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I enjoy being a commercial real estate lawyer, helping my clients develop their largest assets, but am starting to think about retiring and having my “encore career,” in which I can use my skill set somehow to make an impact even if I don’t make money—I just don’t have any concrete ideas and wonder how to explore the possibilities.

Q: I enjoy being a commercial real estate lawyer, helping my clients develop their largest assets, but am starting to think about retiring and having my “encore career,” in which I can use my skill set somehow to make an impact even if I don’t make money—I just don’t have any concrete ideas and wonder how to explore the possibilities.

A: One way to jump start your thinking is to take a volunteer vacation, sometimes referred to as voluntourism. There are many organizations that provide information on these types of individual and family opportunities; sometimes food and lodging are included. Also check out Lawyers Without Borders for ideas on US-based and international experiences for lawyers. Plus, with your background, Habitat for Humanity is another natural focal point. They have projects on microfinancing, partnering with financial institutions across the US and the globe, to which you would be able to contribute even if your aren’t handy with saws and scaffolds. Finally, look on Score.org to find out about being a mentor to small businesses and entrepreneurs. These are only a few ways to get started exploring your next career adventure. Enjoy your journey!