Freelance After 50 Newsletter

F50 Issue #2: How to Enjoy the Second Act of Your Career

Published 10 months ago • 4 min read

F50 Issue #2: August 1, 2023

The Great Unretirement: How to Enjoy The Second Act of a Career

Have you heard of a phenomenon called “the Great Unretirement”? It’s different from Tom Cruise, who seems like he’ll never retire. He’s still performing his own stunts and reprising his iconic roles.

An article titled “The Great Unretirement: Retirees re-entering the workforce” explains how some older workers who decided to retire early during the “Great Resignation” are choosing to go back to work to build their income or “discover a new sense of purpose.”

In particular, according to an AARP article, a survey from reports that 1 out of 5 retirees are deciding to come out of retirement. And 69% of that group do so because of inflation and the increasingly high cost of living.

But some people also return to work because they love their job.

Meet Ron Petrescue, who is continuing his career beyond retirement after decades of work in the television industry.

He began his career modeling clothes for a local department store on a TV show called “Teen Tempo,” then danced for the show and was hired as a camera operator for the station. Over the years he enjoyed working in many roles behind the camera — all the way from technician to president of a company.

After he retired, he began freelancing as a technical producer and a director of TV shows. And then in an exciting career move, he went back in front of the camera, working as an actor in TV shows and movies, a role he enjoys today.

Why did Ron pursue freelance work after retirement?

After retiring as President of Dome Productions, a wonderful job, he wanted to do more hands-on TV production, which was his first love. He never wanted to be a couch potato because he likes to keep active. TV is an active job that keeps his mind stronger, mainly because it keeps him learning.

He explains, “You never learn everything. Things are changing every day, and you learn every day. You learn from the young and from the old.”

How much flexibility does freelance work provide?

As a freelancer, Ron has the opportunity to work on many TV productions with different companies and crews. He explains that when he became a freelancer, he could plan the production at home and do a lot of preparations at home.

Another thing he likes about freelancing is that he can pick and choose events. It gives him the opportunity to turn down jobs that he doesn’t enjoy working on.

Freelancing has also given him the flexibility to spend more time with family and friends and help them when they’re in need. And it gives him the freedom to make time to exercise and do activities or hobbies he enjoys.

Does work after retirement provide financial opportunities?

Ron says that working after retirement does give a person some extra pay. Then you don’t have to have someone say, “Oh, you’re on a fixed income.”

He explains, “Your pay does fluctuate, and what that gives you is the opportunity to maybe purchase new things or help out family members and friends.”

What advice does Ron give to people considering their second act career?

Here are Ron’s top three pieces of advice:

  1. “Do your best to find something you really like to work on. Enjoy it, and if you don’t, you will always be able to move on to something else. There is a lot of work out there. It keeps you active, healthy, and happy.”
  2. “When you work from home, think of it like you’re sitting in an office, working. Try to be in a position of concentration and promptness — feel that you’re in a work environment, even though you’re working from home.”
  3. “Three things that I take to work with me are:
    1. Show up on time.
    2. Know your role.
    3. Don’t complain.”

All in all, Ron is happy with his decision to freelance after retirement. He asserts,

“To do it over again, I would have done the same thing. I’m so fortunate and happy with the work I’m doing after retirement. Everything I’ve done in the past has provided me with a lot of knowledge that helps me be successful in what I’m doing now.”

Healthy Habits

We asked Ron to share his number one tip for staying fit and healthy while freelancing after 50. He answered, “Exercise,” because it gives you more energy and clears your head.

His favorite activities are walking, weightlifting, and boxing with a punching bag. He also enjoys playing video games, golf, and pool with his grandchildren and older family members.

If you’re looking for more exercise recommendations, an article titled “Cognitive Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Adults” suggests “any activity that is safe and enjoyable,” as long as it gets you moving. For example, if you have limited mobility, you could use a chair or resistance band to do exercises.

According to the article, the good news is that “studies with older adults have shown that physical activity specifically impacts executive functions.” These functions include scheduling, planning, task switching, and problem solving - skills needed for both life and work.

So, find an exercise that works for you and enjoy the benefits of this healthy habit!

Freelance Fun

Ron shares this funny (and inspiring) anecdote from his days as a freelance TV director:

When I was directing sports events at a local events center, I went to my home office computer to check on the script. I got the time wrong and thought that the hockey game started at 7:00 p.m. That would mean I’d be at the arena at 4:00 p.m. to set up.

So, I started watching TV and relaxing, but around 1:00 p.m. I checked the computer again and saw that the game started at 3:00 p.m. I took off, and luckily, I made it over to the venue.

I walked in coolly, like nothing’s wrong. No one said anything. I was always the first person setting up, but not this time.

Fortunately, the crew was a team. They worked together to get the production done with or without me when I didn’t show up on time that day. When you work with good people, good clients and colleagues, the show will go on because you’re well prepared, and it’s a team effort.

When we work well together, we can also have a good sense of humor about it.

Until next time,

Co-founders of Freelance University®

431B 41st Avenue NE - Unit 94, Calgary, AB T2E 2N4
Unsubscribe · Preferences

Freelance After 50 Newsletter

Craig & Kelly Cannings, Co-founders of Freelance University

Ready for an exciting new chapter in your life? Join 19,000 subscribers who are pursuing a second-act freelancing career to gain the income, flexibility and freedom they desire!

Read more from Freelance After 50 Newsletter

F50 Issue #22: May 14, 2024 Explore New Careers and Boldly Go Where You’ve Never Gone Before! “Acting was the thing that made me happy when I was thirteen years old, and that is still the case seventy years later. I have so much more work to do. I am not done with the stage. I still want to try another TV comedy. I still have so many characters inside me that I need to let out. And, thank heavens, the door is still open. So why would I ever stop?” — Patrick Stewart (from his book, Making It...

9 days ago • 5 min read

F50 Issue #21: April 30, 2024 The Value of Experience: Five Ways to Embrace the Benefits of Being 50+ At the 1998 Academy Awards, two young men exuberantly accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. At the time, they were in their 20s, but their film shared wisdom for all ages, including those over 50. The film was Good Will Hunting, and one of the themes was the importance of experience as a companion to knowledge and intelligence. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember that Matt...

23 days ago • 5 min read
woman in orange long sleeve shirt sitting beside table with macbook pro

F50 Issue #20: April 16, 2024 Working Well Beyond Retirement: Turning Your Vocation into a Second-Act Career If you retired tomorrow, would you miss your job? And if you’ve already retired, do you wish you could keep working? Over the past few months, we’ve shared stories from people over 50 who are enjoying fulfilling careers in their chosen field. Actors Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford are still going strong. Retired TV executive Ron Petrescue found a new freelance career in front of the...

about 1 month ago • 5 min read
Share this post