Pursuing New Passions

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Here are some tips for discovering new satisfactions at the end of a career:

* Start by asking yourself a few questions, says Nancy K. Schlossberg, author of "Retire Smart. Retire Happy." Do you want to continue working in the same field in a different way? Do you want to venture into something new? Do you have a passion you want to pursue, or are you a seeker or explorer trying to find that passion?

* The dreams you start with may not work out, or you may find something that appeals more, said reader Tim Barnum of Anne Arundel County. He started out pursuing art but met a former music teacher in an art class who gave him lessons on the clarinet. Now he plays oboe in the Bay Winds community band.

* If you want to enter a new field, treat the challenge as if you were designing an internship for a college student, Schlossberg recommends. What can you do as a volunteer that will expand your knowledge of the field and make you more valuable?

* Take your résumé when you volunteer. A volunteer coordinator who knows your background may be able to use your skills more effectively.

* Take some time to get to know an organization and how it works before you decide whether it's worth your time and effort.

* Don't give up. If one pursuit doesn't work out satisfactorily, move on to the next.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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