Career Anxiety: Dreadful, Common And Totally Necessary

By Susan Ricker

When you're entering the workforce for the first time, it's natural to be nervous about your career and uncertain of how things will turn out. But what about later in life, when you're ready for a change or career switch? You may have years of experience under your belt, but that may not do much to quell your anxiety about what the future holds.

However unsettling it may be, uncertainty is necessary for a career switch. This is especially true for an encore career, or a career change made later in life that combines personal meaning with social purpose. "Encore careers are commonly sparked by something on the work front -- a layoff, the approach of retirement, an itch to reinvent," says Marci Alboher, author of "The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life." She adds, "Just as often, an encore is shaped by what's happening outside of work -- an empty nest, the loss of a parent, the end of a marriage, a new romance, an illness or a move from the suburbs to the city."