After a spectacular 30-year global career with Estee Lauder that included Global Brand President of Bobbi Brown, Smashbox Cosmetics and stints at MAC Cosmetics and more, Peter Lichtenthal made the decision to wrap up his long career in the beauty industry.
Join Peter and I for a ROAR Transformation Session March 16 at 3 p.m. Pacific / 6 p.m. Eastern. Register here.
How long did you think about it before you made the move? What are one or two pieces of advice you would give someone who is on the cusp of that decision?
The thought of pursuing a new chapter for my life and career began circling in my head around three years before I actually left. It wasn’t that I was unhappy or unfulfilled with my career at Estee Lauder. It was that I was becoming increasingly inspired by the young people around me who were leading their careers and pursuing changes in their lives in a more fluid way. I was becoming more and more intrigued at the prospect of what can be, rather than more of what has been.
The time just seemed right for me to build on my career and live my life in a new and different way, to do more of what I loved, and less of what I didn’t.
My advice to others who find themselves with these thoughts and temptations is this: First, embrace, don’t be afraid of, the uncertainty of change, because with that change comes the exhilaration of exploring new parts of yourself—of feeling re-ignited, re-inspired. Second, be confident that the skills that brought you success in your primary career will be the same ones you reapply and adapt to bring success as you craft your new chapter(s) ahead!
What we now know is that if someone is 60 and healthy, they may live to be 90 or older. That means a first career may end at 60 or so, but there can easily be a new type of second career that can last 20+ years. Do you think that people have actually had that realization and are creating dynamic second or even third careers?
That’s an incredible insight, and I suspect that not enough people have had that realization yet. Pursuing new interests, dreams and opportunities is not the domain of the young. The established model of a long, singular career followed by traditional ‘retirement’ is being increasingly upended as more and more people take control of their lives at age 50 or 60+ and redirect their interests and skills to establish extraordinarily rewarding second or yes, even third careers. This is an entirely new perspective that is creating a refreshing alternative model for our longer-lived lives.
In March, we are going to do a learning session with you and the ROAR community about how to be proactive in thinking about a second career that is completely different from the first go-around. Give us one piece of wisdom for people who are interested in that concept.
I would say this: We are all writing the novel of our lives, chapter by chapter, and in most cases, our primary careers have been a particularly long (and hopefully great) chapter. But time moves on and time moves fast, and now is the moment to take control and start thinking about how you want to write your next chapter. After three or four decades of a primary career, what dreams or interests do you have that are just waiting to be explored? What lifestyle changes do you want to make? What do you want to do more—or less—of? What still excites you, and what might have you gotten tired of? Bottom line: seize this moment of life as a beginning…not as a wind-down. You’ve got many more chapters in you to write, so start writing now!