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Must Read Advice on Career Change and How To Find Success

September 21, 2023

  The Second Act Success Career Podcast recently reached its 100th episode! This podcast aims to help women make a career transition, while feeling supported and inspired along the way. In these first 100 episodes of the podcast, I have had conversations with women and experts in the career space and business world to gather […]

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The Second Act Success Career Blog features articles to help inspire you as you navigate your career journey. Plus, you'll find show notes from podcast guests who have shared second act success stories. My hope is that these quick reads will offer advice and comfort knowing you are not alone on your path towards second act success. xo - Shannon


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Must Read Advice on Career Change and How To Find Success

The Second Act Success Career Podcast recently reached its 100th episode! This podcast aims to help women make a career transition, while feeling supported and inspired along the way. In these first 100 episodes of the podcast, I have had conversations with women and experts in the career space and business world to gather words of wisdom to help guide others along their career journey.

What is a “Second Act”?

As a Career Transition Coach, my goal is to help women in unfulfilled careers pivot to find their purpose and create a second act in life full of abundance. A “second act” can mean finding a new job, changing careers completely, starting a business, going back to school, or pursuing a creative passion fulltime. If you feel stuck, it may mean that life has changed and your career no longer fits your current lifestyle. This is very common, especially for women! When this feeling creeps in, it may be a sign that it is time to think about starting a second act in career.

How the Second Act Success Career Podcast Helps?

The Second Act Success Career Podcast is an extension of what I do one-on-one with my clients. It is a way to bring value to listeners every week. On the podcast, I share advice and strategies for career change based on my experience shifting from a sixteen year career as a Television Producer to venturing into entrepreneurship by opening a franchise business when I began starting a family. After helping several friends transition to new jobs and some to start their own businesses, it dawned on me that I could help more people find happiness in their next chapter of life as well.

Now, I not only share my own advice on the podcast, but I have fascinating conversations with others who have made the leap into a second act career and found success. We talk about the fears, the tears, the uncertainty, and the hard work that goes into reinventing yourself, but we also focus on the outcome and how it impacts lives for the better in many incredible ways.

Advice from Women Who Have Found Fulfillment In Their Second Act

To celebrate 100 episodes of the podcast, I compiled a few of my favorite pieces of advice shared by my guests on the show. Keep reading and you will be inspired and empowered by these wonderful words of wisdom. My hope is that these words will lead you to start on your own unique path towards second act success!

Read on for advice and career changing tips from guests of the Second Act Success Career Podcast:


“It will look different in a year than what you think it’s going to look like. Be flexible, be kind to yourself, and give yourself grace. There’s nothing you can’t figure out. If you have an Internet connection, the whole world is at your fingertips. You can learn anything from podcasting to website design to creating a business to being a coach. You name it, literally you can learn anything.”

DEBRA ALFARONE, Network TV Correspondent


“Be kind to yourself. Really, truly be kind to yourself. It is a hard world out there, and you can make it that much harder on yourself. So if you take that moment, if you notice that inner voice come up, then take a moment and recognize that. That is your inner gremlin or inner critic, whatever you want to call it. Know that you can create a different voice to support you, instead of tearing you down.”



“When we ask ourselves those big questions, ‘Oh, is this job really right for me?’ That question does not come in if you are in your incredible job. It just doesn’t. The question comes up because you are going, ‘I think life could be better. I think my job could be a better. I think my relationship could be better.’ This second act is messy because we’ve looked at our first act and gone, ‘Really? Is that all life is? I made some really big mistakes there and now what do I want for my second act?’ And we start asking some really big questions of ourselves.  Everybody thinks that happiness is the thing that we want to aim for, but realness is what we want to aim for. Which means we are going to go through tough stuff. Life is going to throw us curve balls. Life is going to be hard at times if we allow ourselves to feel these emotions. If we know that this is temporary, whatever we are feeling, whether it be amazing or not so amazing, if we understand the temporary of it, we can have a more easier path.”

AMANDA KATE, Self-Mastery Coach


“People are overwhelmed and scared by the big leap. So I say, ‘Take a step. Take a step tomorrow. Take a step next week. Take another step the next day or the next week or the next month.’ The first step is the hardest, but if you can just take those baby steps, you can get there.”

