1. Corporate consultantAverage salary : $59,560 (training and development positions) or $64,300 (sales positions)
Suitable for: Someone with extensive industry experience, contacts and skills who wants a new angle on a current or former field Where the jobs are: Large and small corporations and businesses If you love your industry but have tired of your post within it, you could parlay your skills, experience and contacts into working as a consultant. Consultants often deal with specific projects or clients in areas such as sales and corporate development. These jobs often require minimal transition time and may offer high earnings if you have highly technical skills or management experience.
Nancy Collamer, author of "Second Act Careers," says that a new job title -- entrepreneurial support services -- can offer another position within the world of consulting. In this post, workers help entrepreneurs launch their businesses by providing expertise on things such as bookkeeping, business writing, marketing, web development or selling.
2. Non-profit fundraiserAverage salary: $55,220 Suitable for: Someone with extensive writing, speaking, selling or marketing experience in any industry, and especially those who are passionate about a cause Where the jobs are: Non-profit organizations, universities, religious institutions and government agencies In addition to a competitive salary, working at a non-profit can also help workers support a cause they care about. This may be an attractive feature for many older workers today, says Marci Alboher, vice president of Encore.org and author of The Encore Career Handbook. "Baby boomers are also very concerned with doing good and finding meaning in how they spend time working," Alboher says. To gauge the opportunities in your area, find a nearby non-profit organization that you're interested in and offer your business or industry skills for fundraising and development. If you have extensive management experience, non-profits are often looking for interim directors and managers, according to the "Encore Hot List" of job titles in Alboher's book. The earning potential may not be as high as in the corporate world, but the work may be critical to a cause you care about.
3. Patient navigator/advocateAverage salary: $44,000 (Note: Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't yet track salaries for patient advocates, this data comes from the job-listings site SimplyHired.com.)
Suitable for: Someone with good organizational skills or a background in social work or medicine who wants a helping, non-medical health care role Where the jobs are: Hospitals, health care facilities and insurance companies Career experts and statistics agree: The health care industry is growing and it's unlikely to stop soon. With all the changes within the Affordable Care Act, patients and families, especially those fighting chronic illnesses, are likely to need help managing their hospital services, and that's where patient advocates come in. These positions may include working with seniors specifically, if that is your interest, or simply with anyone who requires help with critical health care decisions.
While the salaries for patient advocates can vary -- this is still largely considered an emerging profession -- a March report by The New York Times indicated that workers in this field can command fees anywhere from $15 to $150 an hour.