Consider it act two for lawyer-turned-actor-politician-turned-actor-turned-presidential-candidate-turned-actor-again, Fred Thompson. The Law & Order judge and former Tennessee senator has signed with the high-powered Hollywood talent agency William Morris just two months after his withdrawal from the Republican presidential race. Just because he didn’t get the commander-in-chief gig, doesn’t mean he still can’t play one on TV. He’s already portrayed President Ulysses S. Grant in HBO’s (TWX) Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Fred Thompson did a great job throughout his career of making sure he was identified as both an actor and a politician,” says Marci Alboher author of One Person/Multiple Careers .“He has always moved between those dual identities. He kept doors open which had people easily able to think of him in multiple ways. If you move between careers its terrific if you can find a way for them to have a synergy and allow people to associate you with different things.”
Keep ties within the world of your old job. With Law & Order episode repeats playing, Thompson is still in actor in the minds of America and the publicity around his campaign made him more bankable as an actor. It ultimately scored him high profile Hollywood representation, explains Alboher. This was smart considering the reality of the job market and threat of a recession. “Having a back up or a ‘slash’ career makes a lot of financial sense,” says Alboher. “To go back to or add on an earlier career is something people will do in hard economic times or when transitioning to a new career.” Keeping that connection in your old career means you won’t have to answer any awkward questions about why you’re back on your old beat. “That could mean just showing up once a year to an annual conference,” says Alboher.