If it seems like all politicians were formerly lawyers, that's because they were, in most cases. And if you start to sense a connection between the low public esteem for lawyers and the low public opinion of most politicians, that's because there is. Of all of the former lawyers-turned-politicians, Fred Thompson is of particular note, because he was not only a charismatic trial lawyer from 1975 to 1992, but then a fairly well-known actor starting in 1985, before being elected a U.S. Senator from Tennessee from 1994 to 2003, and then returning to acting on "Law & Order" before making a bid for the presidency in 2008.
Whether you're a former lawyer (U.S. President Barack Obama) or a former oil baron (former U.S. President George W. Bush) or a former finance mogul (New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg), there may be a future ahead of you in public service. Try running for the school board, the county comptroller or some other position where you can start small. If you get a taste for it, you might have landed yourself a rewarding second career fighting for the rights of the little guy, or maybe even the big guys (hint: the big guys make bigger campaign contributions).
If you're still having a hard time deciding on a second career choice, perhaps that's because you're only thinking about working for somebody else. Maybe you were always meant to be an entrepreneur -- or at least a franchisee. More on franchise ownership next.