AMY RASDAL, Billable At The Beach


“There is this beautiful quote that says, ‘Instead of living through fear, instead be curious. Live through curiosity.’ So now I believe that. What I’ve learned in this chapter is that we need to be more curious in this world, in your life. It could be something as simple as being more curious with trying new foods. You never know what you’re going to like. Now you say, ‘Okay, I was not that great at that and that is okay. I don’t like how that made me feel.’ But be more curious and don’t fear the curiosities.”



“What fills you with joy? You know what you love and that’s the thing. What gets you to take that leap? If you’re not doing what fills you up, life’s in session! Even if it’s just a few steps in the direction of your dream. You want to live in that joy. So what will it take to get you there?”



“There are so many women out there who are in jobs that they are overqualified for and underappreciated. They are too scared to make that leap, or they don’t know where to start. The biggest part is marketing yourself because you have the skills. Any woman who thinks that she might be able to do something, probably can do it and then some.”



“I didn’t want to go to work anymore and just be okay with what I was doing. I wanted to be excited about it! I don’t want to say that there’s never been a bad day behind my lens because there obviously have been. But there’s never been a time where I’ve had to tell someone I literally have nothing to deliver to you. That has never happened, and I look forward to going behind my camera every time I pick it up. So that was like a big thing for me. I didn’t want to be looking back at my life and say, ‘Well, I did something that was just okay and I didn’t love it.’ I tell my kids all the time, you need to find something that you like. As Americans, we really spend way too much time working to not really enjoy what you’re doing. So find whatever hobby you love and figure out how to make it a business.”

CHRISTINA GREENBERG, The Littlest Detail Photography


“There is a book called Do the Work You Love and the Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood that I gave to my children when they were growing up because if you don’t love your work then it’s work. People will say to me in retirement, ‘Well, you’re still working.’ No, I’m really not. I’ll say that to my clients, ‘They think I’m working here.’ And we’re like giggling and laughing. I love what I do, so this is not work.”

DONNA CETRONI, Integrative Nurse Coach


“You never know where life will take you if you take a leap. I took it because somebody else noticed something in me and recognized my talent. Unfortunately, a lot of people I think are probably out there missing out on this because they don’t recognize their own talent. We’re not good at recognizing the good stuff in ourselves. So if you know somebody and you think they’d be good at something, you have to tell them. I think it’s important to take that jump and that leap. That’s an important lesson.”

KATHY COLAIACOVO, Pepper It Marketing


“When I was giving my notice, I was very aware of the fact I came from an organization where people kind of get in when they can get in and they stay there until retirement. There’s a nice cushy pension and things like that that are good supports that people like to have and make them feel safe and good. I was telling people what I was doing and I was very much ready for like, ‘Are you sure? Do you know what you’re doing?’ Like the pension, everyone always loves to mention the pension. I heard a lot more older women saying, ‘I had this thing that I always wanted to pursue and I never did it.’ Some people almost got emotional being like, ‘I’m so proud of you for pursuing this, because there was a time when I had that feeling and I never did it and I always regret it.’ So that was really reassuring to know that I was doing the right thing. Also don’t assume that people are having those negative thoughts about you or wishing ill will on you. Everyone’s in your corner. If it’s something that you think you might always have in the back of your head and kind of be nagging at you here and there, just give it a try. There’s really no downside to it. You might have a fee for licensing or registering or something like that, but truly it is what you make it. So I don’t see there being any downside. Life’s too short and the pandemic really taught me that. So if there’s something out there, just give it a go because you really never know if it’s going to be the thing that transforms your life. My life today is so much different than it was a couple years ago, and I just attribute that to kind of taking that step and figuring out what the next thing was at every step along the way.”

MELISSA COMMANDANT, Mel Did It Herself Furniture Refinishing


 ”Why do we think that once we are 18 and we answer the question, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ that we’re forever stuck on that path? And if you deviate at all, you’re a failure. No, that’s not true! You have to operate in seasons and honor the seasons, and sometimes that means that you shift careers. Sometimes it just means you spend your free time differently. It doesn’t mean you have to have a total life flip around. I think everyone should lean into it and pay attention to asking themselves, ‘What season am I in now? Am I aligning my life with that season?’ Don’t wait for an official opportunity to do whatever it is you want to do or explore whatever it is you want to explore. Your second act doesn’t have to be a career change either. It can just be how you act differently, how you spend your vacation time. Instead of going to an all-inclusive resort in Cabo, maybe you go to a breath work retreat. You don’t have to wait for someone to go, I hear by fill in the blank, right? Just do it. And if it is more job career oriented, find a way to volunteer in that space…you can be strategic about how you gear up for that second act. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic story of you living in your Prius.”

