I keep them in my mind and heart every day. Thank you again for sharing.
Comment from Nicholas: For Antoinette: I saw in the segment that you went to culinary school. How much background did you have in cooking or chocolate making before you enrolled?
Little: No professional experience, but a lifetime of cooking and baking at home. The difference is the correct techniques – which are necessary for baking but not necessarily for cooking.
Comment from Diane: I'm 56 and quit my software training job 2 years ago to be with my dying mother. I traveled 5 days per week, 48 weeks per year. I do not have a college degree but have over 30 years of working experience. My husband and I have decided that I no longer want to travel and I feel lost. I miss my old job as Antoinette said she did, and I have no idea what direction to take. Financially, I have to return to work. What should I do?
Hannon: Diane, Find a place to start. You don’t need a precise definition before you get going. Start by making a list of what you do know you want in the next phase of your career. There is no perfect path or ideal starting point. What matters is that you somehow get moving in the general direction of where you want to go. This might be simply making a phone call to someone who works in a field that appeals to you. Take a class in something that interests you. Volunteer. One woman I profile in my book left the corporate world without a clue. She walked along the river each day with her dog. Then one day decided to volunteer at a homeless shelter near her. Before long, she was asked to be on the board and now she is the executive director. Things just evolve if you just reach out. Here some other thoughts.
–Don’t ruin your hobby.
–Stop your inner enemy. If you have a negative refrain that goes through your head and sabotages your efforts to make a change—“I’m too old to do that”—make note of it. Write that thought down in a notebook and reframe it with a positive thought, such as, “I have these specific skills, and I’m going to use them in a new career.” You need to get rid of that old blocking message to move forward with your dreams.
–Ask the basic questions. Does your second act fit your lifestyle? Can you afford it? What does your partner think? Ask yourself how a certain career will work with your social patterns, your spending habits, and your family situation. It will help you to dig deeper and get a clearer picture of what you truly want in your life and your options to get there.
–Start a journal. Journaling is a great way to map your new career direction. Make lists: the best times in your life, the things you really like, the experiences you’ve enjoyed, what you’ve excelled at, the best moments in your current career. These lists will help you hone in on your passion and visualize yourself harnessing it to pursue something new and exciting.
–Get a business card. Want to be an artist but still working as a lawyer? Get an artist’s card. As soon as you have a card, it makes the career real. Printing your new information on a card can be transformative.
Comment from Holly: Thank you Antoinette and Jane for your advice! So helpful. Best wishes with your business, Antoinette - your chocolates look delicious!
Comment from Bret: This question is for Kerry. How can I raise my credit score?
Hannon: Ahh, the all-important question. You can raise your score with a few tips. You may have some work to do. Today, 60 percent of all Americans have a score below 750, according to Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corp., which runs the FICO scoring system most lenders rely on.
Here are some steps to take.
–Check for mistakes on your credit report. Visit annualcreditreport.com to request a free credit report from the three major consumer credit reporting agencies--Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
–Don’t open and close accounts. If you know you're going to make a career change in three to six months, lay low. Don't open new accounts, transfer balances or close accounts. Closing accounts sounds like a good idea, but in reality, it lowers your available credit and pushes your current ratio of debt higher.
-Pay your bills on time. Miss a pay date, and you lose big-time –shocking, but true, your score could be zapped by 110 points. All it takes is one late payment to crush your score.