There’s always time for a second career
A successful second career later in life can be a new start to a satisfying future.
That’s especially true when you’re sharing enthusiasm for a longtime interest or skill. Tim Jarvis of Melbourne and Bart Martindale of Titusville share those traits.
Jarvis, 54, started by sweeping up at a pottery studio in middle school, later learning how to wedge the clay and eventually how to throw a pot. He worked as a production potter while in middle and high school, making money per pot.
“I loved being a potter but life happened and I had to start making some real money,’’ he said, switching careers to be an auto mechanic and first working as a mobile service.
He was factory trained at a Volvo dealership and spent 26 years as the owner of a Volvo repair shop in Tallahassee. Throughout his career, he trained staff on how-to-do repairs.
Jarvis moved to Brevard County in 2015. He also has realized his original dream with a pottery/teaching studio, where he can continue to create art and teach the art of working in clay, step by step.
“I enjoy seeing my influence in my student’s work. That’s where being a mechanic and being a pottery teacher are similar. You have to pay attention to all the details and do the steps in order,’’ he said.
Martindale, 70, spent his first career as a school psychologist, earning a master’s degree. After retiring, he and his wife moved to Titusville. Not surprisingly, it is located near the epicenter of his passion since he was a child — Kennedy Space Center, NASA and the U.S. Space Program.
His wife bought him an annual pass to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and in a month and half he had gone out there 30 times and asked to volunteer. He started working part-time as a crew member a couple of years ago and after six months became a communicator.
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The communicators are the historians, the space program story tellers who do tours and in effect preserve the history of the program by telling interesting points and context, he said. But they are much more than that. They represent the face of the visitors center, he said.
“My first day on the job I was told the folks you interact with will remember you. That means a lot to me,’’ he said. Martindale has now met visitors from 92 countries.
Compared to a school psychologist, which he enjoyed, communicator hardly seems like a second career because he so enjoys talking about the space program, especially with a bright future with more launches and plans to visit Mars.
“It is living a dream. They pay me to do this. This is a really exciting time to be here. The kids are getting enthusiastic again. Some of them will be astronauts,’’ he said.