MEREDITH HACKWITH EDWARDS, Host of Meredith For Real Podcast


“Really lean into what makes you different than other people in your niche, and what is it that you can bring in here and find a gap that you can run through. This will help you to be able to accelerate that income and that potential instead of just trying to be like everything else that you see online, because there’s a lot of beige. Everybody shows up in the same way. And if you can come in and be different, if you’re hot pink in the beige, you will move faster than anybody else will.”



“You can live a life of mediocrity or you can really take the leap and be uncomfortable for a little bit and then get what you want.”



“Get yourself a mentor. I cannot stress that enough. Get yourself a mentor or a coach that can really help guide you because if you just focus on doing it on your own, all you are doing is you’re going from one masculine system to another masculine system. You’re going to hustle yourself into the ground. Get someone who can hold you accountable and show you the way.”

MARY HENDERSON, Personal Branding Specialist


“If you are starting something new, especially if you want to pivot, you might have this idea or this plan of what it is that you want to do. You might start doing it and realize, you know what, this actually isn’t for me. Still finding that trust in yourself of maybe this isn’t it, but I’m going to keep going is important. Trust that you will get to where it is you need to go.”

KRISTA CAMPBELL, Business Coach & Photographer


“If something is not working and if you are feeling stuck wherever you are, if it’s your business or your personal life, I have learned that I need to sit down and put my problem into one of these three categories.Is it my mindset that is keeping me stuck? Is it my toolset that’s keeping me stuck? Or is it my skillset that is keeping me stuck? So wherever that problem, whichever bucket it falls into, you just work on that and you will unstuck yourself in no time. If we keep this in mind, there’s nothing that we cannot achieve.”

NOSHEEN KHAN, Digital Creator


“You absolutely have to go for it. Don’t put it off beause in five years you’re going to be five years older, whether you did it or not. Follow the dream. Expect the dream to come true. The most important thing is to have faith in yourself, have faith in the universe, and have faith if you believe in God. If you don’t, just have faith in the higher powers of the universe that it’s going to happen. Envision it, write down all the details in the present tense. ‘This is who I am today,’ as if it you already had it. Meditate on it and write it out and just keep seeing yourself in it. Don’t give up. Of course you have to take some action steps too to get there, but inside, really own it, really own it.”

DEBRA BLAINE, Doctor & Author


 ”Throughout my career, I have been very proactive about what I wanted. The salary and roles and all that wouldn’t have happened if I was just sitting and waiting for someone to hand me on the silver platter the next role or promotion. You cannot just sit and wait for someone to realize that you’re doing a good job. You have to constantly advocate for yourself and push for what you want.”

LIMOR BERGMAN GROSS, LinkedIn Branding/Career Coach


“I think sometimes if you plan too much, if you talk to too many people, if you research too much, you get discouraged. There’s so many people in your ears saying, ‘Well, what about this? Did you think about this? What if this fails?’ There are a lot of naysayers out there. Sometimes you just have to go, ‘I’m going to go full speed ahead and figure it out as I go. I’ll make some mistakes, but I will learn from them and that’s the way I grow.’ That’s what I did. And yes, we’ve made plenty of mistakes, but man I wouldn’t give it up for a hot second.”

KATINA TURNER, Further Boutique


“Don’t listen to the opinions of others. Sometimes people in our life are well meaning, but their opinions about how we should live our life, what we should do for work, all those things, it’s more about them than about you. So really learn how to not listen to the opinions of others, but also to be able to discern those opinions. Whose opinion is valuable and whose opinion is not.”

ANNE-MARIE ZANZAL, Coming Out & Beyond LGBTQIA+ Coaching


“You have to back yourself all the time. This is where that head and heart connection comes in. If you’re not in your body and you’re only in your head, you’re going to second guess everything. So when you’re in your body and you’re connected with your body and you learn to trust your gut and to trust what your body is telling you, then you’ll be able to make decisions much more easily. You won’t be second guessing yourself. So always back yourself, trust yourself, and lead with an open heart.”

