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How To Produce A Great Second Act

I get asked more often than is comfortable, “Is it too late for me to make a career change?” I say this – and fast:

“NO! It’s never too late to produce a great second act. Let’s start now.”

Why? Because these seasoned professionals may as well have sent out an SOS telling me they go through life feeling that it is bankrupt of all meaning. But here’s the truth: 


I remember that dissonant feeling myself. It nagged at me for far too many years. This went on until I was on the wrong side of my mid-40s and finally used the strength that was hidden therein to spark some action.

I applied to do the psychology degree I’d been curious about forever. Easy to apply but so many kinds of uncomfortable to do! But I also felt committed to something important to me – for me – for the first time in a long time.

And that’s when things “clicked” into the second act for me. It was like getting a membership to a whole new layer of life. I called it “Joining the Wisery” because it felt like I had needed to hit a certain age, and close the curtain on the first act before I could produce the second act!  

I proved something to myself when my efforts earned first-class honors but what was more significant was my empowerment to press play on my life once more. Now, that psychology background feeds into my coaching. Where my past lives blend my commercial edge and marketing savvy from Career One – an integration I know is powerful.

My story represents the hard path in many ways. I look back now and see too many lost years spent unhappy because I didn’t yet know what was next, let alone how to get there. I passionately believe we can all have a great second act if we just use the experience we’ve clocked up over the years to activate some agile thinking about how to connect what matters to us most, with what we do next. Then act on that.

Helen Hanison

Helen Hanison is the only executive coach bringing a unique blend of marketing savvy and commercial edges to coaching that draws on her background in psychology. She helps seasoned professionals who are stuck at a career crossroads to make a plan aligning work they love with a life they want to lead.

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