Second Acts

Three Santa Feans show it’s never too late to change careers.

By Devon Jackson I Photos by Gabriella Marks



Santa Fe New Mexican


Can people find the perfect career for them at 50 or beyond? Three Santa Feans show it's never too late. A2023 Harris Poll conducted for Fast Company reported that 52 percent of American workers are considering changing jobs this year, and as many as 44 percent have concrete plans to do so. And while many hold the impression that job changes are largely isolated to the Gen Z and Millennial generations, the poll’s figures cover all ages. What many see as a pandemic-inspired shift has been going on since well before the lockdown. A 2022 Harvard Business Review story, “The Great Resignation Didn’t Start with the Pandemic,” noted that even though record numbers of employees quit their jobs then, “what we are living through is not just short-term turbulence provoked by the pandemic. Instead, it’s the continuation of a trend of rising quit rates that began more than a decade ago.” Late-career workers are part of this ongoing trend. Harvard Business Review reported in 2022 that 82 percent of surveyed people who made a professional change after age 45 said their shifts were successful — and 87 percent were happy they shook things up. Three Santa Feans share how they’ve made this change.