JANE KILIAN, Self Love Trainer


“In order to grow your business, you have to grow as an individual and be committed to growing yourself. Be aware of any limiting beliefs that can possibly hold you back on your journey. There was a quote that I heard the other day that was something along the lines of ‘when you choose not to heal a wound from the past, it bleeds into your business.’ And it’s true. So making sure that you’re taking care of yourself as you grow your business and know that is an evolution. Just because you worked on one thing personally or mentally or on your mindset, more things may introduce as you continue to grow. Take care of you.”



“One thing these different chapters of my life have taught me is that I’m not just one thing. I’m flexible and I’m adaptable. And sometimes the unknown is much better than anything I could have imagined. As a small business owner, you can work as hard as you want. I now recognize I have this whole tool set. I can employ other people. I can be employed by corporations. I have a lot to offer. I think that as we get older and as women, society doesn’t always encourage that philosophy with us, that as we get older we have more to offer. But we do so much more. All the skillsets we’ve had to employ in all facets of our life for so many years. I do feel like the best is yet to come.”

DIANE MIZOTA, TV Host & Executive Producer


“Prioritize, just prioritize your life. What’s going to make you happy? To me, it was I need a job where I can be flexible and be available for my kids to go to their stuff. That’s going to make me happy. That’s on my priority list. I want a job where I help people. That’s also on my priority list. So what are your non-negotiables in your life that you want to prioritize and then build your career around that.”

JAMIE HANLEY, Mental Health Professional


“It’s never too late. I have to admit, I can’t really do everything I used to do at age 90, because honestly when you start a business, it’s not a 40 hour a week job. You have to think about it all the time. You have to be willing to work. I just knew that I had a good idea and I knew I could help a lot of people. I ran into big hurdles too, but you just have to overcome them.”

SEATTLE SUTTON, Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating


“Your desire is what you want, so ask for what you want. Oftentimes, we have a business, we have a desire, we have a dream, and we want it so bad. But when we are connected with people, we don’t ask for what we want. We settle. No, it’s yours so ask for what you want!”

VALERIA ELLIOTT, Storyteller & Author


“What are your strengths? What do you love to do? Be creative, talk to as many people as you can. I did informational interviews with 85 different people when I thought I was going to be taking a job in house at a company. That is eventually what led me to entrepreneurship. But it helped clarify for me the elements of other people’s jobs that looked appealing to me so I could incorporate that into my own job and reach out for help. People are generally very helpful, especially other entrepreneurs. They know what the struggle is like they want to support you. And there’s gonna be a lot of self education, but so much of what you need is completely available for free online, through videos, through e-libraries or your public library, or through attending events in your community. So keep learning and don’t stop learning. That’s going to be key to your growth.”

KRISTY SEIFKIN, Public Speaking & Presentation Skills Coach


“You get to do it in your own way! For a while at the beginning of my business, I, thought it was supposed to be a certain way and I thought I was supposed to be on all these boards and do all these things and say yes to everybody and I had a lot of guilt about saying no. I had to learn how to start to say no. There are really no mistakes. Trust your own timing. I think that we can feel urgency when we’re stepping into a new chapter. There is a natural timing that our body has on lots of different levels. So there are always these little timing nudges and winks from the universe that we can start to follow. So it’s trusting in your own timing.”

SARA VATORE, Somatic Life Coach


“If you at all have an opportunity that comes up, take it. It’s easy to make excuses like saying, ‘My kids are too young. It’s not a good time. I’m too busy right now.’ I think all of us have said it’s busy right now. No one has ever been like, I’m not very busy. So it’s easy to make excuses like that. That’s what really holds people back is it’s never a good time. Just do it.”

KAYLA OPPERMAN, Owner of Snapology and Class 101


So many ideas, now what?

You’ve read advice, tips, and stories from women who have shifted their career path and pivoted to a new career that they love. Bookmark this blog and refer to it when you need a push in the right direction. I hope these tips gave you inspiration and your second act ideas are now swirling around in your head. Write down 2 ideas right now. Look at what you wrote and list out just a few steps on how you can move towards this goal. Remember, you are no different than me or the women I featured here in this article. You hold the power to make a career transition, start a business, or build a life that you will wake up excited for each morning. If you need more motivation, go back and listen to the Second Act Success Career Podcast anytime. Sending you positive vibes and good luck as you head towards a change in your life and career!



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